I’m a creature of habit. No matter how many times I try to make a Google Reader client for Mac part of my daily routine, I always seem to go back to Google’s Web interface.
Don’t get me wrong-there are several good native clients out there, butI hadn’t found anything to be substantially better than Google’s Webclient. Caffeinated1.2.2 (MacApp Store link) has changed all that.
On the surface, it’s simply beautiful. Its minimalistinterface, laden with pleasant blues and grays, manages to becomprehensive without being overwhelming, despite my dozens of feedsand hundreds of unread items. In addition, Caffeinated includes anoptional menu bar icon that shows the number of unread items in yourfeed, which is especially helpful when using the app in full-screenmode-it’s kept out of sight when you don’t want to be bombarded by yourRSSfeed, but enables you to focus on it when you do.
It’s also very fast. In my experience, Caffeinated launched almostinstantaneously, and after just a few times using it, its robust yetuncomplicated keyboard shortcut functionality turned me into afeed-browsing machine. I’ve never felt so empowered by an RSS reader.
If you like sharing the things you read, Caffeinated has seamlessintegration with several third-party services including Twitter,Facebook, and Google Plus, as well as “read later” services such asInstapaper, Readability, Evernote, and even Safari‘s Reading List.
Caffeinated has also made me more productive. It’s dead simple to use,beautifully designed, well connected with several great third-partyservices, and lightning fast. I recommend it without reservation, and Ihope you enjoy using it as much as I do.
Frank Tisellano is a user-interaction designer, born and raised in NewYork City. This review is part ofMacworld’s GemFest2012series. Every weekday from mid June through mid August, the Macworldstaff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free orlow-cost program. Visit the Mac Gemshomepage for a list of past Mac Gems.