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Leaf 3 redefines a top-contender Mac RSS reader

Leaf 3.0 with its new feed selector sidebar open.
Leaf 3.0 with its new feed selector sidebar open.
Adam Cecil

The Mac-only RSS reader Leaf received a major update over the weekend, bumping the well-reviewed app up to 3.0. The team at Rocky Sand Studios have addressed a number of user complaints with this update, most notably adding the ability to select individual feeds. Previous versions of Leaf were incredibly minimalist, with only two views: read and unread.

Leaf also has a new article viewer, finally allowing users to customize their reading experience. Users can now switch between an article summary, a clutter-free preview, and the original website. While this might appear to complicate Leaf’s previously minimalist design, Rocky Sandy has done a lot of work to keep the app as simple as possible. The main view of the app is still just two columns - article list and article viewer - while the optional third column with your feed list can be hidden with a toggle.

Leaf was able to grab a hold of the Mac RSS reader market after the shutdown of Google Reader left previous top app Reeder unusable. Reeder 2, the update that finally allows alternative services such as Feedly, was released at the end of May. While many may remember Reeder from the good old days of RSS, they may not be willing to drop another ten bucks on it when Leaf provides a free (and constantly improving) alternative.

Leaf is $7.99 in the Mac App Store.