At this moment there are many RSS readers for Mac. Most of them are even free, but none of them are quite like Headline. Headline is the first application from Doseido Software.
Headline is different from other RSS readers because of it’s size. It has a small window that looks much like the iChat buddy list. For each feed entry the status is represented by a dot: green if it’s new, yellow if it’s from the week, or white if it’s older (there will be no dot if it has already been read). These look just like the iChat icons and help you easily find new feeds. The number of new items also appears as a badge in the dock icon. One other useful feature to find new feeds is just to hit the spacebar; this will switch to the next new feed. There is still an issue with this, though; it only goes to the newest feed below the selected feed. If you have any new ones above it you need to scroll up and select that feed.
On top of the Headline window you can change the filter and search for an entry. There are a few different filters to select. You can filter by date or choose to view only unread or favorite entries. One thing missing from Headline, though, is the ability to sort your feeds into categories. This option is in many other RSS readers and is a very useful feature.
The bottom of the window includes a button to switch to view your RSS feeds instead of entries. It also includes some other tools and functions. To open the content button you can click an icon or you can just double-click a feed. There is also a button to open the media window and one to mark as a favorite. When you mark an entry as a favorite the read icon is replaced with a heart. Finally there are a few buttons to share the entry; you can send it as an email or share it in IM. Currently iChat is the only supported IM application. A couple of things that Headline is missing, though, include a way to view one website at a time and the ability to sort feeds into different categories.
When you double-click a feed the content window appears. This is where you can read the full entry. You can also leave this window open as you browse your feeds and it will show you the currently selected feed. The feed window appears as a HUD style display. On the bottom of the feed window are two buttons: “Open in Browser” and “Close Preview”.
Adding new feeds to Headline is very easy. Just click the feed button in the bottom left and the entries will switch to show you a list of feeds. Here you can click the plus and minus buttons to add and delete feeds. You can not rename feeds or just view the entries from one feed. If you already use an RSS reader you can easily import your feeds from different applications or an OPML file. Headline uses core animation to add some cool effects. There is a slight fade effect when you switch between feeds and entries. There is also a pop in effect when you open the preview window. Headline even supports growl.
Headline is a very innovative RSS reader. The minimal UI is great to leave on the side of your screen. It is still missing a few features but hopefully in the coming months more features will be added. Headline costs $19.95 and a demo is available at Doseido Software.