Leaf is a brand new RSS reader app for Mac available in the Mac App Store for $3.99. It can connect with your Google account and import all your RSS feeds from Google Reader. The feeds can be viewed in a tiny window, and the news item can be opened in your browser or shared using one of the many sharing options supported by Mountain Lion. On the surface, Leaf boasts a beautiful UI for reading your RSS feeds while under the hood, it’s a reasonably good way to manage them as well. While it wouldn’t let you create new folders, it will import the ones you’ve created in Google Reader and allow you to move feeds between them. You can add additional feeds from within Leaf, and the app also gives you the option to set it as the default RSS reader.
Once launched, you’ll have to sign in with your Google account. If you receive an error saying that login failed, simply quit and relaunch the app to make it go away.
Leaf will import your feed and list it in a separate window. You can scroll through the different items in your feed. An item that’s been read will show up as faded out. This effect can be disabled from the View > Fade Read Articles option. The feed is shown in chronological order, and there is no way to sort it by source. You can search your feeds by source, title or content, but there’s no way to view a single feed.
To ‘Star’ an item, move your mouse over its thumbnail and a star button will appear. Click a news item to view it in a small scrollable popup. At the bottom of this popup, you’ll see a share button that will let you open the news item in Safari, copy its link, add it to your reading list, and share it via email, Messages, Twitter or Facebook.
From the General tab in Leaf’s preferences, you can select how often the app will check for new items, and what it should do when a new item appears in your feed. You can limit the app to show a fixed number of items (lets say 10) from each feed.
The Subscription tab in Leaf’s preferences allows you to organize your feeds and add new subscriptions. You can also select the feeds you want hidden in Leaf. Move your mouse over a particular feed and a few buttons will appear; the eye button will allow you to hide the feed, while the plus button at the bottom-left will let you add more feeds.
Leaf is a new app, so we’re hoping it will add some of the basic features that are currently missing from it, including a way to view news items from a single feed, and create new folders for further organizing the feeds items instead of just relying on the ones that were added in Google Reader. Leaf also allows you to sign in with a different Google account upon launch; all you need to do is hold down the Option key when you launch it. It doesn’t keep you logged into different accounts simultaneously though, so you’re basically signing in and out of accounts instead of switching between them. For the current price tag, Leaf can certainly do with additional features.