RSS readers for your desktop computer aren’t hard to find; we’ve covered a whole host of them for both Windows and OS X. We’ve also covered quite a few of them for reading feeds in your browser, but there isn’t much out there to rival Google Reader. If, however, you’re in the market for a minimal RSS reader that won’t let you get caught up in the news feed, give Skimr a try. It’s an RSS reader with a simple, scaled-down interface that gives you a list of all recent news items with a snippet from each one, rather than providing you the preview of a news story or showing the whole story complete with images and videos. Think of it as a table of contents for the news that is posted to a website daily. It doesn’t connect with your Google account, but you can add any website to it that you like, with a few popular tech websites already added by default but if you aren’t a fan of tech news, you can replace them with your own favorite websites.
When you first visit Skimr you will see nine popular tech blogs added. Click any one of them to view the latest stories that have been posted. If you want to edit the default source list or add websites of your own choice to it, you will have to create an account with the service, which can be done for free. After signing in with your account, click ‘Edit’ under the blogs’ list and you’ll be able to remove any of the existing sources by clicking the minus button next to it. Don’t forget to save your changes.
To add a website of your choice to the list, click ‘Add another website’ and paste the RSS or Atom link of the website’s feed. Click ‘Add’ and you’re done.
The feed loads immediately after being added. Clicking a website from that list shows you its latest stories, with the title and the first few sentences of each post displayed. To read any story further, just click it and it will open in a new tab. Clicking the name of the website at the top of its story list returns you to your home view.
Thanks to its really neat and minimal interface, Skimr gives you a way to read news items without getting too distracted. It’s a simple way to see if anything interesting has been posted to a particular website and since this isn’t your traditional RSS reader, you won’t have to worry about the number of unread items piling up. We also love Skimr’s RSS icon-turned-ice-cream-cone logo.