Google Reader is the most popular online RSS management service, provided by Google. It has millions of users, and people love it because of its ease of use and simplicity.
Even though it is so popular and user-friendly, the fact remains that it is a web application, and a lot of people (including me) do not prefer using web applications. We love our desktops, and web applications are just not native enough for everyday use.
Gruml is a desktop application for Mac OS X that acts as a frontend for your Google Reader account. Though currently it is in beta, it feels quite finished and stable, loaded with lots of features. I’ve seen people comparing Gruml to NetNewsWire, but the fact remains that such a comparison is unfair because Gruml is designed to be a dedicated Google Reader client, and not a general RSS or news reading app like NetNewsWire (though NetNewsWire supports Google Reader syncing).
What sets apart Gruml from the Google Reader web interface is its rich feature set. Some of these features are:
- Social Network Integration: You can share news articles directly from Gruml to a large number of social networks, using convenient keyboard shortcuts, or via the right click context menu. Here’s a list of networks available:
- Sync Starred Items: Basic syncing works in almost all desktop RSS clients, but people who like to use advanced features such as starring were disappointed as they weren’t synced by clients such as NetNewsWire. Gruml has in-built support for syncing Starred items.
- Support For Folders: If you have a large collection of subscriptions, sooner or later you’d want to organize them into categories. Gruml makes this easy, by providing folder support, you can add subscriptions to these folders.
- Multiple Views and Themes: Gruml has support for 2 reading layouts: default one (as seen above) and 3 pane view, which you can see below. Gruml also has a list of theme choices, which you can choose from, according to your taste.
Overall, for a market that has yet to be exploited fully by others, with only a few other players (NetNewsWire being one), Gruml has a pretty strong foothold for a beta software.