How do you read RSS feeds on your Mac? If you are in search of an advanced app, you will definitely enjoy Shrook. It is a feature-rich RSS feed reader, without ads or spyware, that also lets you access your feeds on your iPhone, iPad as well as any other Mac or Web browser (via Shrook.com).
Feed items are automatically synced and updated every five minutes as long as you’re connected to the Internet. However, this advanced syncing feature comes at a small price (which is outlined below).
Shrook offers a set of a unique features that you won’t find in many other feed readers. If you’re a Growl user, you’ll be happy to know that Shrook also supports instant notifications via its built-in Growl support. This way you’ll never miss a new feed item. If you regularly use Spotlight to search your Mac, you’ll also find it convenient that relevant feed items will appear in your results as well.
Shrook RSS Reader – An Overview
While Shrook does work in the browser, it’s not required since Web pages can be viewed directly in the app itself. Additionally, Shrook doubles as a simple Twitter app since it allows you to read tweets and post to Twitter from all apps (desktop, iPhone, iPad).
Adding New Feeds
To add new feeds items to your account, you’ll need to use the app. Just click the plus button and select one of the following: subscribe to feed, a new group, new smart group, new learning group, or new scrapbook.
For RSS feeds you can enter the address of the actual feed or website that you want to subscribe to. When you enter the address, you’ll get a list of possible feed URLs that you can subscribe to. You’ll need to choose the appropriate one from the drop-down menu.
You can also use the Feed Guide to find new feeds to subscribe to. These feeds are organized by category. You can click on a category to view blog feeds that match and then subscribe to the ones that interest you most. Best of all, the Feed Guide is “loaded from the Web, so it stays up to date”.
One of the coolest things about Shrook is that it separates feed items that contain media such as video and audio and then puts them into an “Attachments” group. This makes it easy to find media for watching and listening to. Media is displayed right within Shrook’s preview window and it also gives you the option to download or save these items to your computer.
The desktop version of Shrook works pretty much the same as the app. You can view all of your feeds items and send new tweets. It also automatically refreshes on its own and you can see what time it last refreshed.
To see your Twitter account alongside your feeds on Shrook, you can authorize your Twitter account from within the website. You’ll also need to authorize your account in the actual app. This allows you to send new tweets right from within the app.
While Shrook is free to use as an RSS feed reader, there is a 30-day trial period for the advanced syncing features. This means that after 30 days you won’t be able to sync your feeds across systems and devices. You can “extend” your Shrook syncing privileges for $2.50/month or $19.95/year.
Other features include:
- Smart Groups – Shrook can automatically create feed groups for you based on the criteria you set such as a specific keyword, author, or date. Items are updated in real-time.
- Scrapbooks – You can save individual items to read later; they can then be found in your Scrapbook.
- Blogging Integration – You can set up Shrook to open your external blog editor so that you can create new posts based on feed items.
- Real-time Search – The integrated search box gives you results (lists of feeds and individual items) in real-time.
- Secure Access – You can access private feeds via HTTPS encryption and password protection; passwords are stored in Keychain and are shared with safari.
Shrook uses a sophisticated “Distributed Checking mechanism” to keep your feed items up to date. “Each time anyone’s copy of Shrook finds a new item, it tells the central server, which tells all the other copies to look for the item, including yours.” Overall Shrook is an elegant, feature-rich RSS Reader for you Mac and can be accessed across almost all devices you own.