When Vesper launched last year, developers John Gruber, Dave Wiskus and Brent Simmons described the app as "opinionated software". I feel that ever since Vesper's introduction, finding an opinionated combination of capability, design and usability has been a feverish trend. Eliminating features and making design choices in favour of simplicity can be touchy but extremely effective when done right.
Unread is also opinionated software. And it's opinionated software done right.
Some will choose not to like this. Some will swear by it. So far, I'm somewhere in between.
Unread definitely sheds the power-user mentality of Reeder and Mr. Reader, but that doesn't mean Unread is featureless. If anything, Unread is just as powerful. It's just powerful in a far different way.
Unread has changed how I read my RSS feed. And, more importantly, Unread finally entrenches the divide between Twitter and RSS.
I have always experienced a large duplication between Twitter and RSS. I followed my favourite writers in both and I followed my favourite news sites in both. This led to double the effort in weeding through all of my favourite content.
After I installed Unread two nights ago, I immediately realized this duality. The little devil on my left shoulder yearned not to delete my oldest subscriptions. But why keep an RSS subscription of a feed that breaks news on Twitter? Reeder allowed me to quickly skim through these feeds and mark all as read too easily. Unread quickly corrected that.
This is the effect of simplified software. It seemed so obvious upon opening Unread that my RSS feed was bloated.
This isn't to say that I'm eliminating Reeder from my RSS arsenal. In fact, it probably won't even leave my home screen. But I finally know how to use Reeder. Alongside Tweetbot and Unread, I have a strong content consumption workflow.
And all it took was some opinionated software.