Not everybody uses RSS feed readers the same way. Some want a desktop RSS client, others want a browser extension and others prefer online RSS readers. Because of that it’s difficult to decide which RSS feed reader is the best, so instead let’s go through the best RSS clients for all of those cases.
When Apple released Safari 6, they removed the RSS reader that was built in. I wasn’t ecstatic about this move, but it did mean I had to go elsewhere to continue receiving my RSS feeds. In this article I’ll go through the top 3 RSS desktop readers, the top 2 online RSS readers and the best RSS browser extension. Of course remember these are based solely on my opinion, not on statists or other reviews. That being said, if you know of or use a different RSS feed client that you think is superior, let us know in the comments section below.
Top 3 Mac Desktop RSS Feed Reader Clients
There are a lot of different desktop RSS clients for Mac. Simply checking the Mac App Store will verify this very easily. Some are free and others cost money, but which ones are the best?
In my opinion, the Reeder app by Silvio Rizzi is the best Mac client. It’s very easy to use, has many features, many ways or sharing and saving articles, it looks great and sync all your RSS feeds with Google Reader. Even its dock icon changes to show the number of new and unread articles that have been published on your favorite sites.
Adding a RSS feed to Reeder is as simple as going to the menu bar -> Subscriptions -> Add Subscription and typing in the URL of the site you want to receive feeds from. When an RSS feed is added it shows up in the left sidebar. Clicking on it will bring up all the latest articles. You can organize your feeds into categories or even click on the “all items” category and view all the latest articles from across all your RSS feeds.
A few websites like to only give a summary of the article in attempts you make you have to visit the website to read the article. Readability is added into Reeder which means you can read the full article without showing the actual website.
Reeder is a paid for app, it is worth the money however and is loved by many users. If you are interested in a similar yet alternative RSS Reader check out Caffeinated.
#2 RSS Bot
RSS Bot is a free minimalistic RSS feed reader available from the Mac App Store. It also has the ability to sync with Google Reader, however you have to enable it in Preferences -> General -> Enable Sync with Google Reader.
It sits in the menu bar, constantly checking up on what’s new. It also utilizes notification center, giving a notification each time a new RSS feed article is added. I actually found it to be kind of annoying since it seemed every 5 minutes one of my RSS feeds would be updated with a newly published article. The RSS feed notifications can be disabled by going to Settings -> Notification -> RSS Bot -> and turning the notification settings off.
RSS Bot has next to no interface other than the little menu bar icon. If you click on the menu bar icon it will drop down a list of all your unread RSS feeds. Selecting one of the RSS feeds that interests you will simply open the page in your default web browser.
Another similar RSS reader is Fresh Feed Pro, it also sits in the menu bar. However when you click on a specific article instead of just opening up your browser it slides out a little window with the article.
#3 NewsBar RSS Reader
NewsBar RSS Reader takes a different stance on providing you with all your favorite rss feeds. It does this by displaying a semi-transparent window right on the desktop. It takes up one side of your screen and constantly streams in all of your RSS feeds. This is great for anyone who has a lot of RSS feeds to keep up with.
Most of the features like adding an RSS feed, searching for and favoriting articles are accessible from the top bar in the semi-transparent NewsBar RSS Reader sidebar. You can setup folders to sort your RSS feeds and star/favorite certain stories to read later on.
By default NewsBar RSS Reader is stuck on the left hand side of the screen, this can be changed by going to Preferences -> Appearance -> Placement. Aside from allowing you to choose a left or right side you can also have it set to “Floating” which lets it be moved anywhere on the screen. There are many more options and ways of customizing it, so if you go with NewsBar RSS Reader be sure to check out its available preferences.
Top 2 Online RSS Feed Readers
These two online RSS feed readers reside in your browser and are accessed by going to their respective websites.
#1 Google Reader
Google Reader has to be the best online RSS feed reader out there. Not only does it allow you to sync your RSS feeds it also allows many other applications to use its services to sync. It’s very fast and slick, and since it’s an online RSS feed reader, it works on all devices.
There is one negative about Google Reader however. Last week Google announced that they were going to be shutting it down on July 1, 2013. This is a problem since most RSS clients use Google Reader to sync and manage their feeds. Fortunately there are developers out there working on a replacement and other means of managing your feeds. Digg for example has announced that they are going to start building a RSS reader to replace Google Reader. And just because Google Reader is shutting down doesn’t meant that all these RSS clients are going to be helpless. Take NewsBar RSS Reader for instance, it already has its own high-speed RSS engine.
Netvibes is a fully featured RSS reader and so much more. Once you start using it, you may even make it your homepage. The reason Netvibes stands out is that it’s not only an RSS reader, it also can be setup to pull in all your emails, displays the weather and has Twitter as well as Facebook integration.
Netvibes supports 2 views, the widgets view and the RSS reader view. It has many widgets to choose from that can be used to customize the way your widget page looks.
I used to use NetVibes years ago and ended up having it as my homepage. Whenever I opened my browser it showed me all the new stuff going on in my favorite sites, my schedule and my new mail, ect.
Best RSS Browser Plugin for Safari
This RSS reader is a free plugin that can be installed into your browser.
Feedly – The Best RSS Feed Reader Browser Plugin
Feedly is an amazing plugin available for Safari, Firefox and Chrome. I’ve used it for years and still find it to be a great RSS feed reader plugin. Feedly resides on the toolbar giving you quick access to all your feeds the moment you open your web browser of choice.
It has a very clean and simple interface, as well as all the social sharing features. Feedly also has an app for iOS devices and Android devices.
Even though it’s a browser extension, it’s still a very powerful RSS reader. It supports multiple different views such as, Today, Latest and Saved (favorite) articles. Adding a new feed is simple as well, clicking on “Add Website” will bring up a pane from where you can search for a feed, add a url or choose from the best RSS feeds from many different pre-defined topics.
While on the topic of RSS feeds, why not add AppDucates feed: http://appducate.com/feed/