The Best RSS Readers And News Aggregation Apps

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A few days ago, I asked you for your favourite news aggregator apps. We got tons of responses, but it was pretty clear which apps were going to be our top recommendations within the first batch of comments. Without further ado, here are the best RSS readers/news aggregators, plus a few alternatives for good measure.

The Best: Feedly

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Feedly got the most comments and upvotes from readers, which isn’t surprising — it’s one of the few RSS readers with a modern design and active support behind it. It’s also packed full of features. As I said in a previous post:

Its chronological feed, flexible search and organisation tools, and cross-platform syncing are all excellent, and it helped me wean off Twitter for news — and just about everything else. Since it’s an RSS reader, Feedly can even be used to track YouTube and podcast subscriptions, blogs, and even newsletters in some cases. Oh, and both the web and mobile versions have built-in dark themes.

Those of you who voted for Feedly cited its ease of use, customisable interface, and helpful collection tools as noteworthy, and that’s just for Feedly’s free version. A Pro version is also available for about $9/month that adds even more customisation options, lets you follow an unlimited number of sources, and gives users more granular search and tracking options like alerts for specific keywords.

There’s also a “Team” version that gives users the ability to create “boards” the can be accessed and edited by multiple users, plus integration with apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more. It’s worth mentioning that the free version is ad-supported, but these are mostly unobtrusive and kept to a minimum. (Feedly Pro and Team are entirely ad-free.)

Even with the ads, Feedly’s free version is difficult to top. However, some readers commented that they found it to be cumbersome to use and others said they disliked the layout options. I’ll admit I needed to change some of the feed display options before I was fully on-board, but once I had my preferences locked in I haven’t looked back.

If you’re struggling to click with Feedly, our runner-up pick is just as worthy of your consideration.

Runner-up: Inoreader

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Inoreader came in a close second, and if you do a cursory internet search you’ll find plenty of debates over whether Inoreader or Feedly is the superior product. In my opinion, both are excellent choices and you’ll get a great RSS reader and news aggregation solution whichever service you pick.

The free, ad-supported versions of both services are largely identical, though Inoreader allows up to 150 sources compared to Feedly’s 100. Inoreader has a fairly similar user interface to Feedly — their dark themes are practically identical — though Inoreader’s layout is more compact and faster to navigate. Inoreader also has a built-in podcast player that will play audio in the background while you read through your feed.

While the basic service is entirely free, Inoreader also has paid options. Users can nix ads and follow up to 500 sources for $30 a year (about $2 a month), but in order to get the best features — like an offline mode, unlimited news sources, feed automation, and robust search/tracking features — you’ll need to pony up $75 a year. Interestingly, Inoreader also lets users pick advanced features a la carte.

The rest

The vast majority of Lifehacker commenters were either Feedly or Inoreader users, and they are hands-down the best choices for most people. That said, a few other other RSS readers are worth highlighting:

Feedbro - FeedBro is an RSS reader extension available for Firefox, Chrome, and other Chromium-based browsers like Edge and Vivaldi. It has a clean (but basic) interface you can customise, and it comes with tons of social media integration. It’s entirely free and, unlike some other RSS add-ons, is fully standalone — meaning you don’t need to sync it with another RSS service for it to work.

Open-source options: Vienna RSS and Tiny Tiny RSS - A couple of open-source choices — Vienna RSS and Tiny Tiny RSS (or TTRSS) — were also mentioned by readers. I’m a sucker for open-source applications, and both Vienna and TTRSS lets users create self-hosted RSS readers. These will require a bit more technical skill than simply signing up for one of the other apps or add-ons above, but they’re great options for protecting your data and having full control over your news feed.


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