Whether you are sick of social media, want to get away from endless notifications, or just want to read all your news all in one spot, an RSS reader can help. RSS stands for “really simple syndication.” It’s a protocol that allows an RSS reader to talk to your favorite websites and get updates from them. Instead of visiting 10 different sites to see what’s new, you view a single page with all new content.
There are two parts to RSS: the RSS reader and the RSS feeds from your favorite websites. RSS has been around a while now, so there are a lot of very good RSS readers out there. Most of them feature built-in search and suggestions too, so you don’t have to go hunting for RSS feeds yourself. You just might discover some cool new sites to read, too.
I’ve been using RSS for over a decade, and recently spent a few months trying out almost a dozen different RSS reader services. The picks below are the best RSS readers available right now. Once you’ve found one you like, put it on one of our Best Tablets or Best iPads for easy reading on the go.
Inoreader offers a well-designed readable interface, good search and discovery options, and a nice set of features that are both beginner-friendly and offer plenty of options for advanced users. There’s a web interface, as well as iOS and Android apps. Inoreader handles more than just RSS feeds—you can add email newsletters, Facebook pages, Twitter searches, and podcasts too.
Advanced users will like extra features like keyword monitoring. Enter your search terms and Inoreader will search all your feeds for any mention of that keyword or phrase and then create a feed of just those articles. You can also do the opposite and hide articles matching a phrase. Inoreader also offers a nice automation system you can use to create rules and filter your feeds, giving some higher priority. For example, you could get a push notification every time WIRED publishes a new review, but not the rest of our content.
The automation does require a pro account. Pro accounts also get some other nice features, like the ability to integrate with IFTTT and Zapier, an offline mode for the mobile apps. It also includes my personal favorite: keeping your YouTube account in sync with your RSS reading. You can watch YouTube videos in Inoreader, and next time you log into YouTube, you won’t have a ton of unwatched videos.
Inoreader offers a free (with ads) account, which is good for testing out the service to see if it meets your needs. If it does, the Pro account is $7 a month (it’s cheaper if you buy a year up front), which brings more advanced features and support for more feeds.
Best for Beginners
Feedly is probably the most popular RSS reader on the web, and for good reason. It’s well-designed, easy to use, and offers great search options so it’s easy to add all your favorite sites. It lacks one thing that makes Inoreader slightly better in my view—the YouTube syncing—but otherwise Feedly is an excellent choice.