I like to get the latest content from various blogs around the world via RSS feeds. After having a discussion with a couple of people about the best RSS readers out there in the world wide web I am going to show you four really good RSS readers which you can use to get all of the latest content from your favorite blogs. There are three app’s in the list and one web based RSS reader, all different prices points each with a multitude of features. Like anything, there are a variety of different readers and app to do the job. If you have a particular favourite that you recommend please leave a comment. If you want to catch the latest post from my RSS feed you can find my feed here.
Pulp For Mac
Pulp for Mac RSS reader shows the world what a good Mac application can look like. This app has been designed to mimic the look and feel of a newspaper, yet bring the functionality of using a computer to help you read the article contents. The default load out of the app brings in a wide range of popular feeds from around the world. Adding in new feeds is simple and you can arrange them on your screen in a method you see fit. The app has a set of pages accessible from the top of the app which allows you to customise the different sections of the app to what you see fit.
Each feed has a different method in which you can view the contents of the RSS feed. For example you can view each feed as a list item with just the title, using just an image or various combinations of both. The app boasts the different ways you can customise the layout and feel of the contents. One bonus feature is the magic reader button which allows you to view the full feed within the app, this is useful if a blog publishes a short feed and you want to view all of the content (I don’t do this with my feed).
Pro’s: Very well laid out, easy to use and has a load of useful features. You can also sync with the iPad version for viewing on the move. A real contender for any RSS reader.
Con’s: Customising and adding feeds to the app can be a little confusing at first. No add option from the menu bar and has to be done from an edit function within the app.
Price: $9.99 on the Mac App Store.
The built in Mail app from Apple has a really useful RSS reader feature. Although Mail is designed for emails, if you regularly use Mail every day, building in and using the RSS feeds function of the app is simple and easy to use. Like any RSS reader you add your feeds and then read each articles as they appear. Unlike Pulp, this is a very simple side of Mail and doesn’t feature any fancy interface or features. You simply add the feed and away you go.
You can organise RSS feeds into folders and group them based on content. The Mail app is designed for emails, so it does lack on the RSS front. However if you are a causal user and only have a couple of feeds, its great along side your emails.
Pro’s: Built in and easy to use. Works well with emails and other Mail functions.
Con’s: Doesn’t have many features. Can get a bit unwieldy with lots of feeds.
Price: Built in / Free
The previous apps on this little list have been decidedly app based. If you don’t want to be tethered to your Mac when you read your RSS feeds, Google Reader, is a very good service to use. Although you do need a Google account (and adding feeds means you tell Google what you read), it does work very simply. Adding feeds is simple using the big red button in the top left corner of the app and organising them into folders is simple when you find the right button to press.
Google Reader also has a couple of other interesting features which set it aside from the other apps I have seen. There is a Trends section which shows you how much you have been reading and various stats associated with it. There is also a ‘Browse for Stuff’ section which allows you to find other feeds based on what you like, useful if you want to expand on what you are reading. The majority of my RSS readers use Google Reader, so it must be doing something right.
Pro’s: Built into Google’s services, simple to use, available on any computer.
Con’s: None, really.
We round up with NetNewsWire. This is regarded as one of the best standalone RSS readers for the Mac. It is slightly in between Mail and Pulp in terms of app design. It looks and feels like any mac app, simple to use and set out simply and well, but doesn’t have any fancy design extra’s like Pulp. If you want a simple, free, app NetNewsWire is easy to use.
The left hand side bar features all of your feeds, with the right hand side of the app occupied with the individual entries. If you don’t use Mail and want to use an RSS reader, this app is probably for you.
Pro’s: Free, simple to use.
Con’s: Not as pretty as Pulp
There are a variety of apps out there that can be used to view RSS feeds. My personally favourite is Pulp, really well designed and fun to use. Although Google Reader is great for reading your feeds from anywhere in the world. If you have a comment, please leave one using the form below.