RSS reader apps are essential to anyone who wants to keep up with all the news and happenings that are going on all across the world. Whatever sort of news you’re interested in, an RSS reader is a great way to collate and read through news from all your favourite sources.
Feedly is one of the most popular web-based RSS readers of this type, but it’s far from the only one out there. Feedly isn’t perfect, either, and there are some problems with it, like a poor Android app and having to pay for something as basic as search.
Another reason to consider an alternative RSS reader service has less to do with any weaknesses on Feedly’s part and has more to do with the fact that it’s actually better to not rely on just one reader, lest it goes down and leaves you without access to your feeds, as is the case of when Feedly was the target of a DDoS attack recently.
While normal service resumed soon enough, it’s a reminder that it’s always good to have an alternate reader, just in case. Here’s a list of the five best.
Recommended Reading: Useful Keyboard Shortcuts, Tips & Tricks For Using Feedly
InoReader is easy to use, clean, uncluttered and puts your content front and center. It also comes with a number of different views and themes to tailor the reading experience to your tastes. Like Feedly, InoReader has premium accounts; unlike Feedly, it doesn’t require you to pay for something as basic as search.
InoReader also has a lot of keyboard shortcuts, including a lot of global shortcuts that let you change views, subscribe to feeds and access preferences.
The InoReader side panel will also highlight and automatically update unread counts whenever new items are available in any of your feeds.
In terms of its Android app, InoReader wins against Feedly due to it being optimized for tablet. Plus, it is also available as an extension for Google Chrome and many other third parties. InoReader also supports desktop notifications if you need it, alongside Instapaper, Evernote and Pocket integration.
Feedspot is a freemium RSS reader app that’s got quite a few things going for it. It offers a few different view modes and colour themes, as well as a minimalistic display that hides some menu bars and interface elements for a slightly sleeker reading experience.
Like Feedly, some of its features – such as search – are premium-only, but at the time of writing Feedspot seem to be automatically giving new users a Complimentary Gold account that gives you access to most of Feedspot’s premium features, which is quite handy since it lets you decide whether a subscription is worth paying for.
Feedspot has pretty advanced sharing capabilities, letting you automatically post any shared and favorited items to a number of services, including Facebook, Twitter, Pocket, Buffer and Evernote.
Feedspot also has a Daily Digest feature that you can customize, as well as the ability to add a news topic – which can be anything from a celebrity to a sports team to an organization – to follow via Feedspot. There’s also a local news feature, although this is only available in the United States.
Commafeed is a free, open source RSS reader that’s a great choice if you want to host your own RSS reader, since it offers you a choice between using the web-hosted RSS reader or downloading the software from GitHub and setting it up on your own server.
If you take the latter route, you’ll probably be pleased to know that Commafeed also supports RedHat’s OpenShift cloud platform, and that Commafeed can be installed on both Windows and Linux. The big appeal of the latter, of course, is that your RSS reader will never suddenly shut down.
Either way, Commafeed is a reader with a very minimalist interface that focuses first and foremost on the reading experience, without any bloat or extraneous bells and whistles – it also has a free search function. You get a choice of two views, with none of the fancy magazine-like views of other readers.
However, Commafeed does have a selection of themes, and lets you tweak the appearance even further with support for custom CSS. Commafeed has Chrome, Firefox and Opera extensions as well as a subscription bookmarklet, and a set of Feedly-like keyboard shortcuts.