There was a time when RSS readers were the only content aggregators around. But not anymore. Today’s reader wants a news feed tailored to his preferences. Hence, RSS readers are almost obsolete because of their inflexibility and have been taken over by content curation tools that are intuitive and customizable.
When talking about content curation tools, from all those available in the market, the most popular and feature-filled tools are Feedly and Inoreader.
Feedly Vs. Inoreader
Feedly‘s motto is – More signal, less noise – and this is exactly what it does. It is a unique content aggregator that filters out all the unrelated content and creates a news feed based on the topics and trends that you’re actually interested in.
Similarly, Inoreader upholds – Take back control of your news feed – and there isn’t more truth in that. It gives you a platform where you can get all kinds of news and updates on the topics that interest you and the content comes to you the minute it’s available.
However, the dilemma I faced (like most of you would be facing now), was which one should I go with? Well, to help you out, I explored both tools and their respective features and in this post, I am going to share my experience and observations with you so you can make an informed decision.
To help you get a better understanding of Feedly vs. Inoreader, I have arranged their features into different categories and I’ll be giving a comparative picture of the two tools within the categories.
These categories include:
- User interface,
- Login options,
- Supported platforms,
- Similar features and exclusive features of both,
- and pricing.
Let’s get started.
1. User Interface
User interface has much significance for every website and app, however, for content curation tools, having a neat and straightforward interface is of utmost importance. Following is a comparison of the UI of both tools.
Feedly features a very clean and minimal interface with many customization options. You can change the theme from light to dark, change the font, text size, and alter the display density, etc. There’s a collapsible navigation bar on the side showing your feeds, search button, a user guide, and your account info.
There are also different options to change the layout of the feed, the arrangement of how they appear (latest or oldest), and you can check or uncheck if you want to see the unread articles only or the muted ones (or both).
Talking about Inoreader’s interface, I wouldn’t call it clean. It is, however, comfortable and offers a dashboard from which you can access your feed, settings, customer support, user guide, and a small app market to get browser extensions and other products from the developer.
When it comes to customizing the UI, Inoreader offers different languages, customization of the sidebar, tab title, article listing, and four different color themes to choose from.
Additionally, there are different ways you can customize the feed page through the ‘reading view’ that opens up a long menu of display options and you can also sort your articles as starred or older than a specified date.
2. Login Options
For a good user experience, most apps give multiple login/ sign up options to new users. Here’s a comparison of the login options that each tool offers.
For the new users, Feedly offers a number of different login or signup options including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple ID, Windows ID, Evernote, or logging in through your company’s account. If you’re concerned about your privacy, you can sign up by creating an account on the app itself.
Inoreader, on the other hand, runs a bit low on the login options. You can only log in or sign up through your Facebook or Google account or create an account on the app.
Readability has a vital role in an efficient content curation app that enables users to easily go through the content they’re interested it and share it on different platforms. Below you’ll find a comparison between the two tools from the readability aspect.
Feedly’s reading experience upholds the same minimalism that’s the app’s hallmark. You can swipe left or right to move to the next of the previous article, share and save the content through different apps, mark content for ‘read later’ or unread, and… yea that’s pretty much it.
There isn’t any option to open the whole article for reading within the app and there aren’t any reading modes or text customization options available as well.
As for Inoreader’s reading experience, I think the idea behind it is to make it quite thorough. The articles open up with a black background giving a distraction-free reading. You can also load the full content within the app, change the font, text size, and spacing, etc.
Additionally, there’s a whole gamut of social sharing options as well as saving articles as PDF, for printing, and even sending to another device.
One interesting feature you’ll find in the tool is that when you open an article, besides the name of the source or website, there’s a drop-down menu where you can see ‘feed properties’. It shows you different stats of the source like the number of subscribers, posts this week, updates interval, and the total number of articles, and what you’ve read so far. This is what I meant by being thorough!
4. Supported Platforms
It is imperative for a usability app to be available on multiple platforms. In the following, you can know about the OSs and browser extensions that are supported by the two apps.
Feedly app is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android (mobile and tablets), and the Web. As for browser extensions, the app offers Google Chrome extension and a Firefox add-on called Feedly Mini that allows you to email, tweet, or share your pages to Facebook or save them to Evernote or read-later.
Inoreader, on the other hand, gives a bit more variety offering apps for iOS, Android, Windows phone, and the Web. Also, the app’s extensions are available for three browsers – Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge. With these extensions, you can see your unread articles, preview your updated feeds and subscribe to an opened tab etc.
Most of the time, we want to share the curated content with friends and followers. Here’s a comparative picture of content sharing options available in each of the two apps.
To share your feeds with your friends or followers, Feedly allows you to share via Facebook, Twitter, or through email in the free version. Though there are many other sharing options too like LinkedIn, Buffer, Hootsuite, WordPress, Pocket, Evernote, OneNote, and Instapaper, etc. However, all these are available for the premium versions of the app.
Inoreader offers almost the same options for sharing, however, with only a few exceptions, all of them are available in the free version. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Google, Baidu, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Evernote, Pocket, Digg, and Reddit, etc. Only YouTube and Readwise are offered to premium users.
6. Similar Features
There are some features that both Feedly and Inoreader provide. For instance, both apps offer their API access for integration in utility and productivity tools. Similarly, both tools allow you to use keyboard shortcuts (you can find the list of these shortcuts in each tool’s user guide) to add productivity to your app usage.
And lastly, both Feedly and Inoreader show ads within the articles and on their dashboard/ home page. So no escaping the ads no matter which of the two you use.
7. Exclusive Features
Most of the features that you’ll find in Feedly and Inoreader are similar to eacho ther. There are, however, some features that are exclusive to each app that make the apps stand out from each other and the rest of the lot. Let’s talk about these exclusive features of each app.
Feedly’s most interesting feature that’s exclusive to the tool is the AI assistant. As you keep using the app, Leo, the AI bot, learns about your content preferences along the way and uses this knowledge to filter out the noise or unrelated content from your feed.
You can also train Leo by guiding it about the topics that you’re most or least interested in. This way, you get the most relevant content customized to your liking and preferences.
On the other hand, the unique feature of Inoreader is the Rules. Rules are kinds of filters that you can set for any of your subscriptions by highlighting triggers, conditions, and actions to automate your content consumption.
With Rules, you can filter the incoming articles on the basis of keywords, URL, author name, and even article attachment. Rules can also be used to automate actions like tag, star, or mark an article as unread making it an ideal feature for power users.
Lastly, I’m going to talk about money matters.
Feedly’s pricing ranges from a free plan to three paid subscription plans – Pro, Pro+, and Enterprise – and the most basic one costs $6 per month, but there isn’t an option to pay monthly, so you’ll need to shelve $72 upfront.
As for the free plan, Feedly hasn’t been quite generous. The free app is available on mobile and the web and allows you to follow up to 100 sources and organize them into 3 feeds. Also, most of the sharing and integration features like custom sharing or sharing via LinkedIn, Buffer, IFTTT, Zapier, and Hootsuite, etc. are not available in the free version.
Above all, the one feature that makes Feedly stand out – the AI assistant – is also, unfortunately, not for free users. In fact, it is not even included in their basic plan. So, if you want to use Leo the AI bot, you need to subscribe to the Pro+ plan.
Now, let’s talk about Inoreader’s pricing. Inoreader offers 3 plans – Free, Supporter, Pro, and Custom with the basic paid plan starting from $1.67 per month and the advanced one at $5.83 per month.
Feature-wise, Inoreader’s Pro plan is comparable to Feedly’s Pro+ plan.
Feedly’s Pro+ plan will cost you $144/year (after a $99 special price for the first year), while you will need to shelve $69.99 for a year of Inoreader’s Pro plan.
The free plan allows you to have 150 subscriptions, create unlimited feeds, and search within subscriptions. Most of the sharing options like Pocket, Evernote, OneNote, Google Drive, Dropbox are also available for free users. Additionally, features like dashboard customization, Google keyword alerts, and podcast player are also provided to free users.
For those who are too lazy to go through the aforementioned detailed comparison of the two tools, here’s a side-by-side comparison.
|User Interface||Clean and minimal||Somewhat cluttered, but highly customizable|
|Theme options: Light and Dark||Theme options: Aqua, Light, Sepia, and Dark. Automatic Dark theme also available.|
|Feed sorting: latest or oldest||Feed sorting: newest, oldest, or older than…|
|Feed layout: Magazine, cards, articles, or titles only||Feed layout: list, expanded, column, card, magazine,|
|Login Options||Facebook, Twitter, Apple ID, Windows ID, Evernote, or creating an account on the app.||Facebook, Google, Apple ID (for iOS devides) or creating an account on the app.|
|Readability||Swipe left or right||Swipe left or right|
|No distraction-free reading||Black background for distraction-free reading|
|Mark as unread or ‘read later’||Mark as unread|
|No option to customize text||Customize font, text size, and line spacing|
|No option to load full content||Load full content|
|Save to board (with in the app)||Save as PDF, save for printing, or send to other devices|
|Supported Platforms||App: iOS, Android app, and the Web Browser extension: Chrome and Firefox||App: iOS, Android, Windows, and the Web Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge|
|Sharing||Facebook, Twitter, and Email||Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Google, Baidu, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Evernote, Pocket, Digg, and Reddit, etc.|
|Similar features||Keyboard shortcuts||Keyboard shortcuts|
|API access||API access|
|Ads in the Free plan||Ads in the Free plan|
|Exclusive features||AI assistant that learns about your reading preferences along the way and filters out the noise or unrelated content from your feed.||Rules that you can set for any of your subscriptions by highlighting triggers, conditions, and actions to automate your content consumption. Web feeds – Ability to follow web pages without RSS feed|
|Pricing||Plans: Free, Pro, Pro+, and Enterprise||Plans: Free, Supporter, Pro, and Custom|
|Lowest paid plan starts from $6 per month. Pro+ plan is $99 for the first year, then $144/year||Lowest paid plan starts from $1.67 per month. Pro plan (comparable with Feedly’s Pro+) costs $69.99/year|
|Free plan allows you to follow 100 sources and create 3 feeds.||Free plan allows you to follow 150 sources and create unlimited feeds.|
|Most of the sharing and integration options are only available in the paid version.||Most of the sharing and integration options are available in the free version.|
|The exclusive feature AI assistant is not available in the free version.||The exclusive feature ‘Rules’ is available in the free version.|
In the aforementioned article, I have listed all the features of both Feedly and Inoreader in great detail giving each feature a side-by-side comparison for your better understanding. So what is my conclusion on the basis of my observation? Well, *drum rolls* here’s what I have to say.
Feedly wins at some features like giving users a clean and clutter-free UI and more login options. However, Inoreader leads from the aspect of readability, customization, sharing options, and offering all this and much more in its free plan.
Also, Feedly is obviously more expensive – even its basic plan is more costly than Inoreader’s Pro plan. And, as I’ve mentioned before, Feedly’s free plan is just barebones.
So, if you can afford it, then I think having an AI assistant to declutter your feeds and who learns about your preferences along the way is kinda interesting. But if you don’t want to spend anything and want a reasonably feature-rich content curator, then Inoreader is the one for you.
I hope you liked this comparison. Let me know your own experience and observations or if this writing was any help.