The RSS Reader. A very important tool that keeps you connected to the world on a daily basis. They are not just valuable, but they save you a lot of time and allow you to learn, explore, keep up with current topics, and they can even help you connect with new people. But most of the good ones cost money. And that means you want to know which one is the best fit for your needs. Here are the top 10 iPad RSS Readers compared and reviewed.
RSS Readers Defined
RSS literally means Really Simple Syndication. It is a family of web feed formats use to publish frequently updated works, such as blog posts or news items. RSS Readers are programs (or apps) that allow you to connect to RSS feeds and get updated information from your favorite blogs or news sites and they also aggregate these feeds into one place. So you might have three or four news sites and some blogs that you follow and an RSS reader app would make it easy for you to keep them all organized and the content in one place for quick and easy reading.
There are some other things you can do with RSS Readers as well. You can share the articles in your feeds with others via Twitter or Facebook, and you can also set up Google alerts for topics you want to know about and then save those alerts as feeds which your RSS reader app can connect to. These are just a few examples but you will soon see that RSS readers are an invaluable app to have on your iPad.
The Top 10 RSS Readers for iPad
We went out and found the top 10 RSS readers (news readers) as rated by users and other reviewers. Here they are compared and reviewed so you can make the right choice when you are decided which one is best for you – or if you are thinking of switching to a new RSS reader on your iPad.
Reeder For iPad
Here is an RSS reader for your iPad that remains at the top of the ratings chart for weeks on end. It is typical for RSS readers to present your feeds in list form, but Reeder is definitely different in that respect. This RSS reader for the iPad connects directly to a Google Reader account. This means that all your RSS feeds (blogs and news) are in your Google reader already and this app simply presents them to you which is very convenient since you won’t have to try to enter all your feeds individually.
What makes Reeder striking, however, is the way in which you see your feeds. It shows them as tiny images much like you would view folders or browse pictures. Some people will like this while others simply want a list for faster browsing. There have been complaints from some users that while the interface is “cute” it is too limiting. One thing to note about Reeder is that it is a Google Reader client only. That means if you do not have a feed in your Google reader account then you cannot see it on Reeder. This also means you cannot add feeds from other sources ad-hoc.
Overall this is a great RSS reader for the iPad. It’s strengths are in the look and feel of the folder view. It is also a great way to view your Google reader feeds but it would be nice to be able to add additional news sources. Most of the complaints from users are that it is hard to navigate at times and support was not very responsive when they tried to get help.
Pulse News Reader
The Pulse News Reader rose to fame quickly due to its stark contrast from what most current readers were delivering and how they looked. The Pulse Reader looks entirely different than any other RSS reader, and it is called a “visual news reader” for the iPad because it takes news sources you follow and creates a visual mosaic.
Opposite from Reeder, this RSS reader app is not a Google Reader client. It is purely a news reader that allows you to enter in your own news sources to read and browse through in a visual manner. What is most striking about the Pulse reader is its ability to keep all of the news feeds so well organized and visually stimulating giving the amount of space. There is a 20 feed limit but you can get 5 additional feeds with their latest update.
Overall, people that use Pulse love it. There have been complaints that it cannot play video and that it crashes a lot. I personally like the RSS Readers that are in a list format. It is easier for me to browse through quickly and all my feeds. However, if you like news readers that are far more visual then Pulse is for you. Also keep in mind the limit on the sources you can get your news from.
NewsRack is an RSS reader for the iPad that gives you two ways to view your feeds. You can choose to view them like a rack of newspapers or you can choose the classic list mode. The difference with this RSS reader is that you can sync with your Google Reader account and you can bring in additional feeds. This is a nice option for those that don’t have Google Reader accounts or those that want to add a few feeds “on the fly”.
It provides a nice, intuitive interface to work with. The newspaper view is nice with a few feeds but when you have a lot of them, it’s much easier to switch over to the list view. Reading the articles is very nice as it loads images fairly quickly and it provides a very nice “mark all as read” feature.
NewsRack has had a rough time with reviews as of late. Users report that the latest update made it a lot slower. They also report that the overall load time is too long and the new theme is not very pleasing to the eye. However, as an RSS reader with the ability to go beyond just a Google option, it’s worth a look if you want more feeds that the others often offer. It also appears that the app is updated frequently so perhaps the issues users are reporting will get fixed!
The Early Edition
Imagine having a newspaper sitting on your table and instead of the usual news, it’s all your own news. This is exactly how The Early Edition iPad RSS reader app looks. It is designed to look like a real newspaper but instead of having it fill the entire screen, it let’s you browse your feeds on the left. So, you get the best of a list and a great graphical interface.
With The Early Edition you can sync with your Google Reader account and add other feeds as well. Then, all your feeds are arranged on the virtual “paper” for easy reading and browsing. Each time you sync, you essentially get a brand new paper and each paper is archived for later viewing. If you check your feeds often, the new items are added to the paper as “headlines”.
As an RSS reader this app certainly delivers. There have been a few complaints from users that did not like the latest update (as is usual) but they are minor and this app is a favorite with a continual 3+ star rating. I like the app a lot, but I feel that it’s best if you do not have a ton of feeds. If you have 10 or less feeds then it’s a great way to view them. Once you get past 10 or more feeds then it’s harder to use a graphical layout like this.
A long time favorite, MobileRSS HD has a very loyal following. This iPad RSS reader app has been around for quite awhile and it holds its own up to the newer RSS readers. This app is a Google Reader client, which means it will only sync to your reader account and pull in your feeds. It has no fancy graphics or newspaper views. It is a simple list and it works very fast when syncing. MobileRSS also has a “mark all as read” feature which makes it even more valuable when you have a lot of feeds.
If you have your feeds organized by categories over on your Google reader account then this app will bring all those categories over and keep them synced and organized. The actual articles load nice and fast as well as the images.
MobileRSS HD is the perfect RSS reader for your iPad if you like a very simple interface. There are no fancy graphics or ways to display your feeds. It’s a great app if you have a lot of feeds (10 or more) that you follow. It’s an even greater app if you organize all your feeds into categories first. Keep in mind that it only syncs with Google though. Users report a few crashes at times but I am seeing that they all crash on occasion and most users seem to go use other RSS readers but come back to this one.
Another Google reader client that presents your feeds in a simple list view. This one, however, does have a few nice features that make it a little different from MobileRSS HD. It has a very nice feature when reading your articles that lets you increase or decrease the font as you are reading. It also has an integrated full-screen web browser and it support both landscape/portrait modes.
You cannot add additional feeds beyond your Google Reader account (like the other apps).
This iPad RSS reader gets really good reviews but it is also a little bit light on the features you get with the other reader apps and it’s more expensive ($6.99). There have not been many reports of crashing so it appears very stable. If there was a choice between this one and MobileRSS, I would choose MobileRSS since it is less expensive and has even more features as a list-based RSS reader.
River Of News
This RSS reader for the iPad is both graphically rich and functional. It looks like something Apple would produce themselves. Some of the very toughest critics out there also agree that River Of News is a nice RSS reader. It, like the others, syncs with your Google Reader account. What makes River Of News so different is the way it displays your feeds. It brings infinite scrolling or the expanded view to the iPad.
There are now hierarchies to drill down into and no slow fancy graphics. It is super fast and allows you to get through all your feeds fairly quickly and painlessly. Also, there is no jumping back and forth between header and article – everything is right there for you to read, all you have to do is scroll.
This is one very nice RSS reader app for the iPad with a few drawbacks. There have not been any major reports of crashing and the only complaints so far have been that you need a constant Internet connection as it does not support offline mode/caching. Also, some users complain that you cannot save images. Hopefully the developers will fix this in the future because it really is one of the nicest RSS reader apps I’ve used/seen in a long time. The infinite scrolling feature is what makes it such a great app to use.
Feeddler RSS Reader Pro
Here is another veteran iPad RSS reader app. Feeddler has been hanging around for awhile now and it still stands up to the newest reader apps. It is yet another Google reader client that presents your feeds in a very nice, list-based interface. It is packed with features and it is continually on the “good ratings” list.
Feeddler RSS is one of those apps that is updated frequently to fix issues that other users find and it is always improving. It does not present your feeds in a graphical newspaper layout, rather, it focuses on the simple list – with a lot of really useful features.
Feeddler RSS Reader Pro is the app that a lot of people swear by. A lot of great reviews and praise. Some of the complaints are that it does not support image thumbnails like MobileRSS HD does, but other than that, it gets great ratings. Feeddler holds its own against the more cutting edge news readers like Pulse and if you have a lot of feeds it’s the perfect app to get given the price ($4.99) and feature set.
Web Feeds HD
Now here is a great little RSS Reader if you don’t want to spend a lot ($1.99) but get a great reader app for your iPad. Updated just recently, this RSS reader is nice in that you can have it sync with your Google Reader and you can add your own feeds! It’s a hybrid. That rivals some of the more expensive RSS reader apps.
The interface is very nice and simple. It feels like an email program that is well organized and easy to navigate. Each feed article is displayed in beautifully rendered HTML and you then get the option of reading the original article without having to jump over to Safari.
This is the first RSS Reader app that gets 5 stars. Users like it. We love it. It is simple, easy to use, did not crash with a huge feed list, and it also allows for more feeds rather than just Google. The features you get are perfect for what you need and all of this for a great price!
This is a graphical RSS Reader app for your iPad. Imagine iBooks, except it’s for your feeds! Blogshelf is one of the newer RSS readers to hit the scene. It looks just like a bookshelf and all your “feeds” are arranged to look like books sitting on the shelf. From a purely graphical point of view this is a really nice app.
With this RSS reader you add all your own feeds. It has hundreds of handpicked ones as well.
Most users really like this app and the only real complain given so far is the limit of 90 blogs/feeds. For those that like a reader that is not list-based but more graphical in nature, then this is one you want to check out for sure. It seems to load fast and it also has one of the nicest ways to present your RSS feeds that we have seen yet.
In conclusion our top pick for a list-based was Web Feeds HD. The reasoning was based on the fact that it has such a great set of features, is easy to use, offers both Google and external feed subscriptions and does so at a great price. For a more graphical-type reader then Early Edition is one you want to definitely check out. Since they all offer about the same set of features it really comes down to the one you are most comfortable with.
So what are your favorites? Are there any on this list you use daily? Don’t like? Share you thoughts in the comments below.
Originally posted 2010-09-07 15:36:59.