When doing a simple online search for RSS readers, most of the articles displayed are dated mid-2013, and most of them are on finding a replacement for Google Reader. When Google discontinued its RSS reader service, everyone who used it didn’t know where to turn. Some found other RSS readers, and others stopped using RSS altogether.
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary. It was created by Netscape and released in 1999. Many versions of RSS have been released since then. The concept of RSS is simple. If a site has RSS capability, all a user needs to do is enter the correct URL into a web, mobile or desktop application. Updates from that site will then be displayed in the application.
Almost every website has an RSS feed, and most have multiple feeds. Although it can be argued that RSS feeds are being replaced by Google+ or Twitter lists, this is not the case for many sites, who do not post every website article to their social media followers.
We at Validity recently added the orange RSS button to our website, signifying that an RSS feed is available. Clicking the button will work if you have an RSS reader installed on your computer. If you use a web application, click the orange button and copy the link that appears in the URL bar.
The Feedly RSS reader is supposedly the most popular now that Google Reader is gone. Feedly looks nice, with a customizable appearance, and has organization features like categories to make it easier to see your subscriptions. Feedly also has apps in the iOS and Android stores. A glance at my Feedly app would show that I follow xkcd, FiveThirtyEight, CNN Technology, and Validity Magazine.
The NewsBlur RSS reader has a user-friendly interface. The best thing about it is you can scroll through new articles without having to click on each one you want to read, much like Twitter. It has a list at the bottom where you can jump to a title from the past. According to LifeHacker, NewsBlur is a web-based reader that has the feel of a desktop reader. NewsBlur also has apps for iOS and Android.
One user of InoReader described it as “a Swiss army knife.” InoReader does have a lot of features, most that I didn’t even try. For just reading the news, it is quite bulky. That being said, for the power-user who wants more than just reading and sharing to Twitter, InoReader might be the way to go. The user interface is decent, although it doesn’t show the pictures that go along with the articles. InoReader also doesn’t have mobile apps.
Besides the ones we mentioned, there are many other RSS readers on the web, such as Pulse, Digg and Newsvibe. Try some of them and let us know what you think in the comments below!