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Poll: Best RSS reader
203 points by ohwp on March 14, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 114 comments
Now Google Reader is deprecated it would be nice to see which reader people like most as an alternative. I'll try to keep track of other readers submitted here and add them as option.
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The best RSS clients that I've found (Reeder for iOS and Pulse for Android) both use Google Reader as a backend to keep the feed list in sync. I don't really want a whole ecosystem, any social features, a fancy web site, etc. All I really want from an alternative is for it to provide an API for keeping feed lists in sync and for the many Google Reader clients currently available to support it.

This is exactly what I've been thinking. The conversation about "RSS readers" is really about several different components that are integrated in to a comprehensive product:

* A backend for managing subscriptions, read/unread status, tagging, etc

* A web UI for reading your feed from anywhere

* A native-client (iOS, Android, OS X, etc) for accessing your feed from your devices

Users of the Google Reader web UI need the full stack, and there are already alternatives, but there are many native-client users who don't need the full stack. They only need the backend.

If someone were to roll a Google Reader API compatible feed subscription and sync service, I think they could recoup their investment pretty easily.

UPDATE: It looks like Feedly has "Normandy" waiting in the wings, but I'm not sure how access and fees will shake out for third-party developers. I'd really like to stick to my existing native-client (Reeder), so here's hoping that they make it reasonable and everyone gets on-board.


My wishlist exactly.

For the web UI, I'd actually add 2 features:

1. 1-key shortcut support for a read later service (Instapaper, etc). Most native clients offer this already, so it's just something I'd like on the web view.

2. Keep the same navigation shortcuts as Reader (esp J/K). My fingers are already trained.

I love Reeder for iOS/Mac and was relieved to see that the developer has plans to continue without Google. See https://twitter.com/reederapp/status/311995748482945025

You know, I always thought Reeder would make for a good email app.

It would be awesome if someone stepped in and provided an api-compatible Reader sync service just as a backend to all the other apps.

Feedly is doing just that. They are inviting third-parties who are interested in using their cloned version of the Google Reader API, which is currently called Normandy, to contact them in order to "...keep the Google Reader ecosystem alive."


For me gReader is the best Android client.

I'm working on an API (https://feedreader.co/api) and would love to get feedback. Take a look at https://feedreader.co/arpith to see it in action.

Hi, Rssminer is a personal weekend project, it's open source [1]

I create it because I want to learn how to do one page webapp with Backbone.js, but at the last, I drop backbone, life become much easier.

When writing it, I need an async HTTP Server and Client, so I write one myself, called http-kit[2], it seems that it's more popular than Rssminer.

Rssminer is not feature complete as other ones, It has:

1. Import subscription list from Google Reader 2. Feed reading 3. Keyboard support 4. Fast (the landing page is not very fast, though) 5. Run it yourself, the readme on github has detailed procedure about how to run it locally.

Bug report or pull request are welcome. Let's build a Rss reader we like.

[1] https://github.com/shenfeng/rssminer [2] http://http-kit.org

Missing: Thunderbird

I've discovered recently that Thunderbird includes a feed reader and it's not too bad, although I'm not sure I like the idea of showing feed entries as mail.


Edit: link

Well, the irony is that Mozilla said they're putting Thunderbird on hold: http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/06/so-thats-it-for-thunderbird... I don't know if they've changed their minds meanwhile.

I don't use Thunderbird, but I do like the idea of getting RSS feeds as email. I'm trying out http://blogtrottr.com

Missing: Firefox

Offtopic: how to start a poll? I thought it had a high karma limit, but my karma is higher than the TS' and my account is also much older. Or does it require a certain avg?

Use this link: https://news.ycombinator.com/newpoll

If you meet the secret criteria for creating one, you should be able to.

It's 200 Karma

Oh if that's all. It was said to be a high limit, but downvoting has a much higher limit (750). Anyway, thanks for the reply

Creating polls is not as community destroying as downvotes can be (see Reddit).

Reddit has no polls douche

Semaphor meant that downvotes are destroying a community like on Reddit, and there is no need to call anyone a douche.

(I'm just clarifying by the way, I don't agree or disagree that downvotes are destroying communities; I don't know if it's true.)

Thanks for showing yet another difference between HN and Reddit (don't get me wrong, I really like Reddit).

And they are not by itself destroying communities but IMO they are multiplying Eternal September effects.

Reddit is also much more mainstream than HN, I think that has to do a lot with it. Perhaps disabling registrations from time to time is a really good move, plus HN is much more focused. Anyone can make a subreddit about his own cool, weird or funny subject.

I'm pretty much obligated to mention KDE's akregator: http://kde.org/applications/internet/akregator/ which is still the only thing I use at home. It's a desktop client though so it doesn't sync to mobile or anything like that.

I'm surprised Flipboard hasn't been added to the poll.


reeder app is so good, I'm afraid Im tied to it and have to go with whoever Silvio chooses to go with. But otherwise, yeah newsblur's learning feature seems pretty cool.

I have all of the Reeder apps (iPhone, iPad, Mac) and I'm heavily invested in this app's future. So, I guess I'm just waiting to see what is coming.

I'd go with Fever but Reeder only syncs with them on the iPhone only.

Right, I'm in the same boat. I hope Silvio updates Reeder for iPad and OS X to add Fever support.

After so many web services that I depended on have been shut down, I like the idea of hosting Fever myself. Getting to own your own data, no ads, less privacy concerns.

That's irrelevant. Shaun Inman doesn't develop Reeder. He develops Fever, which is fine as it is.


Silvio posted "Don't worry, Reeder won't die with Google Reader."

Presumably, he's going to add support for some other feed management and syncing platform.

Same boat. I really hope he just builds his own iCloud-based syncing solution, and saves us the trouble of relying on an external service.

I don't. I doubt iCloud is reliable and fast enough, it doesn't work with non-Apple devices, and exporting your data would be problematic.

I may be simplistic but I like the RSS Ticker plug-in for Firefox: http://www.chrisfinke.com/addons/rss-ticker/

It just shows you a scrolling marque of clickable headlines and doesn't otherwise get in the way. Its something to glance at when you're waiting for a compile ;)

Poll title should be "Favorite RSS reader".

Consider contributing your votes and comments to the Slant.co topic:


For those who missed out, Slant.co was posted on HN about a week ago and is for exactly this sort of thing.

I migrated to https://feedhq.org - its highly readable on both desktop and mobile and its open source: https://github.com/feedhq/feedhq

Demo? Screenshot? How can those things be missing from a landing page?

I guess I'm a bit old school - FeedDemon ( www.feeddemon.com ) - Windows Desktop RSS Reader

Did anyone try to use Pulse (https://www.pulse.me/) as an RSS reader? it's not strictly one, but it might work, I'm thinking about switching to it.

I've used Pulse for quite a while, but I had to switch to Google Reader since it became too limiting for me. (It limits the amount of feeds per page.) Pulse also doesn't have a list view I prefer, and when using the website, it has to load a preview image for every post.

I think that Feedly is a better alternative to Pulse, since it has better layout customization.

In what way isn't strictly one? After spending quite a lot of time looking for nice RSS readers for the iPad I opted for Pulse and never looked back. Apart from anything else it seemed one of the few that (at the time) didn't rely on a Google Reader account.

I haven't tested any of them, but Netvibes has a nice Google Reader like interface you can activate instead of the widgets. I'll probably stay with them if they refresh the feeds often enough.

I use Netvibes all the time.. i used Google Reader as well, but would definitely recommend Netvibes.. as its reader give good bird eye view of all the feeds. Once you get used to this type, you will never go back to anything else.

I used to use Opera's excellent RSS reader until I switched to Chrome and went with Google Reader. I am hoping to switch back to Opera at some point and continue using its RSS reader.

I remember when I used Mozilla Thunderbird. It had the perfect interface to deal with all my feeds AND my mails. I went to Google Reader when I also went to Gmail, when I wanted to access all my stuff from the cloud instead of my computer.

I think now it would be the best time to get Thunderbird back on it's feet. Add the ability to sync with a Google-Reader-like API, like the one that Feedly wants to do, and it would be the best reader for Windows, in my humble opinion.

Can someone explain how IFTTT could be a Reader alternative? I'd imagine that would take a lot of recipes. Also, IFTTT limits server requests.

Whoops, missed that post. Thanks!

Same thought, same time!

Since when has Chrome got an RSS reader? The only RSS feeds I've seen in Chrome were plain XML that didn't send the correct MIME-type.

You saw plain XML because Chrome doesn't support RSS without a plugin.

It would help to clarify if we're comparing RSS readers (clients / desk / mobile) or aggregators (web / self hosted)

Ideally there's little difference, like Google Reader. There's a web interface and a mobile app that syncs with it. (Do people really use a desktop client? If so, why? Seems like a relic of another age, like desktop email clients.)

I want to choose which mobile app to use, I don't want to be tied down. Reeder, the RSS client I use, supports several Read Later services, several blogging platforms, tons of social networks, bookmarking sites, and Evernote. That's why it's so invaluable to me, and there is no other RSS client that's nearly as versatile. That's why I just want a new backend to replace GR, and since Reeder already supports Fever on iPhone, that'll probably be it for me.

Also, I still use a desktop mail client (OS X Mail), because it integrates well with my OS and it's scriptable. I like having local copies of my mail and attachments, and it's automatically backed up. The mail is also stored on IMAP servers so I can access it on other devices. I have over 100K emails, going back to 1994. There's no way that I'm going to rely solely on one web based service like GMail for that.

I've been a Google Reader user since 2006 and have rarely seen the website. I used NetNewsWire for years, then Reeder. For me, web apps are good as sych engines between native clients, and emergency back-up ways to access data from other machines.

Sure, we're getting off topic, but how is a desktop email client a relic of another age? Especially since the first decent webmail application with "modern" post-1998 features such as a decent split view is less than a year old (outlook.com)?

A fine self-hosted web-based alternative to Google Reader. There has been no project activity lately but the software works just fine, I have been using it since 2006 - just keep it private for security's sake. It scales well with a lot of feeds.

There are also programs and services to send you your RSS feeds by email.

Rss2email is a Python program you run periodically on your own computer. http://www.allthingsrss.com/rss2email/

Blogtrottr is an online service: HTTP://blogtrottr.com

Missing option: http://www.vienna-rss.org/

I really like the Sage addon for firefox. It's about the only reason I normally open firefox.

Here's the link for it: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/sage/

The nice thing is that it just sits there in your sidebar, and can be configured to open the articles directly, so it largely stays out of your way.

feedly is nice - they promise seamless integration with GReader http://blog.feedly.com/2013/03/14/google-reader/

The Androind App is a slightly over the top, but the desktop version is great.

+1 for Newsbeuter, it rawks

use Firefox/Thunderbird addon, Bamboo Feed Reader https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/bamboo-feed-r...

I voted for Tiny Tiny RSS, since I've just installed it and I'm liking it. After a bit of customizations it's quite close to Google Reader.

But I would have voted for Google Reader if it were an options in the poll.

I'm using tt-rss for four years now, often through the Tiny Tiny RSS Reader app on my phone. I blogged about it some time ago: http://tinyurl.com/axlpm7z

The following also aren't on the list: http://goodnoows.com/ http://rsslounge.aditu.de/

I wonder why Reeder isn't on the list. It's mentioned 15 times in the comments so far.

It doesn't work without Google Reader's service. How is it an alternative?

Their twitter feed suggests they're on the case: https://twitter.com/reederapp/status/311995748482945025

No, it also supports Fever. http://brooksreview.net/2012/06/reeder-3/

Plus, this is what the author wrote on Twitter: "Don't worry, Reeder won't die with Google Reader." https://twitter.com/reederapp/status/311995748482945025

Apparently that's only the case for the iPhone version, which is the only one I don't use (as I have an Android phone).

feedspot doesn't seem to support tags. Is there a comparison chart showing how these services relate to greader features to help people decide where to migrate based on their needs?

No folders or tags? How do you separate or prioritize? I may have five hundred plus feeds and I may not be watching all of them all the time.

I've imported content from google reader, and there's folders, but manually i can not add any.

I like what I see there, thanks.

My way of keeping up: OS X - NetNewsWire and Vienna (you really should be using Vienna), iOS - Feedly, Pulse News, Google Currents. Also Prismatic which I use on iOS more than RSS.

I'd love to see a chart for this.

My needs are multiple computers, native apps for multiple devices, syncs across all, and can deal with multiple google sign-in or use another mechanism entirely.

Netvibes was down most of last night, and got a message this morning to bear with them as they've gotten a huge flux of new users. Great to see.

Another good option is, I use Opera so it works well on it http://www.zentomi.com/

No mention of Bloglines? They're still around (and halfway decent).


I was part of the Bloglines team from 2007 to 2009.

The current Bloglines is nothing like the original. It looks like MerchantCircle kept only the name after acquiring it from Ask. The archived feed data is gone, and the current UI appears to be a re-skin/fork of Netvibes. It's a poor imitation of its former self.

A lot of Google Reader users were refugees from the (brief) demise of Bloglines. It doesn't surprise me that people think it stayed dead.

Went to check it out and migrate my old account, but their migration page has a JavaScript error.

Your mail client and rss2email.


Yarssr - Yet Another RSS Reader


Simple, to the point, nice UI.

um. i actually think, though old, https://drupal.org/documentation/build/managing-news is quite nice...

just tried it out 'cos of reader's impending demise..'cos i remember vaguely that feedly and pulse both imported stuff from reader...

Unfortunately, the best RSS client I've ever found (Lightread on linux) also uses Google Reader as a backend.

How Come IFTTT can be a full alternative. It should be used with other software (e.g. IFTTT + Pocket).

I use Thunderbird and I think it works well. I like to have my feeds and emails in the same app.

Looks like Newsblur is getting hammered. Which of course bodes well for them in the long run.

It would be so much better if the voting in HN ordered directly based on number of votes.

Is there an English site for this?

Not sure, but Yandex is actively going to non-russian users lately (they had launch in Turkey, they're doing http://www.yandex.com/), so I'm sure they'll release it some time soon.

mail.yandex.com has it in English yes

here is a screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/nr92ABn.png

I would say that except for the responsiveness of the layout it is as good as google reader. It is a little laggy to load things but otherwise it is all drag and drop, very familiar feeling. It might not be the best but unless there becomes a defacto replacement for GReader, or they decide to keep it, I have a feeling I will just stick with this.

Niaterra is still in early stealth, but taking signups. www.niaterra.com

FB-only login? No thanks.

RSSMiner doesn't sync "read" posts, it shows only unread posts.

missing option: http://skimr.co

just use liferea

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