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2024 Guide To The Best RSS Readers For Mac

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
April 18, 2024
Table of Contents

    RSS readers are a kind of software that lets you subscribe to your favorite blogs, publications, writers, influencers, and channels. An RSS feed is the easiest and fastest way to keep yourself updated with all the latest news.

    There are a lot of RSS apps to choose from in 2024, but not all RSS feeds are created equally. There’s more to just surface-level features to consider, especially when you’re planning on using one on an Apple device. Keep reading for our criteria for a great RSS reader app, plus our top picks for the year.

    RELATED: Top 10 Best To-Do List Apps for Mac in 2024

    What Is An RSS Reader App And Why Do I Need It

    RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a piece of XML code that aggregates content from your favorite online publications and places them into an RSS reader app. Instead of visiting each of those websites individually, you can have all your subscribed content ready to scroll through in one place. It’s especially useful if you follow a large number of online publications.

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    What Makes A Great RSS Reader For Mac

    • Native macOS app with clean interface design: Web apps and browser extensions will never run as fast as an RSS reader that is designed and coded specifically for Mac operating systems. It’s much better to get a desktop app.
    • Offers offline reading feature: Content from your feed subscriptions will always run faster when downloaded to be read offline. This is especially important if you frequent places with an inconsistent internet connection or like to read on the go.
    • Enables cross-device syncing: It’s always useful to have your chosen app on other devices – that way you won’t always have to be on your laptop or PC to access your content feed. Look for apps that also work on your smartphone or tablet.
    • Shows the complete article: Surprisingly, many RSS feeds do not show the entire article in the window. If you read your articles all the way through, get an app that shows you the whole text.

    Choosing The Right RSS Reader For Mac

    Despite being a relatively simple piece of software, there is actually quite a bit to consider when choosing the right one. You can narrow down your choices by considering these factors:

    • User Habits: It’s best to consider what most closely fits your reading behavior. If you’re planning on using the feed for more casual purposes, then you don’t need an app that has too many features.
    • Budget: Investing in a reader app that is potentially too feature-rich isn’t ideal, especially if your spending power isn’t that high. Thankfully, many of the readers on this list fall under $20.
    • Support: It’s not uncommon for apps to be buggy, especially if they’re free. When choosing an RSS reader, you should look for one with responsive developers in case things do go wrong. You wouldn’t want to commit to an option only to have to migrate your whole feed to another app if things start to go south.

    Understanding RSS Readers for Mac Price Tags

    Many feed reader apps come with a free trial option. However, these are typically feature-light apps. So, if you want to get the full reading experience, you may need to get a premium subscription. 

    There are typically two types of payment terms when it comes to RSS readers:

    • Monthly Subscription: More and more RSS feeds offer this type of price model. On one hand, the ones that do tend to offer much more robust and advanced features. On the other hand, it might not be sustainable to shell out money on a monthly basis.
    • One-Time Purchase: There are newsreader apps that you can purchase once and you’ll have access to it forever, such as Reeder and Leaf. This price model can be much more ideal for some as it’s easier to fit in your budget as you don’t have to worry about it contributing to your monthly upkeep. If you happen to stop using it for some time, you can pick up where you left off without any extra charges.

    Our Top Picks For The Best RSS Readers For Mac In 2024

    Reeder 5

    Reeder 5 has been a highly popular choice for Mac users for many years now. Ever since the newest version launched in 2020, users have reported drastic improvements compared to Reeder 4, such as the new iCloud syncing feature. In terms of design, it’s simple yet gorgeous — definitely our favorite option.


    • Clean user interface
    • Excellent syncing features
    • Has dark mode


    • Does not delete unused tags


    Reeder 5 is available for a one-time purchase of $9.99.


    ReadKit is up there among the likes of Reeder. It’s an excellent app that fits very well with Mac devices. It has quite a lot to offer in terms of features and is considered among the top reader apps to date. One of its best features is Focus mode which lets you hide the columns and display the article in one window.


    • Smart folder feature
    • Syncs with Pocket and Instapaper


    • User interface is not as polished as other apps like Reeder


    ReadKit is available for a one-time purchase of 4.99$. It also offers a 14-day free trial.


    NetNewsWire is a pretty great reader, considering that it’s totally free. It isn’t as feature-rich as Feeder or Readkit, but it still has some advanced features such as direct-feed downloading, syncing with other feeds like NewsBlur, and easy keyboard navigation.


    • Great keyboard shortcuts
    • Totally free


    • Limited customization options


    NetNewsWire is free.


    Feedly is unique in that it recommends articles based on topics and trends. It boasts a very well-designed user interface that is sleek and neat. With just the free version, you can have as many as 1,000 feeds.


    • Excellent article recommendations
    • Clean and easy to navigate


    • Lack of push notifications


    Feedly starts at $6/month, billed annually.


    Vienna as an open-source RSS and Atom reader. What sets it apart from other apps is that you can quickly publish articles on your own blog.


    • Blogging integration
    • Supports both RSS and Atom


    • No feed syncing


    Vienna is free.


    Leaf is for those looking for a reading experience that is simple and without too many features you may not use. It comes with nicely designed themes you can switch to, along with a night mode. 


    • Clean and clutter-free interface
    • Has dark mode


    • Costly considering the minimal features


    Leaf is available for a one-time purchase of $9.99.

    Tiny Tiny RSS

    Much like Vienna, Tiny Tiny RSS is also an open-source reader. It has the potential to provide users with full control of their feed, but it does require quite a bit of setup and technical know-how.


    • Robust features
    • Extremely customizable


    • Highly complex installation process


    Tiny Tiny RSS is free.

    News Explorer

    News Explorer doesn’t just syndicate content from websites – it also sends Twitter, YouTube, and email newsletters to your feed. One of its core strengths is that it was built specifically for iCloud, offering exceptionally high performance for devices running on macOS specifically.


    • Can sync Twitter, YouTube, and email newsletters
    • Apple Watch integration


    • No custom smart folders


    News Explorer is available for a one-time purchase of $4.99.


    Newsblur is worth checking out because of the social features that let you follow other users and what they’re reading. It’s ideal if you’re constantly searching for new content to discover. Another thing that makes NewsBlur a strong contender is how it retains the original website’s design when viewing articles. 


    • Advanced content filtering
    • Features “blurblog” where you can make an account and follow other accounts with similar interests


    • Expensive lump spending for a year


    Newsblur costs $36/year, but it also offers a free option with fewer features.

    What’s The Best Mac RSS Reader For You

    It’s important to note that getting the reader that has the most features isn’t necessarily ideal, especially true if you have a tight budget to consider. When choosing among these newsreaders, we recommend finding the one that strikes the balance between capabilities and how much you’re willing to shell out. 

    If you’re a casual reader, then it might be best to stick with free versions or, at the most, a one-time purchase option. However, if your reading habits are much more intense or if your work requires keeping track of trends, then it might be best to invest in a subscription-based app that is more likely to have more robust features.

    RELATED: 10 Best Read It Later Apps in 2024

    FAQs about RSS Readers For Mac

    How do I set up an RSS Feed on my Mac?

    You can set up an RSS feed on your Mac by simply going to the store and clicking “download”, or visiting the app homepages for a link to download the app.

    Does Mac Safari have an RSS Reader?

    Mac Safari does have a built-in RSS reader, but don’t expect it to be as robust as any of the apps mentioned above. However, there are several browser extensions you can download to improve your reading experience, such as RSS Button which lets you access your feed faster.

    Does Apple have an RSS Reader?

    No. Aside from the built-in RSS reader available on the Mac Safari browser, Apple has not developed any separate apps for macOS.
    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
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