Twitter is full of bots and trolls. Facebook is full of your family, fake news, and photos of kids and pets. RSS is the only place you can go to read news from the sources you want peacefully.
Feedly is one of the best RSS services, out of the many that rose from the ashes of Google Reader. So with that in mind, we set out to find the best ways to use Feedly on the Mac for your RSS fix.
You can get started with Feedly for free. There are some limits though. You can follow up to 100 different sites. You get up to three “Feeds” to group those sources for easier reading.
“Boards” are tags you can apply to articles. Those articles are collected together away from your RSS feeds. You can create up to three of these with the free account. This is great for research or saving stuff for later. The free version is enough for most users.
You can unlock the pro version of Feedly for $65 per year. With Pro, you can follow unlimited sources and create unlimited boards. Feedly Pro also integrates with Evernote, One Note, and Pocket. It unlocks the ability to integrate Feedly with IFTT. Pro is definitely targeted at power users, but you could sign up to help keep the lights on.
If you haven’t got a free Feedly account, head over to the signup page and get started for free.
1. Feedly Native App (Free)
Using the Feedly native Mac app is essentially putting the site into a shell. By default, all your links still open in the browser. You can set up boards and tags, so if you use RSS for filing articles in Pocket or Instapaper, this app could be useful. The Mac app has the same array of sharing links as the Feedly web app, and they open in your browser.
The best reason to use this particular app (aside from the free price tag) is for adding articles to boards. None of the other Mac clients on this list have any support for adding articles to boards (Reeder lets you read them as tags, but that is about it).
There is a buried preference item that opens links in the app as tabs. It makes it slightly more useful, but you are better off sticking with the browser.
2. NewsFlow ($4.99)
If you use Feedly to keep up on the headlines without much in-depth reading, NewsFlow is an solid choice. Rather than taking up an entire window, NewsFlow takes the form of a small strip — a bit like the Twitter Mac app. When you click on an article, a little window pops up to read the item.
You can set the window to either open the feed contents, a reader version of the target link, or a web view. Any links you click will open in your default browser. Sharing uses the Mac share sheet, so you have access to anything you have previously set up though there are some extra services (like Buffer) that are unique to the app.
The app has three themes: Light, Glassy, and Dark. Glassy is more of a gray but has a blur effect in the background.
For larger displays, letting Feedly run on the side of the screen is a great way to read the headlines casually. The downside is you can only get your articles as one big list. NewsFlow is not the best choice if you keep your feeds organized. It is even worse if you like to scan read some feeds while reading others closely.
3. Leaf ($9.99)
If you like the look and feel of NewsFlow but want a fuller RSS experience, there’s Leaf. Made by the same developer, Leaf is a full-window reader. You also can go through your entire source list as well as the folder/feeds.
The glassy theme is missing. Your only choices are a light and dark background, though they both look nice. The reader still has three choices to read an item: the feed view, the reader view, and the web view. Sharing is identical to Newsflow.
Leaf is pretty plain, but it gets the job done. Using the built-in share sheet allows you to post without logging into various services again.
4. Reeder ($9.99)
Reeder is practically Mac royalty. After its near-death experience in the wake of Google Reader shutting down, the app came roaring back with Feedly support. More recently, the added support for Instapaper as well. You can also view your Feedly boards as tags, but you cannot apply these in the app.
Reeder has a beautiful, minimal design. The app’s most impressive feature is the gesture navigation. It might be one of the oldest apps to support advanced trackpad features. You can swipe with two fingers to slide between different layers of the app’s navigation. You can swipe up and down to scroll between articles. This keeps the app’s navigation in line with its iPad counterpart. You can customize the title and article fonts to get your reading environment just how you like it.
Reeder has an extensive list of sharing services you can enable. They are all contained in the app. As you add options, you need to authorize various services. It also pulls in your Mac’s share sheet as a possible option. Reeder is a robust app with a fun interface; there’s a reason it is one of the most popular RSS apps for the Mac and iOS.
5. ReadKit ($9.99)
Want an app that has support for everything? That is ReadKit. In addition to Feedly and Instapaper, you can add Pocket and Pinboard accounts as well. If you have an account for it, you can probably add it to ReadKit.
While it lacks the visual polish and gestures of Reeder, ReadKit is still a great choice. Being able to read all of your online services in one place is especially convenient. You also set a custom font, though it is the same font for headlines and articles.
Sharing is comprehensive after you log into your accounts using the app. ReadKit is an excellent hub for all your reading services. Having your queues all in the same place is convenient. If you use RSS to file, then research and read in Pocket, Instapaper, or Pinboard: ReadKit is perfect.
Do I Really Need a Client?
If you are happy with Feedly in the browser, there is not a need to move to a native app. Depending on how you work, each of these apps has something to offer. Users that rely on boards for more advanced features really don’t have much of a choice beyond the Feedly app. Newsflow allows you to read passively.
But Reeder and ReadKit are miles ahead of every other Feedly client on the Mac. ReadKit gives you support for more services. Reeder has a better interface and more customization options. Both are great choices, both only cost $10.
Are you a Feedly fan? Do you prefer a different syncing service? Let us know your favorite way to read your feeds in the comments. We’d also love to hear what you think all these clients are lacking?