Inoreader: The Fast & Functional RSS Reader We Should Be Talking About

Saikat Basu 08-07-2014

Google Reader is ash. Feedly has gone to town as a worthy replacement. But if you are still not in the place where you want to be with a feedreader, give Inoreader a second glance.

Feedreaders need to be nimble and simple. Good looks help, but it is the functional combination of the first two qualities that helps you move through the haystack of feeds. Inoreader was launched in the wake of Google Reader shutting down, and since then it has been among the many jousting in the large space left open by Google. The simple RSS service has managed to grab attention – as we saw from the many responses to our poll question on favorite RSS readers The 7 Best RSS Readers in the Windows Store RSS feeds remain one of the best ways to read the news or follow your favorite websites. Here are the best Windows RSS readers you'll find in the Windows Store. Read More .

So, let’s see why the digital crowd is talking about Inoreader.

“Reintroducing” Inoreader

Inoreader - Interface

Inoreader says it is fast and simple. We believe it. The feedreader is sans any decorative frills in its two available versions: the desktop browser version we talk about here and the Android app available for free on Google Play Store. The iOS app has just been launched. There are also browser “companions” for all major browsers like this Chrome extension which helps you preview, search, and subscribe from the toolbar. If you love bookmarklets, there’s one which should make subscribing to feeds a lot easier.

Inoreader comes in three flavors – Basic, Plus, and Professional. As you can see from the chart below, the free basic version of the newsreader gives you enough to follow your favorite sites. But the upgrade is very tempting for the power user, as it comes with extras like the time-saving Active Search that lets you automatically follow feeds with a specific keyword.

The top-tier Professional plan is very competitive with Feedly’s Pro subscription ($5/month). I have used the Professional Plan for the review.

Inoreader - subscription plans

Gather The Feed

Inoreader - Add Subscriptions

Signing into Inoreader reveals the absolutely minimal interface. If you are starting fresh, you can start adding your feeds manually. If you are coming from another feedreader, you can import your subscriptions via OPML files. Inoreader supports open dynamic OPML subscriptions which are readymade packages of subscriptions you can use to build a reading list. Inoreader keeps them synchronized and alerts of any changes to the original source.

Know any open OPML collections? Share them in the comments.

Also, find new feeds by typing in a keyword, or a URL directly into the search box on top. Click on Similar feeds to get some more from related sites. Building up your reading list isn’t a problem.

Inoreader -- Similar Feeds

To be really effective, you have to organize your collection so it becomes easier to mow them down with a read. So, let’s look into how Inoreader helps you organize your collection.

Managing Your News Reading

Organize your subscriptions by placing them in folders. The center pane of the feedreader is where your focus will be. For more screen estate, toggle the tree pane whenever you don’t need it. When you have a few minutes only and many feeds to go through, learn the keyboard shortcuts for faster productivity.

Tackle information overload with the Dashboard Take an overview of your feeds. It is completely customizable — you can add “gadgets” that help you see more things at a glance. For instance, I like to use the “Unread Counter” to see if the feeds are overwhelming me. It helps me tackle information overload by culling the subscriptions I haven’t bothered to read in a while.

Inoreader - Dashboard

Match the Theme to your reading needs. Reading at night – go for the high-contrast Dark Theme. Organizing your folders for comfort reading is taken care of by Reading Options. You can set the more visual feeds to a Card View or a Column View. Rapidly updating views go well with the List View. With each article, get options to add tags, vote it up, mark it as read, add it to your own channel, add a comment to it, email it to a friend, or share it on your favorite social network.

Inoreader -- Themes

There’s lot more you can do to customize the interface and the behavior. Dive into the Preferences. Little things like collapsing read articles while opening a new one, or filtering out similar articles add seconds and minutes to your reading productivity. Inoreader also has a powerful feature called Rules. We will look into this as we discuss its features and functions.

The Time Saving Functions

Thanks to information overload, a feedreader has to be a platform for content curation. That requires the right mix of tools for discovering new sources, managing them tidily, consuming them at the right time, and sharing them with the social circles we are part of. Could Inoreader be the single window for all these roles? It brings most of the tools to the job.

Discover new feeds with Global Search & Active Search. Global search is a premium feature that allows you to search for feeds outside your subscriptions. Active search is available for all. It helps you follow a certain search term and populate your feeds when new articles matching your search terms arrive. With an Inoreader Pro subscription, you can also comb through all publicly available feeds.

Inoreader -- Search

Inoreader also takes the usual Google Advanced Search operators in its search box. Use all the tricks like sorting the results by age or even a custom interval (for Plus and Professional users) and you have a powerful tool to curate new content. Search is relatively swift and I couldn’t discern any problems of speed.

Save time with Rules. Automated workflows are huge timesavers. Instead of manually filtering articles, you can set up rules that work just like filters in Gmail. For every condition, you can set up an automated action. For instance, you can automatically tag articles based on keywords in them. You can forward specific articles to your email, or even Pocket, Evernote, Instapaper and Readability.

Inoreader -- Rules

Stay updated with your favorite feeds. Need to watch changes in your favorite feeds? Boost them to update at ten minute intervals. You can also set Rules to be instantly notified of new updates.

Inoreader - Boost Feeds

Save your favorites as PDF. You can mark the best as a Favorite. You can also quickly download them as PDFs. This feature might not seem much because browsers also allow PDF printing, but it is handy if you do most of your reading on the newsreader. The PDF files via Inoreader are also cleaner without the ads and website elements plaguing a browser print.

Inoreader -- Save as PDF

The Social Stuff

Reading can be a collaborative exercise. Try the social features on Inoreader.

Broadcast to your friends. You can search for your friends who are also using Inoreader and create a Channel with them. Share or “broadcast” articles to them…and with an optional note.

Inoreader -- Broadcast

Share across social networks. The screen below should tell you the sharing options available, other than the usual suspects.

Inoreader - Sharing

Comments. You might think that a feedreader is a personal thing. With comments, Inoreader opens up the community on topics of mutual interest. Comments are public by default, but you have full control if you want to stay private and comment-free.

Under The Hood

Let’s talk to the power users.

Use the Dashboard. Keep tabs on what’s going on inside Inoreader. Use the Recommended Sources gadget to suggest more feeds based on a specific folder. With the paid upgrades, you can also set up multiple dashboards to monitor different things like Active Searches or Rules.

The Statistics section. For the number cruncher. You can find a lot about your reading habits by dipping into the numbers here. Springclean by removing subscriptions you are no longer following.

Inoreader - Stats

Could This Be Your Favorite Pick?

That’s what you should tell us in the comments. The free version has the chops, and it covers all the bases that a user needs. Feedly is popular Feedly, Reviewed: What Makes It Such A Popular Google Reader Replacement? Now that Google Reader is but a distant memory, the fight for the future of RSS is truly on. One of the most notable products fighting the good fight is Feedly. Google Reader wasn't an... Read More but they did make some decisions which gave us some cause for concern Feedly Was Stealing Your Content -- Here's the Story, And Their Code Last week, Feedly rolled out a controversial new "feature" -- hijacking feed links. Here's the full story of why people are angry, and how one blogger helped to right the situation. Read More .

You might have your own requirements for a feedreader. The basics could be quick feed updates, easy organization of folders, one-click integration with popular services, and hassle-free import (and export) of OPML feeds. Inoreader has them all in place.

Also, the following two features are definite feathers…

  • A good feedreader updates frequently, so any news is almost real time. You can check the update interval of individual feeds. Inoreader has a failsafe in the Boost feature that updates every 10 minutes. Set the right rules and you can be on top of any “breaking news”.
  • Inoreader indexes every single article of every feed from the moment it is added in Inoreader. With the search options, you have a powerful tool to extract information whenever you want it. Remember, you can sort search results by date (newest or oldest) and relevance — and also use the Google-like advanced search syntax.

There’s little to crib about this emerging newsreader. It is reliable and configurable.If the features, get too overwhelming, configure it minimally and focus on the reading. The team is adding features — for instance, Bundles have been introduced in the new beta version of the tool.

If you are an old user, share your opinion. If you are still looking for a capable RSS reader, Inoreader could be the closest to the mark.




Related topics: Feed Reader, FeedReader.

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  1. Bob
    March 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I've been asking the folks at Inoreader since the beginning to allow marking items older then one day automatically. As of today they have refused to do so, as far as I"m concerned this is the only missing feature they should really implement. I can't remember how many times I have mistakenly clicked the mark all read button, trying to mark only those older then today as read. Dose not seem like much to ask and can't see paying for the service until this is fixed. I envision navigating to the site and start reading todays news, don't really care about stuff I misses last week/month, etc.

  2. Tony
    March 27, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Needing cross-platform ability, I tried Inoreader and I like it. However, I'm trying to find a way to "merge" duplicate items. For example, I have 4 feeds from one news source. There are a number of the same stories in 2 or more of the feeds and I'd like to get rid of the excess. Is there a way to do that (e.g. "Don't show duplicates" option)?

    • Saikat
      March 28, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Not Inoreader as far as I know. There are tools however, that let you combine multiple feeds into one feed and receive that into your feedreader. You can try that.

      For e.g. Use: Yahoo Pipes. Something like this [Broken URL Removed]

  3. Joao Brito
    July 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    YES!!!! For those google reader orphans and left in the cold by feedly, I highly recommend inoreader. I wanted only two little functions: 1) view old posts; 2) organize my subscriptions with drag-&-drop; neither apparently possible with feedly (well that may well be possible but as long I I have to dive in hidden instructions to get them, it's the same as not existing). Inoreader does both, and has a very intuitive interface. Thanks for the article and other commenters opinions.

    • Saikat B
      July 20, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Your requirement nos.1 is the one many feedreaders haven't been able to provide. We took it for granted in Google Reader didn't we :)

  4. Saikat B
    July 14, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Yeah, Some. It has been an underrated newsreader. I feel part of the reason is that it was a one-man operation when it started. Now, a whole team is behind it and that's why we see the amplification and the rapid scale up. Could be some other reason also...but I am happy that all of us who use it -- "found" it :)

  5. some
    July 14, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Seriously, I'm surprised someone make article about this. I had been trying to find GR replacement since Google announced the death of it. I tried every alternatives, the best one for me were TOR and Feedly. After trying them for some time, I was not satifsied. Things like speed and UI don't satisfy me at the time..

    I tried looking for another alternative but every site just recommend what I've tried, then at some point I read a comment about IR in the comment section. Yes, in the comment section!
    I tried it and really like it, the speed and UI are good. Until now I've only seen very few sites mention or even reccommend about IR, but I've seen more and more people were mentioning IR in the comment section.

    I don't understand how such good reader is not being widely advertised by tech sites, it even has search feature which other popular readers don't have or include only in pro account. I've been thinking this is some kind of conspiracy but it stays strong until now!

  6. Mike
    July 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Damn you! I uninstalled RSS live links to give this one a try only to find out it is completely useless, and now I can't find the extension for RSS live links anymore. Why would I want an rss reader extension, that when clicked on, just opens a new page!? Isn't that what bookmarks are for!

  7. Ashok k
    July 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I started using Inoreader sometime back after reading muo readers opinion about it and found it most useful rss reader along with Sputnik(again muo suggestion for desktop rss reader). What I like most about these two rss reader is their simple and no frills interface.

  8. Sarath
    July 9, 2014 at 11:36 am

    After the death of Google Reader; like everybody else, I wandered in the wild finding the best reader. I stopped at Feedly for a while but I wasn't satisfied. After 2 months of back & forth, I settled for Netvibes (they recently released an iOS App too). Its good, and fulfils all my requirements, so I added my numerous collection of RSS feeds of years. Then, I noticed Inoreader which is very impressive but I don't want to spend any more time in transition.

    I recommend Inoreader.

  9. santi
    July 9, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I love the inoreader for desktop, but the android app still needs a lot to improve. I like the layout of the greader, dont need to enter into each feed since I get the few lines immediatly.
    With the inoreader app, I still need to enter each feed, even in magazine mode

  10. Penolo
    July 9, 2014 at 12:49 am

    +1 Inoreader. I'm not a super user but I do have 300-400 feeds per day to get through. Tried all the Google Reader alternatives, Inoreader was the best, hands down. Simple and fast.

  11. Zifang
    July 8, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    +1 for inoreader too! I've used this since Google Reader was gone.

  12. J. Simon van der Walt
    July 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    +1 for inoreader – moved to this from aol reader.

  13. Paul R
    July 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    They also have a bookmarklet that quickly lets you subscribe when you are on a page with RSS content.

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Yes. The bookmarklet is very handy for quick entries.

  14. Paul R
    July 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I love InoReader. It has the minimalist feel that I loved about Google Reader, but the UI is smoother and nicer to look at. It does everything I need in an RSS reader.

    They have a forum that is visited by their developers, and they respond to concerns raised there.

    After hearing about the Google Reader shutdown, I tried many solutions, including feedly, netvibes, Digg reader, AOL's new RSS reader---but nobody had what InoReader did. Love it. Strongly recommend it.

  15. miaousse
    July 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I use inoreader since google reader passed out.
    it suits me, i like it looks like google reader.
    i really appreciate the "rules" feature, it's a huge time saver. You can use it with regular expression which in my case works just fine.
    I really hope that the dev behind will continue this service for a very long time.

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:41 am

      Quite a few changes under the hood have happened speedily, so the developers are intent and serious about this. The updates and respect for the customer's ear are always good signs.

  16. Ed C
    July 8, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    As Google Reader transitioned out, I tried a few choices and went with Feedly. But Feedly soon started there pay model and ceased being very useful and was also a bit unstable.

    Now I use AOL Reader which works great and has all the features I liked from Google Reader. I am very happy with the free product and like using my old AOL account!

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:39 am

      I have to dig out my old AOL credentials and give this a try :)

  17. Jean-Francois Messier
    July 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    When Google Reader died a year ago, I spent a bit of time looking for a replacement solution. My mai goal was to get a reader that is agnostic of the device I use, so I can start reading news on one, keep my pointers and proceed on another device. At the time, there were no easy to use (or free) services that could provide me with such service. My other point was that I wanted a list of only titles, no images, no previews, etc............ I ended up installing TT-RSS on my hosted internet domain, where I had PHP and MySQL available to me. TT-RSS also has a reader available under Android, which I use at home on the couch. My only complain is that it never worked properly for my in offline mode. Other than that, it is an excellent solution. I could envision someone providing such service at a cost. But I will give a try to inoreader.

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:35 am

      Do give your feedback. You sound like a power-user. Someone, who should appreciate the little touches on Inoreader.

  18. elebego
    July 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Inoreader is awesome @dj habin -yes of course, that's the point.

    I used every possible rss reader out there from aol, netvibes, digg reader to feedly.Then inoreader was my last hope and i couldn't believe how just one person could do what other companies couldn't do.

    Inoreader has a very response developers.I guess working hard and listening the users brought the success

    I recommend everybody to use it, if you're a hardcore rss person

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:34 am

      I think they are a bigger team now and the updates / features are coming thick and fast.

  19. Peter Jamieson
    July 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Old Reader still wins...still, I like hearing about these.

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:33 am

      More the merrier, Peter :)

      I like Old Reader too. When I used it last, it didn't refresh as often, nor does it refresh all feeds with the same regularity. Then they have an API for apps but no dedicated apps. Correct me if I am wrong though. Haven't used it some time.

  20. dj habinpapa
    July 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Does it sync read status across multiple devices?

    • Sa J
      July 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Yes, I use it at home and work, with google sign-on. It has become my preferred reader (over feedly and flipboard, although those have prettier layouts). With InoReader, I prefer the simple layout and ease of use. My favorites/saved articles are also synced across devices.

    • Saikat B
      July 9, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Yes. The iOS version has just come out. The Android version was there already.

    • dj habinpapa
      July 9, 2014 at 8:26 am

      thanks guys. I will give it a try :)