10 Best RSS Readers in the Mac App Store

There’s no better way to keep up to date with the latest news than with an RSS reader, because it can save you the trouble of visiting a dozen or more individual websites to get your daily fix of news. 

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and if you’re not already familiar with it, it’s used by many websites as a convenient way to let readers subscribe to news. Simply click on the RSS button that appears in the title bar of Safari when a website’s feed is detected, and your default news reader pops up and prompts you to subscribe. It’s even possible to add news feeds in the Mail app, but many people prefer separate RSS readers because they tend to have much more functionality than Mail (in Mountain Lion, Apple seems to have removed RSS functionality from Mail completely).

Dozens of third-party RSS news readers are available in the Mac App Store, many of which can also synchronise with your iPad and iPhone. Most of the popular ones can also synchronise with a Google Reader account – head over to the Google website to set one up (it’s free!).

Here’s a selection of the best and most highly rated RSS readers currently available in the Mac App Store, in alphabetical order…


Caffeinated app icon1. Caffeinated

Caffeinated is a well designed and elegant reader which has attracted very good reviews in the App Store. The layout shows each news feed organised into categories with the news displayed in the main window. Bookmarks can be created for your favourite articles, and it’s possible to share items with various social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Like many such applications, a Readability mode lets you view the full article in a stripped-down layout without ads.

More details: App Store Link

Caffeinated Screenshot
Caffeinated, by GeekyGoodness

Fresh Feed app icon2. Fresh Feed

Fresh Feed focuses on simplicity. The application sits in the Mac’s menu bar and is updated in real time. Just click the icon to view a list of news, and on individual news stories to view in Safari. The Pro version can synchronise with Google Reader and also read out the news titles. Watch out Siri!

More details: App Store link

Fresh Feed Screenshot
Fresh Feed, by Bloop S.R.L

Mixtab icon3. Mixtab

Mixtab is an eye-catching RSS news reader that organises topics in a rather stylish way. The app uses “tabs” which in this context are simply top-level menus menus that show feed collections. You can create new tabs and organise them however you desire, as well as customise the content within and choose an overall theme from a selection of built-in templates.

Mixtab also works in Lion’s full screen mode, and is probably one of the most pleasant ways to read the news. It requires you to create an account with Mixtab, but it takes just seconds to set one up.

More details: App Store Link

Mixtab Screenshot
Mixtab, by Mixtab Inc

MobileRSS icon4. MobileRSS

MobileRSS has been available for the iPhone and iPad since July 2011, and the Mac version has almost identical functionality. The app is simply a Google Reader client so you need to have a Google account to use it, but it synchronises perfectly and has lots of sharing options such as posting to Twitter and Instapaper. There are multiple view layouts and you can even download full articles for specified feeds to read later.

More details: App Store Link

MobileRSS Screenshot
MobileRSS, by NibiruTech Limited

NewsBar app icon5. NewsBar

NewsBar is a little unusual amongst the Mac RSS readers, because it shows the news in a semi-transparent sidebar on your desktop screen which is updated in real-time. There are dozens of useful features such as single-click to pop-up and read, or double-click to open the full story in the browser, as well as optional synchronisation with a Google Reader account, plus favourites, a customisable interface and much more.

More details: App Store Link

NewsBar Screenshot
NewsBar, by Andras Porffy

NewsFire app icon6. NewsFire

NewsFire is quite old now and hasn’t been updated for some time, but it has a very functionality and uncluttered interface that contains just the most essential features. You can’t synchronise with Google Reader unfortunately, but as a very basic RSS  reader which does exactly what it says, it’s a pretty decent application.

More details: App Store link

NewsFire Screenshot
NewsFire, by David Watanabe

NewsRack app icon7. NewsRack

NewsRack uses a tabbed interface and thumbnail previews of each story (something that many readers don’t have) and just like most RSS apps, NewsRack can synchronise with your Google Reader account (but this is purely optional). It’s not the cheapest RSS reader but it has most of the key features covered. Interestingly, it can also be extended with AppleScript, so anyone that likes to tinker in such things might espeically enjoy NewsRack.

More details: App Store Link

NewsRack Screenshot
NewsRack, by Ole Zorn

Reeder app icon8. Reeder

Reeder has the honour of being many people’s favourite RSS reader and is consistently popular on the iPad, iPhone and Mac. It requires a Google Reader account to work but that’s easy enough to set up. Feeds are displayed in a list and organised in topics of your choosing such as Technology, Sport and so on, and it has all the usual options to mark feeds (or individual stories) as read, or to “star” them as favourites.

There’s plenty of sharing options in Reeder and Readability is also supported. Select an article headline and you’re taken to the original story inside the app itself, or you can view the original in Safari. A great little news reader indeed, and one that’s become deservedly popular.

More details: App Store Link

Reeder Screenshot
Reeder, by Silvio Rizzi

RSS Menu app icon9. RSS Menu

RSS Menu it’s quite unique because it doesn’t have its own application window, but as the name suggests it uses a systemwide drop-down menu instead. This means it’s easily accessible from any screen on your Mac – even in full-screen mode. Whilst some people might prefer a more traditional windowed approach, RSS menu does its job well as a handy news reading application.

More details: App Store Link

RSS Menu Screenshot
RSS Menu, by Jesus De Meyer

RSS Ticker app icon10. RSS Ticker For Google Reader

RSS Ticker For Google Reader not only presents RSS news feeds and syncs with a Google Reader account, but it has a rather nice ticker that constantly scrolls feeds across the title bar in the chosen space, much like a rolling news channel. There’s also a more traditional list view layout to view each story in more detail. The usual options are present, such as being able to star favourites and showing the number of unread items in the application’s Dock icon.

More details: App Store Link

RSS Ticker Screenshot
RSS Ticker For Google Reader, by Chun Sum Yu

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