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…

UPDATE: Since this article was published a few of these apps have been discontinued. I have now removed these from this list. At some point I will get around to adding some more, but in the meantime please let me (and our other readers) know if you have any suggestions for other great RSS readers in the comments. Thanks!

Fresh Feed app icon1. 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

MobileRSS icon2. 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 icon3. 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 icon4. 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

Reeder app icon5. Reeder 2

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 icon6. 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 icon7. 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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