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What's your favorite RSS/Atom feed reader, and why?


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One of the essential pieces of a modern Internet suite, what's your favorite RSS/Atom feed reader?

 

I'm half-migrated between Opera Presto's integrated reader, and Vivaldi's new integrated reader.  They have similar three-column interfaces and features.  Vivaldi's probably the better one at this point due to more HTML/CSS capabilities when rendering, but I haven't fully migrated.  They both allow various labeling options; Vivaldi has nice e-mail forwarding of RSS info that I haven't really used yet.

 

In both cases, I like that they're integrated with the browser.  Opera does a better job of letting me know that there are updates via toast notifications; I sometimes forget about my feeds if I don't use Opera for a while.

 

But I haven't really explored the market much, especially the standalone market.  I joined the RSS bandwagon late, and the general impression I got was that Google Reader was the best and everyone sort of stopped talking about RSS after it disappeared.  So I just used what was built into my browser that seemed good enough.  What have I been missing out on?

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Feedly for me.

 

I switched over to Feedly after Google Reader died.  They presented a similar interface with the same keyboard shortcuts, so it was an easy transition.  It is a paid product, but I just paid for a lifetime license so I'm not doing a monthly fee or anything.

 

I generally prefer desktop apps over cloud services, but in this case I rather like having a cloud service.  I'm very invested in RSS to keep up on various things and being able to get to the same feed from my desktop or from my phone is very handy.  "Read later" bookmarks or article categorization gets synced between the two, of course.

 

Feedly also recently introduced an "RSS feed generator" function which is great for sites that do not offer RSS feeds.  You give it a URL and it gives you a page preview.  You click a link on that page and it generates a CSS selector to find similar links on the page.  It will then generate a feed based on that so new articles or whatever will be caught and injected into the feed.  You can also subscribe to public Twitter accounts or YouTube channels and they will show up in the feed as well.  You can also set up feeds based on Google News searches, or just keyword searches that will search all feeds that Feedly knows about and put articles that hit the search criteria into your feed.  (I used that to be in the loop on breaking information on specific upcoming products.)

 

I don't use the "Leo" AI assistant thing; I'm pretty manual with how I have the feeds discovered and organized but their front page promo-material is really focused on that feature.  I like this view with just one condensed list of everything from all feeds sorted chronigically.  I can blast through it with keyboard shortcuts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've tried Vivaldi's built-in RSS reader and found it a little rough around the edges. I could see myself switching to it and the built-in email client full time once both of them are feature-complete and a little more polished.

 

In the meantime, I've been using the Feedbro extension. My RSS needs are pretty basic, so this does everything I need it to. It has options for creating rulesets and tagging posts, but I haven't really dug into those. What I did find useful about it was its feed search function. I don't know where it pulls data from, but it's helped me find feeds for a couple websites that didn't link to or even expose their RSS feed to the browser.

 

On a side note, I'm not sure I could go back to a standalone RSS reader, mainly because it would need to support some form of content blocking with cosmetic filters enabled. At that point I find it's better to just have everything embedded in the browser, which is why I switched to Vivaldi from Firefox (which used to have Live Bookmarks and other RSS features that got stripped away, unfortunately).

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There are lots of standalone RSS readers available for Android; some of them are even decent apps. I've used Flym for years now and it still works fine even though it isn't actively developed any more.

I think the big problem with RSS on Android is that feed discovery isn't as easy as it used to be. Circa 2009-2010, when Google Reader was still around, every website would either link to their RSS feed or expose it to the browser (so you got an icon in the address bar telling you you can subscribe), most often both. Nowadays most sites just link to their social media pages instead, despite having a perfectly functional backend to generate a feed that maybe gets indexed by search engines, if at all. I'm not sure if any of the major web browsers on Android have the RSS feed indicator out of the box; I know Vivaldi's desktop version does.

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