Best RSS Reader for iOS: Reeder 3 Review

Continuing along the theme of revisiting apps that have been essential since the early days of iOS, Reeder 3 ($4.99, iOS, $9.99, macOS) by Silvio Rizzi is a feature-rich RSS reader for iPhone currently in its third incarnation. The RSS feed reader app has greatly expanded its support for a variety of third-party services and kept up to date in the modern era of iOS devices. Do these enhancements offer enough value to continue using it above other RSS feed apps? Read on to find out.

Searching for the best RSS feed readers in the app store returns an overwhelming number of results, making it a frustrating challenge for the uninitiated to identify the best RSS reader for the job. Fortunately for Reeder 3, Apple has bestowed upon it the company's Essentials tag thereby indicating to potential users Apple's acknowledgement of the program's quality and aesthetics.

Reeder 3 Articles List View

Of course, the primary purpose of an RSS feed app is the consumption and rendering of RSS feeds and, no surprise, Reeder 3 fulfills this purpose well. In addition to standard RSS links, the app can connect to a dozen different newsfeed services such as Feedly and Feed Wrangler. Ingested news articles can also be emitted using over a dozen different services ranging from Safari's reading list and Instapaper to Readability and Pocket

Reeder 3 Story View

Once loaded up with RSS feeds or paired with a news aggregation service, Reeder 3's functionality is fairly obvious. Wait for news story headlines to populate the list, scroll down to locate a story of interest, tap on the article title and read the full page. A summary can be expanded by pinch-zooming out, passing the content to the post-processing service of choice (Readability by default). Starring an article for favorite retrieval later is as simple as tapping on the star icon in the toolbar at the lower left of the screen. Likewise, tapping on the Door->Arrow icon opens the referenced web page either within the app's embedded browser of passes it along to be handled in Safari.

After the basics are understood, you can explore the RSS feed app's settings and discover how to modify the color scheme, list order, gestures, and display options and reset the cache in case something goes awry. Once Reeder 3 becomes a part of your daily news fix habit on your iPhone or iPad, you can continue the experience on your macOS computer. The OS X version of the RSS reader is nearly identical to the RSS reader for iOS, with the helpful addition of customizable key binding support. 

Reeder 3 OSX Appearance Settings

Reeder 3 OSX Keyboard Shortcuts

The one aspect I would have liked to see in the macOS edition is the ability to sync preferences via iCloud with the iOS version so that I didn't have to set the same color and other user preferences manually on each device. Other missing features such as the lack of Apple Watch support are not show stoppers by any means, but it would be useful in the future to be able to at least mark all read or star headlines for later reading from the watch. I'd also like the future version to support 3D touch and expanded color options beyond the shades of gray currently offered by the program. Yet even with these criticisms, Reeder 3 is a beautiful example of Apple's design guidelines encapsulated within a highly functional and flexible news reader. Recommended.

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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.