The iPhone and iPad are both great ways to consume news and RSS on the go, or while simply lounging around the house. No matter what service you use — Feedly, Feed Wrangler or something else — there are tons of RSS and news apps that support them. If you don’t need a news aggregator service, or don’t even know what that means, there are still news apps that can help you find interesting things to read.
These are currently the best of the best news apps available for iPhone and iPad — and why I think they’re so great.
Elegant, simple, just the way you want it
The first question I always get asked after doing a roundup like this is which app I personally use. I’ve been using Reeder 2 almost as long as I can remember using an iPhone.
What I love about Reeder 2 is that I can choose how and what I want to read. It also integrates with all the major RSS services such as Feedly, Feed Wrangler (which is what I use, for those wondering), Feedbin and more. If you don’t use an RSS service, you can also add feeds manually by just entering the website.
Reeder 2 provides a clean, streamlined, standard feed that’s easy to use and understand. If you want all your news in straight chronological order with zero frills, Reeder 2 is the quickest way to work through and triage tons of RSS feeds.
The very first RSS app I ever used on my iPhone was NetNewsWire. I was overjoyed when it recently received a complete overhaul. What makes it unique from other news and RSS apps are the unique ways to sort and view your content.
For example, the favorites view is a great way to filter out sites that post a lot of noise so your feed isn’t congested by stories you don’t particularly care as much about. I love using NetNewsWire when I only have a few minutes to catch up and only want to see content from my favorite sites. Enabling the Smart Site Refresh feature in settings makes the experience even better. This way, only your favorite sites auto-refresh on their own. Everything else is only updated when you manually pull to refresh.
NetNewsWire also features great-looking inline images that integrate right into your feed. However, if you prefer fitting as much as you can on the screen at once, you can disable them in settings.
Simple text feeds for news aren’t for everyone and if you fit in that category, Newsify is a much more visual way to browse and read news. I like to think of it as a happy medium between Flipboard and standard RSS apps.
Anyone who enjoys the idea of viewing news as a collection of magazine clippings will love Newsify. It’s much more media-centric than many other standard news and RSS apps. When I have time to sit and randomly browse news feeds, I’ve found Newsify to be a great way to do it.
If you use an RSS service, Newsify will import your categories, folders or smart streams just as you have them. This way you can still triage effectively while enjoying a magazine-style experience without all the clutter.
If I sit down with my iPad, I probably want to do some long-form reading or some serious catch up. For these kinds of reading sessions, I almost always turn to Unread.
I just can’t help but love the way every little detail of Unread is well-thought-out. There are seven gorgeous themes to choose from and the entire interface can be navigated with nothing but gestures. In a single swipe and tap, I can change how articles are grouped or sorted, or I can mark everything in that category as read.
Reeder 2 offers a simpler setup in terms of referring to older articles or viewing things I’ve already read, but when I want to read long-form content on my iPad, I much prefer the experience and the immersive design Unread offers. It’s a strange setup, I know, but since both Unread and Reeder 2 support Feed Wrangler, I’ve never had an issue.
I don’t use Flipboard regularly because I have a very small subset of sites I actually care to read. However, if you don’t and need to find awesome sites and news sources to follow, there’s no better place to start than Flipboard.
Designed like a personal magazine, Flipboard will ask you to tell it about your interests and present you with curated content based on what you provided. It’s also a magazine-style reading experience, which takes the pressure off focusing on unread counts or getting through a huge list of feeds.
Just sit down, relax, read what you have time for, and come back later – just as you would with a paper magazine.