News readers are becoming increasingly important. With so much information being spread so quickly, the nightly news simply can’t handle all of it, but we often rely on more news than just the evening news. This leaves two options for absorbing all the news you’ll need: search it out by visiting individual webpages, or set up an RSS feed.
RSS feeds are, by far, the superior way to get your news. Having to lookup each individual news source would take a lot longer than letting a service pull all the news into one place for you. RSS feeds sound a little confusing, but they are increasingly important and actually pretty simple once you understand the concept.
The (Very) Basic Idea
Basically, RSS is a line of code attached to articles that a news source wishes to distribute. The code includes a headline and small amount of text and makes it a link that opens the original source when you click on it in your news feed. This line of code is grabbed by your news reader of choice and displayed in your feed alongside all of the other news from other sources.
This being said, there’s a lot of different news clients, each with their own flavor of what people like in a news reader. I’ll just describe a few of the ones i’ve used and why I still, or no longer, use them.
Reeder used to be my absolute favorite. It was clean, easy to set up, and it had a client for every platform I had, so I could really read my news anywhere. It was great. However, Reeder (and many other RSS Readers) ran into trouble when Google shut down their RSS service. Now, Reeder only has an iPhone app. The app is still really nice, but a service that only works on one platform just isn’t as good.
Reeder actually does have an iPad app. Sorry for the misinformation. Also, the developer has said that we can expect a new app for the Mac, but hasn’t given any details as to when it will be released.
Zite represents a new way of approaching the news. It asks you what you like to hear about and then searches out news sources that are relative. This takes more of the approach of the evening news where you don’t have any control over what you’re given.
A lot of people seem to like this approach, but i’m not really fond of this approach as I like to have more control over the sources I view. This is also my gripe with Paper, Facebook’s new app which strives to implement other news sources besides your feed. But if you don’t have a specific source you like to read and are more interested in just a topic, that would be a good place to start.
My control freak cravings were satisfied by Feedly. Feedly is everything I ever wanted in a news reader. It has an app for every device, but even if you’re not on one of your personal devices you can still access your feeds through their web client. This makes your news very portable and accessible.
Feedly has become my source for news. I was really impressed when it survived (and actually seemed better after) Google dropping it’s service. I get the news I want, and it takes a fraction of the time it would take to track down the sources individually.
Some Other Up and Coming Readers
There are a ton of different feed readers out there for all platforms. Each one has their strengths, weaknesses, and approaches to giving you the news you need. A couple others that i’d like to mention for your consideration are Newsbar and Mr. Reader.
Newsbar can be bought on the Mac App Store. It brings up a semitransparent news feed that automatically updates to whatever side of the screen. Mousing over an article will pause the feed and bring up more details. Clicking on the article will bring up the full article in a web browser. Like Feedly, it also has applications for all platforms.
Mr. Reader looks very nice, though it’s only for the iPad. This works well for those who only read news on their iPad.