The best RSS readers for the Mac, from powerful sync services to stand alone apps, and everything in between
RSS has long history on the Mac. It was even built into Apple's own Safari and Mail at one point. Likewise, Google Reader in the browser was immensely popular, as were OS X apps that used it for sync. Now Apple and Google have left the RSS feed reader business, a lot of new services have sprung up, and a lot of different apps have begun to support them. But which services work with which apps, and what are the best combinations? Here are my favorites!
Note: The extremely popular NetNewsWire is currently in beta. We'll update, as needed, when it goes into general release. Likewise, when Reeder updates!
ReadKit supports a plethora of RSS services including Feedly, NewsBlur, Feedbin, Feedly, Fever, and built-in RSS. Whatever service you use, ReadKit has you covered. When it comes to read it later services, Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability are all supported as well. That means you have one less app to deal with. Smart folders inside ReadKit can be used to sort feeds even further, drill down, or broaden content. With ReadKit, the choices are really all yours.
If you want a fully functional client with support for pretty much any RSS service you may ever even think about using along with complete read it later service integration, get ReadKit.
Leaf RSS Reader is has a fantastic design. It doesn't have support for RSS services, but functions as a standalone RSS reader and also offers support for Pocket, Readability, and Instapaper, and smart views to make it easy to sort and sift through news. There are share options there and options for alerts for new stories.
If you're looking for a standalone reader and interface and design are high on your priority list, get Leaf RSS Reader.
NewsBar is exactly what it says it is - a window or bar that sits stationary on your Mac and pulls in news. Clicking on any article will bring up a smaller native window that lets you read the article in its entirety without launching a browser. Notification support is more advanced than other apps and lets you set tones and alerts for keywords. NewsBar supports Feedly integration and iCloud sync, so your information stays in harmony across devices and platforms.
If advanced notifications are your primary concern, get NewsBar.
RSS Reader Plus looks and functions in the same way as an email inbox. While it doesn't support RSS services such as Feedly, it's built-in RSS engine is blow-your-mind fast. You can even add feeds by dragging and dropping tabs or icons. Sharing options include Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote. Double clicking on an article will launch the full version of the article in RSS Reader Plus' native browser and keep them open in tabs until you close them.
If you miss Mail RSS, or simply like the idea of that interface, get RSS Reader Plus.
Whether you're an RSS veteran or just getting started, the Mac has an RSS app for you. These are our favorites, but if we missed your favorite, new or old, let us know in comments!