Net­NewsWire vs Feed­ly: Which RSS Read­er App Is Bet­ter on iPhone

Parth Shah

Reading Twitter, Google News, and Facebook for news is distracting and overwhelming at times. That's why dedicated RSS reader apps help you select the sources you want to read. Apple App Store has several RSS reader apps for iPhone. Among them, NetNewsWire and Feedly stand out for their popularity and features. You can pick one of them after knowing their features and strengths.

Feedly vs Net News Wire

While both are RSS reader apps, they carry distinct features. NetNewsWire checks all boxes while focusing on the interface and reading experience. Meanwhile, Feedly offers RSS aggregation of sources and features depending on machine learning.

Which one should you install on your iPhone? Let’s discuss both of them in detail.

Cross-Platform Availability

Feedly has an edge over NetNewsWire since it is available on iOS, Android, and Web. Cross-platform availability ensures that you get the same UI and reading experience across all platforms.

NetNewsWire is an open-source project available on Apple's software platforms. Last year, the NetNewsWire v5.0 landed on the App Store and so did the new Mac version.

User Interface

User interface is essential while dealing with RSS sources and feeds. With the design guidelines of the software platforms changing annually, the RSS reader app developers are always on their toes.

NetNewsWire offers a standard iOS navigation with major buttons at the bottom and news feed at the top. While you may not find it as polished as other apps, but it is pretty good for the first version that gets you excited for the future updates.

Net News Wire UI

While the user experience elements are mostly in place, you might find the app a bit rough around the edges.

Feedly feels like it's stuck between the past and the future. For instance, it has a nice bottom bar, but it also uses the hamburger menu (like it's an Android app), which may irk all seasoned iPhone users. To change the view of the app's homescreen, you can switch between text, magazines, and cards.

Feedly UI
Feedly UI 2

Both the NetNewsWire and Feedly support the iOS dark theme.

Services and Integration

Feedly offers three main services you can integrate into the app. You can add Pocket, Instapaper, and Evernote accounts for better integration. Using Feedly Pro (more on that later), you can also use OneNote to save articles and integrate your Twitter feed.

Feedly account

NetNewsWire only supports two services - Feedbin and Feedly. You can import OPML backups to continue reading the same feeds you've subscribed to. Otherwise, you'll have rely on the default sources or add new ones manually.

Net News Wire services

Reading Experience

Let’s talk about the prime factor that will help you decide between the two - the reading experience. And we have to say, NetNewsWire nails it.

The transition from one post to another feels more natural and intuitive. However, the lack of customization options might get you at times. There is no way to personalize the reading experience with different fonts and sizes.

Net News Wire Reading
Net News Wire Reading 2

You will have to dive into the app settings to make changes. And even there, you'll find only a couple of options.

Feedly has been around for a while longer than the NetNewsWire app on iPhone. Using Feedly, you can change the theme, text size, and font type right from the home screen. You can swipe left/right to switch between articles. If a post has a Read More button, it will use the Safari browser to load the web page. You can use the built-in Read Later service or opt for the app's integration to save articles.

Feedly reading
Feedly reading 2

Tap on the three-dot menu at the upper right corner and connect Feedly to third-party services such as Pocket, Instapaper, or Evernote.

Extra Features

NetNewsWire offers only a handful of extra features compared to Feedly and other RSS reader apps. Few things are missing, like no Siri integration or widgets. You can only hope to see them in future updates.

Feedly offers a ton of extra features to customize the whole reading experience. It’s one reason why Feedly is so confident to ask for a subscription price to utilize the add-ons.

Feedly lets you create different boards to organize the saved articles. You can view it as an advanced Pocket app. Feedly also offers Google Keyword alerts, IFTTT integration, the ability to use notes and highlighter, and more.

Feedly features
Feedly pro

Feedly Premium offers Leo, an AI assistant that defines topics, keywords, and products relevant to you based on your reading habits and subscribed websites. It also helps you avoid deduplication so that you don’t have to read the ‘Apple release 2021 24-inch iMac’ article from dozens of news outlets.

Price

NetNewsWire is completely free to use on the iPhone. Feedly works as a subscription service. Feedly Pro and Pro+ plans are priced at $8 and $16 per month, respectively. On the plus side, Feedly's free version doesn’t include any ads.

Get Latest News on the Go

Pick up the perfect RSS reader app is essential to curate your custom list of sources to read RSS feed. NetNewsWire is free and it offers a good experience for its first version. Feedly marches ahead with advanced customization options and advanced features. Although, it does come with a price. Which one are you going to pick? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Next up: The App Store is filled with some of the best RSS apps. Read the post below to find the top five options among them.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.