NetNewsWire vs Feedly: Which RSS Reader App is Better on the iPhone

reading Twitter, Google News and Facebook because news is sometimes distracting and overwhelming. Because of this, dedicated RSS reader apps will help you choose the sources you want to read. The Apple App Store offers several RSS reader apps for the iPhone. Among them, NetNewsWire and Feedly stand out for their popularity and features. You can choose one of them after knowing their characteristics and strengths.

Although they are both RSS reader apps, they offer different functions. NetNewsWire ticks all the boxes, focusing on the user interface and the reading experience. Feedly now offers RSS aggregation of sources and functions based on machine learning.

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

Cross-platform availability

Feedly has an advantage over NetNewsWire in that it is available for iOS, Android, and the web. Cross-platform availability ensures that you get the same user interface and reading experience on all platforms.

NetNewsWire is an open source project available on Apple’s software platforms. Last year the NetNewsWire v5.0 landed in the App Store and the new Mac version too.

user interface

The user interface is essential when dealing with RSS sources and feeds. With the annually changing design guidelines of the software platforms, the developers of the RSS reader apps are always on their toes.

NetNewsWire offers standard iOS navigation with key buttons at the bottom and newsfeed at the top. You might not find it as polished as other apps, but it’s pretty good for the first version that keeps you looking forward to future updates.

While most of the user experience elements are there, you might find the app a bit rough around the edges.

Feedly feels trapped between the past and the future. For example, it has a nice bottom bar, but it also uses the hamburger menu (like an Android app) which can annoy any seasoned iPhone user. To change the view of the app’s home screen, you can switch between text, magazines, and maps.

Feedly user interface

Feedly user interface 2

Both NetNewsWire and Feedly support the dark iOS theme.

Services and Integration

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

Feedly account

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

Net News Wire Services

Reading experience

Let’s talk about the main factor that will help you decide between the two – the reading experience. And we have to say, NetNewsWire has it all.

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

Net News Wire Reading

Net News Wire Reading 2

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

Feedly has been around longer than the NetNewsWire app on the iPhone. With Feedly, you can change the design, text size and font right from the home screen. You can swipe left / right to switch between articles. If a post has a Read More button, the Safari browser is used to load the web page. You can use the built-in Read Later service or choose to integrate with the app to save articles.

Feedly reading

Feedly reading 2

Tap on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner and connect Feedly with third-party services like Pocket, Instapaper or Evernote.

Additional functions

NetNewsWire offers only a handful of additional 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 additional features to customize the overall reading experience. This is one of the reasons Feedly is so confident about asking for a subscription price in order to take advantage of the add-ons.

Feedly allows you to create different boards to organize the articles you have saved. You can view it as an extended pocket app. Feedly also offers Google keyword notifications, IFTTT integration, the ability to use notes and highlighters, and more.

Feedly features

Feedly professional

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


NetNewsWire is completely free to use on the iPhone. Feedly works as a subscription service. Feedly Pro and Pro + plans cost $ 8 and $ 16 per month, respectively. On the plus side, the free version of Feedly has no ads.

Get the latest news on the go

Choosing the perfect RSS reader app is essential to building your custom list of sources for reading RSS feeds. NetNewsWire is free and has a good experience for its first version. Feedly is marching ahead with advanced customization options and features. However, it comes at a price. Which one will you choose? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

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