The iPhone and iPad are great for consuming news, whether that’s current affairs or the latest on your favorite sports team. The iPad, in particular, is ideally suited to kicking back and reading, and we’re going to tell you how to make the most of it.
With the App Store filled to the brim with new apps for your iPhone or iPad, it can be difficult to know which to download and in some cases, buy. With Apple offering its own news reading app, Apple News, do you even need to try a third-party solution at all? We’d suggest that yes, you do, and we’re going to tell you about some of the apps we use to keep up to speed on what is going on around us, across many different categories.
Some of these apps will be free, and some will require a fee. We’ll let you decide whether reading news is worth paying for.
Let’s jump in!
Feedly is an app and service that gained a lot of traction when Google closed down its Google Reader RSS service a few years ago, and with good reason. A free Feedly account gets you much the same functionality as the erstwhile Google Reader, and there are apps available for the iPhone and iPad that make reading a pleasurable experience. You can add your own sources of news, and Feedly will also offer up some suggestions if that’s something you’re into.
A free Feedly account gets you access to news from up to 100 sources as well as the iPhone, iPad, and web apps, with ads inserted into your feeds. If you want to get rid of the ads, as well as add unlimited sources, consider the $5.41 per month Feedly Pro subscription. If you read a lot, it’s worth it, and there are lots more features thrown in, too.
The approach Nuzzel takes is very different to other apps, because it doesn’t collect news sources as such. Instead, it tracks the people you follow on social networks and then surfaces the links that they talk about. The more people talk about a link, the more it is deemed to be important. Nuzzel will show you the link, as well as all the people that you follow and are actively talking about it. That makes Nuzzel a great source of content because it means you will invariably see links that you wouldn’t normally come across. The bonus? Nuzzel is free.
The Apple News app comes on every iPhone and iPad, and that means it is uniquely placed to become the go-to place for news. The app is arguably the nicest of the bunch to use, and that can mean a lot to some people, including us. That’s no good if the sources of news are weak, and while Apple News does have plenty to choose from, it doesn’t have everything available, and you can’t just give it an RSS feed and send it on its way. Websites have to opt into supporting Apple News, which means there are likely some sites and people you read that are not available in Apple News. That can be an issue, as is the way sharing news from the app turns the URL into a special Apple News URL, making it useless to anyone who doesn’t have it installed.
A classic RSS reader that has been around a long time, Unread is the app that many of the so-called iOS power users will push you towards, and with good reason. It’s a nice looking app, yet understated. It gets out of the way and lets the content do the talking, which isn’t something that a lot of competing apps can say.
What makes us such huge fans of Unread is the fact that it is a good, old-fashioned RSS reader in the mold of the early App Store days. It gets you to the content you want and immediately gets out of the way so that you can do what you went there to do: read words. To that end, there are many themes that change the way Unread looks, making it perfect for the tinkerers out there.
Billing itself as a service for power users, Inoreader is an RSS replacement with associated apps, just like Feedly. What makes Inoreader so powerful is its ability to assign colors to keywords to make them stand out, or create filters to make sure that specific types of news articles appear together. Want to see articles from multiple sources, but that include the phrases “iOS” and “RSS” in the same article? Inoreader is the app for you. You’ll need to create a free account to get started, but when you do, you can sign into the Inoreader iPhone or iPad app and start creating filters to your heart’s content. You could even combine the power of Inoreader with Unread, getting you the best of both worlds.