RSS stands for really simple syndication and serves as a protocol—which has been around for more than two decades—to allow users to subscribe and receive updates when new content is available from websites that include the feature. RSS has been very popular with hardcore internet users for a very long time and most websites make it available. I’ve been a big fan of RSS for quite some time because it makes for an incredibly efficient way to curate and view various news from all types of sources.
Chrome used to include a feature called Google Reader, but it was removed. The recent rumor patrol has Chrome on Android returning to RSS with a built-in tool, which I have yet to see on any of my devices. RSS is still not just a thing, but a popular thing. Because Google has a wonderful way of slowing its roll with experiments like the rumored RSS Follow feature, I thought you might be interested in finding out what RSS tool I prefer on my Android devices.
That app is called FeedMe.
FeedMe is an open source RSS reader that does an absolutely brilliant job of making it easy to subscribe, manage and view RSS feeds from all of your favorite websites.
FeedMe includes features like:
Podcast and TTS support
Star and tagging
Auto mark read
Offline reading (with included pictures and full text)
Automatic and instant state sync
Built-in image viewer (with included support for GIFs)
Themes: light, paper, dark, night and e-ink
Unread count widget
Volume buttons navigation
Let’s get FeedMe installed and see how it’s used.
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How to install FeedMe
FeedMe is quite simple to install. Here’s how:
- Open the Google Play Store app on your Android device.
- Search for FeedMe.
- Locate and tap the entry by dataegg.
- Tap Install.
- Allow the installation to complete.
Once installed, you’ll find a launcher for FeedMe in either your App Drawer or on your home screen. Tap the launcher to open the app.
How to add an RSS feed to FeedMe
When you first launch FeedMe, you’ll need to select a main feed source from the list (Figure A).
Don’t worry, you’re not locked into only using that one feed source. After you tap the source, your default browser will open, where you need to use a service to sign in. Select your service and continue on with the sign-in process.
After you’ve signed in, you’ll find yourself at the main FeedMe window (Figure B).
FeedMe will auto-populate some subscriptions from the chosen source. Of course, you’re going to want to add custom subscriptions, so that’ll be the next step. To add a new subscription, tap Subscriptions in the sidebar and then tap the + button at the bottom-left corner. Let’s say you want to add the Mobility RSS feed from TechRepublic.
In the search field type techrepublic and tap Add. Scroll down until you see Mobility on TechRepublic. Tap the associated Subscribe button (I’ve already done so) and then, when prompted, give the feed a name, associate it with a category and tap Add (Figure C).
After you’ve added the new subscription, you’ll need to give FeedMe a moment to sync the feed. Once that completes, the feed will show up in the Subscriptions section, under the associated category (Figure D).
Once synced, you can view all articles from the subscription. By default, FeedMe will auto-sync every two hours, which is pretty slow in today’s fast-paced world of information.
If that’s not fast enough, tap Settings (from the sidebar) and then tap Auto Sync and drag the handle to the left to have the app sync as quickly as every five minutes (Figure E).
For me, FeedMe is the best RSS reader you’ll find for Android. Maybe, when (and if) Google finally unleashes its new Reader feature to the masses, apps like this won’t be necessary. Until then, give FeedMe a try and see if it doesn’t make reading RSS feeds far easier for you.
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