iPhone RSS Reader Application with source code

I am really happy to release my first iPhone application source. This is a simple RSS reader application and it loads the latest news from BBC.

While doing this application I got to learn and to get a rough idea bout the following

  • How basic iPhone application works
  • View & view controllers
  • Tableviews, Tableview Datasource & Tableview Delegate
  • Navigation controller
  • Threading
  • XML parser etc

To make this application I have broken my head reading lot of samples and watching video tutorials. I am very sure the application will have lot of issues and mistakes. If anyone feels so please give me a comment So I have a chance to correct myself. So far I find it really interesting and challenging 🙂

Application Main View : This view loads the RSS parser as a thread, this will download the RSS and parse it. Once the thread is completed it loads the RSS item into a UITableView.

Rss Reader Main View

News detail View : Based on what news is selected it loads the detailed news view.

Rss Reader Detail View

Alert View: Gives you a choice if you want to open the RSS item in safari browser.

Rss Reader Open Link View

Please forgive me for not putting the complete explanation about the application. I am sure it is pretty simple to figure it out.

Download iPhone RSS Reader Application Source Code

By Imthiaz

Programmer, SAAS, CMS & CRM framework designer, Love Linux & Apple products, Currently addicted to mobile development & working @bluebeetle


  1. Great stuff !! You could have added a little document as well explaining step by step procedure…

  2. Excellent stuff!

    It would be great if the refresh button was on the top nav bar, that would free up the bottom to have a tab bar. The RRS reader could then be incorporated into other apps.

  3. In which file should i change the RSS url ? As i want to play and learn Compact C with this great source code 🙂 thank you.

    1. Hi Neil , Check Classes/BlogRssParser.m change the bellow lines to whatever RSS url you want to

      NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://newsrss.bbc.co.uk/rss/sportonline_world_edition/front_page/rss.xml”];

  4. Hey Imthiaz

    First thanks for the code mate it is awesome, I have used you example to add a blog reader functionality to my tab based application I have got it all working but just having problems with getting the loadNewsDetail to work, in the RSSFunViewController.h

    Nothing happens on table cell click…

    Anyway help would be great…

    1. Hi David

      I am loading an image from the internet when the view is loading. I am using the main application thread to download it. So the application is stops tills the data is download (Which is really bad way of doing it sorry about that).

      You can comment these lines in NewsDetailViewController.m

      Hope this helps

      1. Hey Imthiaz,
        I am new to iphone but have very good interest on that… i show your code but not able to make it run.. Can you please guide me how to run this code?? what environment i need to run it?? i am not seeing any “make file” kind of staff to compile this code… how can compile it??

        thanks in advance..

        1. Thanks Imthiaz!

          Can we get any opensource/free simulator on windows or Linux to develop IPhone application?? I like to do some R&D on iphone application development. If yes can you please provide me the link or name of the tool kit

          thanks in advance!

    2. I have the exact same problem, did you find a way to solve it?

      Can you please share the steps?


    3. Hi David,

      Firstly, wow and great work Imathiaz!!! super work!! looks great! We all need more people like you contributing to the code base to really keep the iphone development moving forward quickly!

      Could you tell me the steps of how you imported this into your project? Or have you found a good online tutorial on how to import a xcode project into an xcode project? I haven’t found one… If you had a link I would really really appreciate it.
      Did you just import all the h, m, and xib files, then;
      rename the main.xib to say rss.xib
      create navigation control( thinking of an IBAction to launch it or from a segment)

      how did you deal with the appDelegate?
      Renaming all references in the code, importing it all into the existing appDelegate seems really tedious and not really necessary.. in a fundamental way yes, but nothing is a perfect world…

      Are there any preferences for each individual h, m, and xib files that need to be changed on import? before or after?

      Thanks for any info and knowledge you can share? Anyone out there know a general reference for doing this? Anyone want to work on it with me? But I am sure it is not so difficult, I just want to make sure I start on the right path, not a dead end one.

      Thanks for any help anyone can shed on this!!!

      Sincerely, Kirk

  5. Hey Imthiaz

    Wow quick reply, wasn’t able to get this to work. But was able to switch views by setting up a new view controller. I am going to package and post a URL to zip here so others can play with the code I have mashed together.

    My second question is, has anyone go experience with CDATA in rss2 feeds. Now I noticed in the BlogRssParser.m their is a reference to forceCDATA.

    – (void)parser:(NSXMLParser *)parser foundCDATA:(NSData *)CDATABlock{

    How do we go about implementing this….

    Will post what I have for others later tonight Australia time.

    1. Hi David

      I am using this way. This will get called multiple times so you have to store it in local variable

      - (void)parser:(NSXMLParser *)parser foundCDATA:(NSData *)CDATABlock{
      NSString* cdataString = [[NSString alloc] initWithData:CDATABlock encoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];
      [cdataString release];

      Hope this helps 🙂

      1. – (void)parser:(NSXMLParser *)parser foundCDATA:(NSData *)CDATABlock{
        NSString* cdataString = [[NSString alloc] initWithData:CDATABlock encoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];
        if(nil != self.currentItemValue){
        [self.currentItemValue appendString:cdataString];
        [cdataString release];

  6. Thanks a whole bunch for this!

    I’m trying to figure out how to add in the pubDate data using a text field. However, being the noob I am, I can’t seem to figure out to get the DetailController to let it be viewable.


  7. Hello Everyone,

    Is there any easy way to add a uitabbar & uinavigationcontroller to this application?

    I want to keep the logic exactly as it is however, I want the first page to show the xml list but just be built on top of a uinavigation & uitabbar.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated, I have been struggling with this for more than 3 days now 🙁

    Thanks alot in advance.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your code. I was wanting an RSS reader that could also store data in the event that there was no internet connection available.

    Instead of using NSURL *url = [NSURLWithString:@”http:xxxxx”];
    I am using: NSData *data = [NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:[NSURLWithString:@”http:xxxxx”]]

    This way I can save it and retrieve it using NSKeyedArchiver.

  9. Nice work!

    I was just wondering how to get the my description to appear. it appears as the following in my feeds.

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., October 19th, 2009

    Thanks again for this sweet code!

  10. Thanks for this tutorial.
    But I cannot implement my RSS Feed 🙁 When I change the Blog URL I see in the tableView and I can select it. But then I only see the title and the UITextView is empty. Why is it so? I have an wordpress blog. I found out if I replace my URL with the Feed URL from this site that it it will be the same issue.
    Can anyone help me?

  11. Wow awesome app and thank you so much for showing us the sources code, being a newbie I just had a couple of question, if I may first is there anyway, when you click the read more button that instead of it opening in safari it will open the web page with in the app, and is it possible to add e-mail functionality to the app via a button. Once again thank you so much for providing this to us and thank you in advance for any help in sorting out the two above questions

  12. I have a problem with the formatting of the rss feed. All the sentences run together. Where do you eliminate the spaces, line breaks, etc?

  13. Hi,

    Anyone out there know how to parse the information being received from feedburner? Straight text is fine, but html code is being included in the detail view, like hyperlink code, bolding, etc, or embedded links.
    Options possible I think
    1. parse it for anything between a “” ?
    this would eliminate all links, but at least the simple text feed would be there.

    2. Interpret these in the detail view as what they are in html code?
    Maybe just the way it is displayed is the problem.

    3. Obvious answer, just don´t do a feed with a link or embedded html.

    Alternatively, I wouldn`t mind just setting up a rss feed on a host that doesn´t have this issue… Anyone know of a host that works ok for this using this code?
    Thanks again for anyone that can help with a bit of code on this. I will work on it, and repost for results…
    Thanks !!

  14. Hello,

    I was wondering if I can get some help???? I replaced the url with: http://techtrackr.com/feed/ , and now it doesn’t show the text of the posts but only the titles. No images either. Can somebody please help me!??!?!?!?!?!?!!? Thanks for the code by the way! IT ROCKS!!!!!!!!


  15. Hi,

    I have used the code and I have tried several URL’s these are the results I got…

    1.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://newsrss.bbc.co.uk/rss/sportonline_world_edition/front_page/rss.xml”]; 2.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://community.woodwing.net/rss.xml”]; 3.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wpa/MRSS/newreleases/limit=300/rss.xml”]; 4.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/catalogs/7day-M2.5.xml”]; // Doesn’t work at all
    5.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheAppleBlog”]; // Reads only the title…
    6.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://dblog.com.au/feed/”]; 7.- NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://www.nrg.co.il/online/RSS/1.xml”]; Says no Internet connection, even when there is fine connection. Text in Hebrew, territory constraints?

    I REALLY appreciate your CODE

    1. Hi… It seems that the description element is forbidden to be accessed… it has a ![CDATA[ …]] parameter.
      Do somebody could share a hint about… how to use strings manipulation to avoid this parameter?

      Really appreciate any help…

  16. Hi, very good piece of work! Would you agree, if we modify this script sligthly and offer it free of charge to the users of our network? At least the RSS-URL has to been changed for this purpose 🙂

    Thanks, Bernd

  17. hi
    thank you for sharing the code. i ve just installed SDK and i was lookin for something to make my first steps into iphone app.

    i ve changed something in the the view even if i ve not understood yet how things get connected.
    may you add some links of usefull tutorials you saw?
    really thank you
    cheers from italy

  18. Hey Imthiaz, thanks for the code….it saved me a lot of time!! I was able to modify it with no problem, but I’m a newbie to iPhone coding and have a question about your syntax:

    In the header files, why do you need to declare underscore-prefixed pointers in @interface, and create properties without the underscore, then in the implementation files you synthesize the property and assign it to the underscore-prefixed pointers?

    Couldn’t you use the same variable name (without underscore) for @interface, @property, and @synthesize?

  19. Great code, it works very well,
    Could you give me a tip on how to add multiple RSS feeds? (url1, url2 … urln)
    Thanks in advance

  20. May I ask what license you are releasing this under, or are you placing it in the public domain?



  21. Thank´s for sharing the code. I´ve noticed that it doesn´t show body of the bost when using rss2. Any suggestions on how to fix it?

    Thanks 🙂

  22. Hi Imthiaz, Thanks for the making this code public. It’s been extremely helpful! Like some others, I was wondering if you had any advice for making this work with a Tab Bar Controller, The RSS view loads the feeds perfectly but nothing happens on table click. I guess it might be related delegate? Any advice you could offer would be fantastic.


  23. really a great work … imthiaz…
    hands of to u…

    u really masters in this field. please give me some tutotials of this applications if u have .
    that will be so nice of u .

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