I’ve been on Reddit for over 11 years now, mostly consuming media, checking the news and occasionally getting involved with communities such a System Administrators, PC Gamers, etc. But recently, Reddit announced that they were going to start charging for API access, which means 3rd party apps like Apollo will eventually turn to the users with a subscription fee.

Even though I know that this is an ad-supported, free service, I still want to try and see if there are ways to continue to enjoy Reddit content without having to succumb to paying a subscription fee. I hate ads and subscriptions with a passion so if I can avoid it, I will. I only pay for subscriptions that I really consider worth the cost and to be honest, Reddit is fantastic but it’s not a “have to have” thing. I can live without it at the end of the day.

Apollo for iOS is my absolute favorite way to get content from Reddit as it puts media (pictures, GIFs and video) first without ads. I’ve paid my one time fee to buy the app and that’s how I’d like to end this discussion, but Reddit wants more money, grumble grumble grumble.

If apps like Apollo are going away or begin to charge a fee, are there other ways that I can still enjoy the content without having to pay?

I’ve spent the last 2-3 weeks investigating multiple options to keep the content flowing and spoiler alert, I’m more frustrated than I was in the beginning.

Option 1: RSS

If you didn’t know, Reddit freely has RSS feeds for each SubReddit. For example: EyeBleach. This gives you all of the post content, including the media. This should be the easy answer, right? Not yet. I’ve spun up both FreshRSS and Miniflux via Docker on my server, feeding the same 10 or more SubReddit feeds, and testing them out both with the web version and an iOS app called NetNewsWire. The big issue here is that RSS is made for text, not images and media. As obvious as this might be to some, I was hoping that the combination of the RSS server and client would allow me to at least view the images comfortably. The reality is that the web app (on both an iPhone and iPad) show a low resolution, small sized version of the photo. If you tap on it, pixels everywhere! What about GIFs and Videos? Well, you might as well forget about that.

The only way to view media this way is to open the link, which takes you to Reddit’s site via Safari or if you have the Official Reddit app installed. More on this later.

If there is any good news with this option, you should can scroll through all of the articles pretty quickly, only checking out what may interest you. I’ve found that by filtering down my view to a single SubReddit at a time, it’s easier to see the interesting bits I actually want to see and forget the rest.

This is an ok solution at best and is doable, but I’m pretty disappointed in having to flip back and forth between tabs in Safari or between two apps, just to view media. Add another app if a video is to be played on YouTube . . . .

But what if Reddit decides to scrap RSS feeds? Then what?

Option 2: Scrapping

I gave myself a small challenge to see if I could take Python, pull the latest SubReddit information provided in Reddit’s JSON feeds (just like the RSS feeds, JSON feeds are available too) into a SQLite3 DB and local cache, and display it on a simple HTML/CSS page in a simple format. After about 3 days of working on this, I didn’t end up with much to show for it. I was able to get post information into the DB and get it displayed on a webpage, but CSS kicked my rear on having a simple, clean interface. Also, I did a little research on how I could get videos and GIFs downloaded, and it seemed like I would be wrestling pretty hard to get this done.

I may still toy and tinker with this idea in the future but I just didn’t have it in me to keep pressing on. Frustration was pretty high with this one.

Option 3: Bowing Down to the Official App

Have you used the official app lately? Well . . . don’t. It’s honestly worse than the RSS option above simply because of the ads. “Well why don’t you just put money down and pay for Reddit Premium?” Reddit Premium cost $6/month (or $50/year) and like I mentioned above, something like this has to feel “worth it”. I just don’t think that it is. Maybe if Reddit offered a smaller package for $3/month and simply no ads? I don’t need all the other garbage that comes with it. It’s almost like YouTube Premium. Just give me no ads for a super small price and I’ll sign up today! I don’t need a music service along with it.

This is a last resort of the last resort.

Bonus Option 4: Teddit

Teddit is a privacy focused frontend for Reddit and does some really awesome things. I’ve been playing with it for about a week and it’s not a bad experience at all. The pessimist in me wonders when Reddit will make changes to shut this project down for good.

Teddit has the basic Reddit layout that we all know and “like”, but in all honesty, it’s a bit slow for some reason. Not a huge thing but even on a 1Gb Fiber connection, I thought it would be a little quicker than this.

I’d like to have a way where I can funnel the traffic into an app like Apollo. Yes, Apollo has really spoiled me and it’s hard to beat that experience.


I’m sure that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill on this one, but I just hate when companies get greedy and good things have to go bad. PC Gaming anyone? I just like to have a place online where I can catch up on the news, watch funny videos, and enjoy some pictures of doggos, nature, Unix setups, and other geeky stuff. But like everything else in the world, greed simply ruins it.