Google Reader closed its doors on July, so it’s time to finish mourning the loss of this great service and look into alternatives. According to Tech Crunch, approximately 50 million people use RSS feeds as the most efficient way to keep up with their favorite websites and blogs. Google Reader was a popular choice due to it’s ability to sync the feeds across multiple devices, simple interface and great search functions.
While it might take some time for other feed readers to catch up to Reader’s user friendliness and technical capabilities, there are some solid alternatives on the market to take a look at.
The Overall Best Alternative
Feedly is proving to be a rather popular choice. Even if you don’t use Feedly directly, its RSS reader API is used to power a number of other apps on the market. A few key features of Feedly include a variety of customizable views, keyboard shortcuts, a minimalist titles-only view, and great mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. The main issue with Feedly is the lack of a search function.
For the Mobile User
Flipboard mobile reader image by Shardayyy via Flickr.
Flipboard is a purely mobile feed reader for iOS and Android. Smartphones such as T-Mobile’s LG phones, Samsung Galaxy S4s, and other larger screen smartphones are perfect for packing a lot of information into a larger than average screen. It uses a magazine-view format that creates your own personal magazine out of all of your feeds. In addition to RSS feeds, it also supports Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. Finally, you can clip web content to add to the app. The main downfall of this app is the fact that it’s mobile-only.
For the Business User
Newsblur is another RSS reader that is gaining popularity. It’s not the prettiest or most feature rich reader on the market. It makes up for that by checking once per minute for feed updates. Journalists and news hounds alike will appreciate the speed of the updates. It has feed organization features not seen on other services, such as nested folders. You also have the ability to see the web-view of a feed item without having to go to the actual site, and the app can also prioritize types of stories for you. NewsBlur includes some social networking elements such as the ability to follow friends’ feeds.
Resistant to Change
The Older Reader is a solid, basic reader. If you don’t enjoy the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach other feed readers are taking, this is a solid alternative that gives you only the basics. USA Today reports that it’s also designed to look quite similar to Google Reader, so it’s great if you want the minimalist graphics Reader was known for.
Netvibes has a broad, all-inclusive focus that gives you your feeds and your social networks in one application. You can see blog updates and tweets through the same application, so if you follow social networks as closely as you do feeds, this app makes it easy to do so. According to CNN, it syncs across all of your devices so you won’t be stuck reading the same things twice.