Feedly – A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Can’t Afford To Miss

feedly thumb2   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To MissHere on Make Use Of, we’ve talked about start pages several times before, and we’re doing it again now. This time, it’s about Feedly.

Nick mentioned Feedly in the comments of this Make Use Of article and the fact that it’s just a Firefox extension caught my eye. I checked it out immediately and I was pleasantly surprised. Feedly is like a browser start page ““ but it works from your local computer. It’s touted as a social and magazine-like start page and I must say it lives up to its name.

Once you install the Feedly Firefox extension from here and restart Firefox, you can load the Feedly start page by clicking on the Feedly icon on the toolbar.

What you’ll see is a neat page that asks you if you want to synchronize with your Google Reader, Twitter, FriendFeed and other web 2.0 accounts. If you ask Feedly to connect with Google Reader or Bloglines, it will then load a copy of your OPML file that contains a list of RSS feeds you read from there ““ you need not essentially subscribe to every one of them manually on Feedly. If you’ve got it integrated with Twitter, it lets you tweet about articles on your start page. Similarly, many other services can be integrated.

import   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

The cover page lists new and unread items from your subscribed blogs as you can see from the screenshot below. The page looks like a magazine cover. Fancy stuff to love.

cover   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

There’s another tab called What’s New that lists items based on your reading patterns. Your Google Reader contacts and their recommendations are available from here too, and they rank higher on this page.

whatsnew   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

You can click on the tweet button near an article to share it with your Twitter followers (of course, you should have told Feedly about your Twitter account initially):

twitter   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

There’s a preview button you can click and the web page of that item opens in a page in popup, as you can see here:

popin   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

To mark an item for reading later, click “˜Save for Later’. To share an item, click “˜Recommend’. You can also click on the “˜Annotate’ link to quote an item and share it on Google Reader, NewsGator online, etc.

highlight   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

There’s a search bar on top that lets you search and find articles from sites that you’ve favourited.

Oh and did I mention that by clicking on the screensaver link on the top right, you get a cool view of what’s new on your reading list. Articles appear and vanish one by one and you can click on the title to read/save it for later. Have a look:

screensaver   Feedly   A New Firefox Start Page Addon You Cant Afford To Miss

Final Thoughts

Feedly is simply AWESOME. I tried it for about an hour, and it seems that I’ve fallen in love with the tool. It’s slick, fast and simply works out of the box, I found no niggles.

The fact that it integrates with many of my other accounts like Twitter, FriendFeed and more and being able to share items with my friends without being on Google Reader is making me love Feedly even more.

There’s a Feedly content API as well. What that means is that developers can easily build on top of the tool and make plenty of tools for the same (the cover page and the screensaver tool for Feedly exist due to the API). I’m waiting for something exciting from here.

What are your views? Did you try Feedly, or will you still stick to the traditional about:blank and Google Reader? Drop a comment and kick off a debate! ;)

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13 Comments -

Edwin Khodabakchian

Thank you very much for the review. We are still early in our dev cycle and look forward to you suggestions of what should be fixed and what should be changed!

Ken Burkes

I’ve recently started using Feedly, after hearing about it from none other than the one and only Leo Laporte. Being an avid Leo fan, I usually hop onto whatever site he talks about. I know, I’m lame like that. Anyway, I absolutely adore the feature in Feedly that allows me to synchronize it with Netvibes (which was my old start page). This makes it really easy for someone who has a lot of feeds in another service to move over to Feedly. The thing that made me wary of moving from Netvibes was that since I had about 50 feeds, and it would have been a pain to manually place them into a new start page, one by one. Thankfully, Feedly has made this task very easy to manage, and I just love mushing multiple services together.

To Edwin and everyone else on the development team; good job, and keep up the great work.

Jeff B

Feedly takes some getting use to. You have to really use it for a while to get to know how to use it. I did not like the folders it created on my GReader account. Getting use to them but wish they would not do that.

Would be nice to be able to share a post and have it post to Google shared page. Worth adding and seeing what you think. I found this post from Feedly.

Thanks for the review.

Jeff

totalpardo

And that, Jeff, will be exactly why Feedly, no matter how much Shankar raves about this freebie, is not used by some people.

Adding labels to my greader is a no no…I have those labels set up for a reason and I’d rather not have them messed with.

Jeff B

I stand corrected you hit recommend and it does show up on your shared page. Makes Feedly even better. I recommend this add-on.

Jeff

Ramesh | The Geek Stuff

Shankar,

Very detailed explanation about Feedly. After seeing this article, I installed it and test it. So far, I’m liking what I see. Thanks a lot.

Ramesh

Question

I’ll admit that I haven’t installed or used this add-on yet… But what am I missing? Why a Firefox add-on and not just a website that everyone can access and set as their browser’s home page? (I am a Firefox user, but I don’t want to set this up at work and at home).

Brad

This is the reader I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been using it for almost a week (after being a long-time dedicated NetVibes user) and it’s the best.

To me it’s like reading a newspaper. I can connect to all the information I want through one simple interface, without having to visit a whole lot of different sites. And for the sites that only have excerpts in their feeds, Feedly will open the whole article in a mini window on the Feedly page. No need for new tabs, windows, etc.

I have been using it on several computers and I would like if they could somehow sync read/unread info, etc.

maven2k

This sounds really cool, but would I have to manually put all my feeds in it that I have on my igoogle pages? I’ll probably try it either way.

Edwin Khodabakchian

@Question: as pointed by brad, despite the fact that feedly is an extension, it does not save any state on the client. So you can install it on multiple machines and room from one machine to the other and everything will always be up to date.

pantene

WARNING: Do Not Install. Messed up all my Google Reader Feeds.

Noicroek

well.. it’s like I thought!

AriesWarlock

I will try this, looks interesting.

Btw, how about an article dedicated to wallpaper changers? I am currently using Wallpaper Juggler and I am liking it. I was using John’s Background Switcher but it uses too much resources since it was a .net application.