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When Google Reader shut down RIP Google Reader: Google's RSS Reader Will Shut Down On July 1st [Updates] RIP Google Reader: Google's RSS Reader Will Shut Down On July 1st [Updates] Google Reader, Google's popular RSS application, will be shut down on July 1 of this year. The company has revealed the news in a blog post that spells the end for another batch of Google... Read More earlier this year, the world of RSS went into a temporary craze. At the time, there were few – if any – good alternatives to Google Reader. It was just that good. Fast forward a few months into the post-Google Reader era and the landscape isn’t so bad with newcomers like AOL Reader (our review AOL Reader: Feedly Competitor Or A Google Reader Alternative Runner Up? AOL Reader: Feedly Competitor Or A Google Reader Alternative Runner Up? Like a phoenix, Google Reader’s death led to its resurrection. After its death, half-a-dozen alternatives arose from Google Reader's ashes – some of which barely work. Others, however, eclipse even Google Reader’s functionality. One such... Read More ) and our favorite, Feedly, for which we even have a guide.

Feedly has been around for a while – at least a few years – but it’s only after Google Reader’s demise that they really began ramping up their improvements. What was once just a mediocre RSS app for Android has become one of the fastest, sleekest, and outright best on the Play Store. Still looking for an Android RSS app? Then the Feedly app may be for you.

First Impressions

android-feedly-startup

I actually gave the Feedly app a try sometime early last year and I wasn’t impressed. It suffered from many of the same problems that most Android apps suffered back then: ugly, slow, and not very user friendly. I am now happy to say that my opinion has been flipped around, so if you didn’t like the Feedly app before, perhaps you ought to give it a second go.

My first impression is that Feedly is not cluttered. That’s not to say that it’s minimal or stripped down, because it isn’t. The visual design team behind Feedly has provided enough flexibility in the app interface to accommodate all sorts of users: those who like tons of flashy photos, those who prefer to only read text, and those in between.

My second impression is that Feedly is fast, which is great all around. If you have an older phone, then Feedly won’t slow your device down to a crawl. If you run lots of apps in the background at all times, Feedly will have minimal impact on resources.

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Overall, Feedly gets the job done with a handful of core features that you’d expect out of any RSS reader without bloating up on extraneous features that you’d probably never use. It’s a well-balanced app that gets a big thumbs-up from me.

Core Features

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Let’s take a look at Feedly’s design and how it enables you to browse your feeds in a quick, smooth, and convenient way.

  • View Types. When browsing through your feeds, Feedly offers four different view types: Titles Only (for maximum word economy), List View (like Titles Only except with intro images on the side), Magazine View (similar to List View except slightly larger), and Cards View (view each item one by one). Pick and choose the one you like best.
  • Scroll By Page. Feedly scrolls through feed items by the page, not with one continuous scroll. As far as I know, this option can’t be changed, so it’s going to be one of those you-love-it-or-you-hate-it features. I happen to love it and I think it feels much cleaner than traditional scrolling.
  • Categories. You can organize your feeds into numerous categories, making it easy to manage hundreds of feeds if you’re the kind of person to keep up with a lot of different sites. A basic feature of RSS apps? Yes, it is, but there are some apps out there that don’t have it. Feedly does, so rest assured.
  • Start Page. When you start the Feedly app, you can set your Start Page, which is the first thing you see: Home (a simple overview of your latest unread feeds), All (a long list of all feed categories together), Must Reads (the important items in your feeds by popularity), and Discover (find new feeds that might interest you).
  • Volume Navigation. Browse through your feeds by clicking on the volume buttons instead of swiping across your screen. A small convenience that really pays off over time.

Advanced Features

android-feedly-advanced

On top of those basic features, there are some cool things you can do to personalize and improve on your feed reading experience.

  • Day and Night Theme. The Day theme, or the bright theme, is there for when you’re browsing your feeds in a bright location. With a simple tap, you can switch to the dark Night theme, to keep your retinas from burning away (though if you really want to have a better night-time reading experience, you should install one of these apps 4 Apps to Manage Brightness and Save Your Eyes on Android 4 Apps to Manage Brightness and Save Your Eyes on Android Eye strain is a huge issue for those of us who spend a lot of time looking at screens. Improper screen brightness settings can cause your eyes to fatigue faster, and overly bright screens at... Read More .)
  • Transitions. Choose from different visual transitions when scrolling through multiple pages of feed items. There aren’t too many choices here, but enough that you can pick one that you like.
  • Save and Share. Feedly has a built-in save feature where you can mark certain articles for later reading. It’s a great way to pare down your list of unread items and get around to the interesting ones at a later time. Plus, you can share the interesting articles with your friends.
  • Third-Party Integration. Do you make use of services like Pocket, Instapaper, and Bitly? Fortunately, Feedly has built-in support for integrating your accounts, making it real easy to sync particular articles across services.

Conclusion

Overall, I’m impressed. Feedly is my RSS reader of choice on my computer and I’m happy to say that it has become my RSS reader of choice on my Android as well. From what I can see from the Feedly team, they take a lot of pride in their product and I only see great things in the future for them.

Not a fan of Feedly? No worries. Try these Google Reader app alternatives RSS And Beyond: The Top 5 Android News Reader Apps For Free RSS And Beyond: The Top 5 Android News Reader Apps For Free RSS, which means Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary depending on who you ask, is a popular way to receive news updates from your favorite websites. You can pick and choose which updates you... Read More and see if one of them fits your needs.

How do you like the Feedly Android app? Do you use it? If not, why not? Is there a better app out there? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

  1. Johnbuk
    November 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I like the look of Feedly but it keeps freezing on my bulk standard Nexus 7. I finally have up on it and use gReader which isn't as nice to look at but works perfectly for me.

    • Joel L
      November 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Ouch, that sucks. Hopefully the Feedly team can solve it.

  2. Kenny
    November 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    They wont make a official app for Windows Phone...

  3. Burt Fashner-Raymous
    November 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Can't believe your only just now catching up with Feedly...where have you been!

    • Joel L
      November 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

      I've been using Feedly in my browser for many months already. I just wasn't aware that they had a great Android app to go with it. :)

  4. Raj B
    November 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    VERY interesting, completely overlooked this on the Play Store - very nice find.
    Must check this out! :)

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