Google Reader’s End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers

Google reader dead 300   Google Readers End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS ReadersGoogle Reader is dead. By July the Internet’s premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find Google Reader alternatives on their own.

You’ve got to hand it to Google: they built a web-based RSS client so good that many similar services simply closed up shop, realizing they couldn’t compete. Sure, when Google removed the sharing function from Reader in 2011 it upset a lot of people, but for the most part Google has dominated the RSS field so completely it was hard for anyone to point to a rival.

They’re out there, though. Guy outlined some Google Reader alternatives, for example. But if you’re looking for an equivalent to Google these are just a few of the web’s best alternatives to Google Reader – one of them is bound to be right for you. If not, wait: we’re sure others will be built in the months to come.

The Top Four Replacements For Google Reader

Feedly: For a Seamless Transition

Looking for a simple way to switch? Check out Feedly. This service currently acts as a layer on top of Google Reader, but that’s going to change: their self-proclaimed “Project Normandy” means your content will automatically transfer from Reader to Feedly when the time is right. So get used to using Feedly now – it will keep syncing with Google Reader, so you can use both during the transition. Seamless.

feedly   Google Readers End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers

It will feel alien at first – that weird magazine layout is off-putting for serious feed readers – but you can make it feel familiar with some tweaking. Feedly even offers a guide for making Feedly feel more like Google Reader, if you’re concerned about your work flow changing.

A big advantage of this service is that it already syncs with all of your devices: there are mobile and desktop versions. One the desktop Feedly comes as a browser extension: there’s a Firefox version of Feedly, for example, and also versions for Chrome and Safari (sorry, IE users).

There’s also a gorgeous mobile version of Feedly, with which you can flip through magazine-style or one story at a time.

feedly mobile   Google Readers End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers

If you’re looking to simplify the transition as much as possible – and still be able to keep using Google Reader, for now, without going out of sync – Feedly is probably your current best bet. Head to Feedly.com to get started.

Newsblur: For A Complete Google Reader Alternative

Feedly is great, but it does require a browser extension. If you don’t like that, but still want a service with a quick way to grab feeds from Google Reader, NewsBlur might be right for you. It offers an import tool, apps for Android and iOS and quite a few features for discovering content.

newsblur   Google Readers End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers

The downside: the full version limits the numbers of feeds you can add. Their servers have been slammed due to the recent news, so for a while the limit will be 12 – after that, 64. The paid version eliminates this limitation, of course. Check out NewsBlur.com for more information, or to sign up or read our quick Newsblur review.

The Old Reader: For Something Familiar

Want to set up something simple, but with the sharing Google Reader used to offer? Check out The Old Reader, a web-based feed reader created after Google’s 2011 decision to remove the sharing feature in favor of Google Plus. Its interface is almost identical to that of the pre-2011 Google Reader, and you can even import (not sync) your feeds from Google’s dying service.

theoldreader   Google Readers End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers

And as I said earlier: this reader brings back the “share” functionality beloved by Google Reader users. Of course, this is only really useful if you convince your friends to switch to The Old Reader — not a sure thing. But if you can get them to use your service you just might be in luck. The down side: there’s no mobile versions, as of yet.

Flipboard: For Something Different

Flipboard is a social magazine, with versions for Android, the iPad, and the iPhone. If you primarily do your reading on a mobile device, good news: you can add your Google Reader account to Flipboard. The team there announced that Flipboard will allow you to import your Reader feeds, meaning you’ll be able to keep reading everything in Flipboard when Reader shuts down.

flipboard   Google Readers End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers

Aesthetically this is an attractive option, but potentially not the most productive: the app seems designed more for browsing than feed reading.

But Wait…There’s More!

The above list isn’t exhausted, but one of them should cover most people. If that doesn’t include you here’s a quick run down of some other alternatives:

  • Feedbooster is an extremely customizable RSS app. Check it out.
  • Brief is a simple Firefox extension and a very simple RSS reader. It doesn’t sync, but you might like it.
  • Tiny Tiny RSS. You’ll need to install this on a web server, but at least you know no one can shut it down.
  • 1kPlus is a lightweight, web-based RSS reader. Clean and simple.
  • Rolio combines your RSS feeds with Facebook and Twitter.
  • Bazqux sets itself apart by showing comments as well as articles.
  • Skimr isn’t an RSS per se, but it is a very clean way to read a variety of sites.
  • Feedafever attempts to point out which items are “hot”, meaning popular. Not free.
  • CollectedInfo allows anyone to create a collection of feeds about any topic.

Did I miss something? Let everyone know in the comments below. I could keep going, but why not check out our RSS tag? It includes many feed readers, only most of which require a Google Reader account to functions (Man, a lot of third party apps are going to break…)

None of these is a perfect replacement, but of course there are more coming. Digg recently announced plans to build a replacement – complete with an API – and you can be sure they’re not the only company out there that would like to gain the users Google is ditching. Stay tuned – we’ll keep you up to date regarding the best Google Reader replacements. Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Google Reader to….oh wait.

Dammit.

A Tune You Know

A long long time ago
I can still remember how that content used to make me smile
And I knew if I had the time I could check those feeds of mine
And maybe feel informed, just for a while
But March 13 it made me shiver with every feed that was delivered
Bad news on the front page I was filled with blind rage

I can’t remember if I cussed
When I read I should use Google Plus
Twitter made the biggest fuss
The day the Reader died

And we were tweetin’
Bye bye aggregator in the sky
I really need to check my feed but the Reader’s gone dry
Those good ol’ boys shared petitions and cries, tweetin’
This’ll be how RSS dies
This’ll be how RSS dies

(Hopefully not, though – let us know what alternative you’ll be using in the comments below).

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54 Comments -

Zaam Mohamed

Superb

HaWo

Did You forget RSSOwl ?
I’m using it for a week – no problems

Rama moorthy

Already Switched to feedly ..(but somewhat only using twice a day.)
feedly is nice ..

Lew Ellwanger

Still like and use FeedDemon.

Lew Ellwanger

Thank you for the info Manide! What a bummer, but I guess good things must come to an end.

PogoWolf

I switched everything over to BlogTrottr and now use Gmail as my RSS reader. Does everything Reader did and now I don’t need a separate RSS reader.

Hello

Feedly sucks, its slow and you cannot go back to 2months old articles. Only good for light readers. Not for heavy researchers
Got other alternatives?

Manide

I’m playing around with Feedly and Netvibes. I’ve found them better than others.

Manide

Wait! I’ve forgotten Opera browser… I used it before Google Reader for reading feeds (but not only for feeds, of course). This feature in Opera seems to me quite primitive, but pretty effective. That’s it.

AriesWarlock

Any of these allow you to sign-in with your google email or twitter or facebook?

justinpot

Most of them, I think. Feedly uses Google, for example.

AriesWarlock

Any of these allow you to sign-in with your google email or twitter or facebook?

Vašek Leflik

I am using RSS reader in Maxthon Browser on desktop and feedly on mobile.
I tried a lot of RSS readers, but I still think that Greader is the best and simpliest one.

Joe

Netvibes does it for me. All the other interesting ones either charge (Newsblur) or are too flasy (Feedly, Flipboard), or don’t provide user accounts and require you to give up your Facebook / Google account (Feedly, The Old Reader).

Netvibes it is, at least until feedly or the old reader open to other authentication measures.

Darth

Why arent people ever talking about NETVIBES.COM? Bad journalism is clearly a given on the internet

justinpot

Because off the Internet everyone is talking about Netvibes. Local news, radio, the newspapers…cannot stop talking about it.

In all seriousness, I looked into this and it didn’t seem like a one to one replacement for Reader. It seems like a tool for analyzing social media activity, and I can’t see any mention of a feed reader. Is there one? Let me know. I’m pretty sure someone on staff is working on an article about it, but if not I’ll write one.

Christian West

Import your feeds from Reader, then at the top there’s a button to switch from “Widget” to “Reader” view. After I tweaked it so I’m viewing everything in expanded view, it looks and operates pretty much the same as Google Reader. So I guess yes, it’s a feed reader. (I just switched over, this was the best one I found to use)

justinpot

Good to know. I’ll try this out sometime for sure.

Paul

Its the same, only webbased. Next time, try a little harder ;-)

Zenphic

Made the switch to Feedly. I’m pleasently surprised at how quick the switch was and how easy Feedly is to use.

Mellissa

I tried Feedly, but if I read back more than an hour or two it would start to drag down my PC (i7, 8gb ram, solid specs) from opening it in a browser. I don’t know if they are using too much JS or what but it was a hog. I also tried it on my Chromebook (the $249 one), and more than about a dozen articles started to run the risk of crashing Chrome.

justinpot

I’m on a much less powerful machine then that and not having any problems. Was this months ago, per chance? It’s improved a lot since then…

If not, weird.

AnthonyL

I been trying out Zite (www.zite.com) it pretty good. It available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone 7.

justinpot

Interesting. I’m not as big a fan of programs that try to figure out what I want to read, but I certainly see the appeal.

suneo nobi

You can also use Maxthon Rss feed reader to import your Google Reader Feeds into Maxthon ……………………

http://www.maxthon.com/rss/

justinpot

Good to have more options!

Nevzat A

I’m on feedly by now, however I suspect and hope that Google will decide Reader to live, somehow. There are millions of people out there, begging for it.

justinpot

I think they knew that was the case when they shut the program down – they just couldn’t think of how Reader fit into their long-term plans.

Mellissa

Anyone have any ideas on a web hosting based solution? (bonus points for an iOS app)

justinpot

I only included web-based things above. Is there a specific feature one of them is missing?

Mellissa

Sorry if it seemed vague, I was thinking of trying to find one I could install on my domain.

justinpot

There’s Fever. You need to pay, I think, but you can host it on your own server. http://feedafever.com/

Mellissa

I looked at Fever, but their emphasis was on predicting what it thought would be the most interesting (hot) posts. I just want every full post from every feed in reverse chronological order. I want to read them on my iPhone, my iPad, and my chrome browser and sync read items. I’m not sure how much of a power user I am, but I probably get about 600 articles a day from all RSS sources, then I read Zite articles, Flipboard Tech, some Google+ and a few others.

I used to use LiveJournal as a feed reader, but there’s no read/unread there, just time stamps, and no way to import OPML, just add new feeds if you are a paid user.

I’m kinda hoping that Google decides to just fold Google Reader into Google+. They fit together pretty well, and then they would have a huge number of sharable items and a lot more site stickiness.

justinpot

Also, my fault for misunderstanding. You were specific.

Ale Bendersky

Nice! Thanks

ravenclawwit

I’m using Feedly. I had tried it a couple of times before, but was put off by the magazine layout. But having tried it again, I like it much better. For one thing, it syncs flawlessly with my Google Reader content, even importing my starred items, which as far as I know, no other service does as of yet. Plus once you look at the settings it’s very customizable, even on a per feed basis. For feeds that have a lot of attractive visual content, I can keep the magazine like layout (of which there are several different flavors: magazine, mosaic, and cards) but for feeds that are basically just articles, I use the titles view, which is pretty much exactly like Reader’s list view. Yes, it doesn’t archive every feed to the beginning of time like Reader did, but honestly I rarely used that in Reader. If I think I’m going to need something later, I just click the save link or bookmark icon in Feedly and it saves it in my Saved list, just like the star function in Reader.

I tried a couple of other things, like Netvibes and Newsblur, but I like Feedly the best.

Patrick J

XD, making use of the situation pretty well! Well, best thing you can do is to get a desktop app like FeedDemon if you only read on desktop. It works great.

Glenn

Thunderbird has RSS support built-in. Reading a feed is pretty much like reading email after all.

Scott Belcher

Feedly doesn’t cut it for me. Don’t like the layout and the functionality is has too many clicks. Using Bamboo Feed Reader on Firefox. No one seems to have mentioned this and I think it’s great. Perfect for my needs. Definitely recommend it. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bamboo-feed-reader/?src=api

Saikat Basu

Didn’t find Feedly any improved since the last time I used it. It is not as fast, and then some categories just woudn’t expand.

Maxi3w

Thanks very much for the link! I’ve installed it and really like it. It is a break from Feedly and a great alternative. Good job for giving it a mention! Thanks!

Scott Belcher

No prob. Only thing I can’t find is how to sync with the reader on my Galaxy S II. I use gReader (which is by far the best one on Android). So I have to go through the same feeds on each one. Anyway to get them synced or other readers (apart from Feedly) that have an app and browser addon?

Maxi3w

I don’t know if this will help….. When I set up Bamboo Reader I had to first Export my google feeds to a file, I think OPML (even though it didn’t have that file name in my saved folder) and then Bamboo had to Import that file and my feeds were all there. So maybe you could try something of that nature on your Android – Exporting the feeds and then Importing them to another app somehow?

If you work it out, do please let me know in this thread as I have an Android Nexus 7 and I’m new to it and it would be great to have my feeds on it. :-)

Scott Belcher

Thanks. I’ve seen what I did now. See, with Google Reader shutting down, I looked for another web reader to store my feeds as the source. So I found Bloglines and put all my feeds there and used this as the source in Bamboo Reader, not Google. So now I need to find an Android app that allows connecting to Bloglines as the source instead of Google, so that they both sync and show what I’ve read/not read. I’ve been searching but nothing yet…

justinpot

Scott: there are multiple companies working on cloning the Reader API, so all sorts of programs like this should be functional with Feedly, Digg or whatever server you want to use with them come July.

Gustavspeed Speed

I think Mr Reader is under appreciated

Patrik

Bloglovin.com is a more lifestyle / fashion oriented approach to blog reading, also an alternative to google reader!

null

Feedly is awesome, and the setup took like two seconds. I don’t think I will miss Google Reader now.

FeedInboxx

Hi, you can also try http://FeedInbox.com ,a good alternative for Google Reader and it will help you migrate all your Google Reader subscriptions as well. We are also launching the Android App soon…:)

Frank H

May I suggest http://readable.cc?

mpb

I used Google Reader with FeedDemon to read then shared specific articles on Google Reader via an RSS feed to others.

Does anything do that? I need to share items to folks in general (i.e., non Facebook and G+).

Desktop reader is more functional and flexible (Great News used to be great but kept crashing with lots of arrticles saved.) and saves my articles (research).

Joanna Brien

eorourke

Feedly is a great tool! I made the switch and agree that the transition was seamless.

To “celebrate” the end of Google Reader, check out this interesting infographic that details many of the products Google has killed over the years. http://bit.ly/16Sa40j