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

Justin Pot 18-03-2013

google reader alternativesGoogle 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 Bring the News to Life With These Slick Google Reader Alternatives Google Reader works and lead the way in RSS feed readers for a long time, but it's boringly simple, even for Google design ethics. These readers add new dimensions! They add new ways to physically... Read More , 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.

google reader alternatives

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 Feedly Mobile - Keep Up With News & Google Reader Feeds On The Go With This Stylish App [iOS & Android] When I first went looking for a suitable news and RSS reader for my iPhone, I had two prerequisites – no price tag (the feeds are free, after all) and Google Reader integration. Feedly with... Read More , with which you can flip through magazine-style or one story at a time.

google reader replacement

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 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.

google reader replacement

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 for more information, or to sign up or read our quick Newsblur review These New Feedly Features Make It Easier to Digest Your RSS Feeds Feedly's latest update came with three new features: Boards, Notes, and Highlights. Here's how they can help you be more productive and organized with your RSS feeds. Read More .

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.

google reader replacement

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 Flipboard For Android Tablets Is Finally Here. Here's How It Works The ultimate tablet magazine is ready for your Android. Long an iPad-only offering, Flipboard arrived for Android tablets in December – and I've barely put my tablet down since. With the ability to pull in... Read More , 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.

google reader alternatives

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:

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.


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).

Explore more about: Feed Reader, FeedReader, Google Reader.

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  1. IrinaV
    February 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I switched to Flowreader from - brings me my webnews and my social accounts feeds. I share and post on Facebook and Twitter through it (Facebook will be off in May though as FB closes its API).

  2. eorourke
    July 8, 2013 at 3:19 am

    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.

  3. Joanna Brien
    July 3, 2013 at 11:14 am
  4. mpb
    May 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    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).

  5. Frank H
    May 12, 2013 at 3:20 am

    May I suggest

  6. FeedInboxx
    May 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Hi, you can also try ,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...:)

  7. null
    April 7, 2013 at 8:02 am

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

  8. Patrik
    March 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm is a more lifestyle / fashion oriented approach to blog reading, also an alternative to google reader!

  9. Gustavspeed Speed
    March 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I think Mr Reader is under appreciated

  10. Scott Belcher
    March 24, 2013 at 1:11 am

    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.

    • Saikat Basu
      March 24, 2013 at 3:00 am

      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
      March 25, 2013 at 5:38 am

      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
        March 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

        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
          March 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

          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
          March 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

          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
          March 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

          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.

  11. Glenn
    March 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

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

  12. Patrick J
    March 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    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.

  13. ravenclawwit
    March 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    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.

  14. Ale Bendersky
    March 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Nice! Thanks

  15. Mellissa
    March 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

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

    • justinpot
      March 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

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

      • Mellissa
        March 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm

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

        • justinpot
          March 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          There's Fever. You need to pay, I think, but you can host it on your own server.

        • Mellissa
          March 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

          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
          March 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Also, my fault for misunderstanding. You were specific.

  16. Nevzat A
    March 19, 2013 at 6:51 am

    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
      March 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      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.

  17. suneo nobi
    March 19, 2013 at 5:46 am

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

    • justinpot
      March 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Good to have more options!

  18. AnthonyL
    March 19, 2013 at 1:44 am

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

    • justinpot
      March 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      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.

  19. Zenphic
    March 19, 2013 at 1:44 am

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

    • Mellissa
      March 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      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
        March 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

        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.

  20. Darth
    March 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm

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

    • justinpot
      March 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      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
        March 27, 2013 at 1:58 am

        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
          March 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

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

      • Paul
        June 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

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

  21. Joe
    March 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    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.

  22. Vašek Leflik
    March 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    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.

  23. AriesWarlock
    March 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm

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

  24. AriesWarlock
    March 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm

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

    • justinpot
      March 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm

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

  25. Manide
    March 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

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

    • Manide
      March 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      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.

  26. Hello
    March 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    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?

  27. PogoWolf
    March 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    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.

  28. Lew Ellwanger
    March 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Still like and use FeedDemon.

  29. Rama moorthy
    March 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

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

  30. HaWo
    March 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Did You forget RSSOwl ?
    I'm using it for a week - no problems

  31. Zaam Mohamed
    March 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm