Google Reader is Gone. What Should I Choose as My Next RSS Reader?

Google shuttered Google Reader on July 1, 2013. Why?  Theories abound but that's neither here nor there as far as this post goes.  What matters is finding an alternative RSS reader that fits your needs.  Rather than write this when Google announced its decision, I decided to wait and see how the landscape shaped up a little after the fact. Below are several services that -- a little over a month since the shutdown -- are vying to snap up former Google Reader users.


The Old Reader 
Rating: unrated
Web-based? Yes
Fremium? Doesn't seem so.
Smartphone Apps? No, but home page states that there is an API and that some apps are already using it.

I haven't used it extensively though I did log in and check it out. Found it a bit slow but pretty easy to use and simple on the eye.  Here's a review.
 
Feedly 
Rating: ***
Web-based? Yes
Fremium? Yes.
Smartphone Apps? Yes

This is what I use at the moment. Feedly did a lot under the hood to appease Google Reader refugees, such as implementing list view and many of Google Reader's keyboard shortcuts.  Overall, I'm happy with the service, though I find the Android app a bit buggy.

On August 5, 2013, Feedly announced its premium product.  You can go to its blog post about this to see what extra offerings come with a premium membership.
 
Digg Reader 
Rating: unrated
Web-based? Yes.
Fremium? Yes, soon.
Smartphone Apps? Yes, for iOS at this time.

I haven't used it.  Here's a review

AOL Reader 
Rating: unrated
Web-based? Yes
Fremium? Uknown
Smartphone Apps? Doesn't look like it at this time.

I haven't used it much though I found it pretty easy to sign in and add a few feeds.  Here's a review.

Flipboard
Rating: unrated
Web-based? No
Fremium? No
Smartphone Apps? Yes

Doesn't provide a Google Reader-esque experience but rather a magazine-style one. I only played with it a bit so I'd rather not review it myself.  Instead, here's a full review.
 
Newsblur
Rating: **
Web-based? Yes
Fremium? Yes (must pay to follow unlimited feeds, but free lets you follow a goodly number of feeds -- 64)
Smartphone Apps? Yes

Played around with the service.  I didn't like two things:  First, the caps on speeds and the "river of news" for the free version are draconian measures, in my opinion.  Second, the app is too busy for my tastes, but I'm pretty Spartan so keep that in mind. Still, I think it has a lot of potential, especially for mobile device users.
 
Twitter 
Rating: **1/2
Web-based? Yes
Fremium? No
Smartphone Apps? Yes.

Twitter isn't a classic RSS feed reader, but many people use it to get news.  Twitter's strength in this department is that it's the quickest to give you the scoop on many, if not most, breaking news items.  The tradeoff?  You get your news thrown at you in staccato machine gun bursts.  Unless you take the time to create lists, there is no order or sense to what you get.  Still, Twitter is a good way to get news; I'm just not sure it'll suffice for RSS mavens.  I think it's better as an adjunct, which is how I use it.

GoRead
Rating: unrated
Web-based? Yes
Fremium? Yes
Smartphone Apps? No

Haven't used it.  Here's the story behind this offering.

Conclusion
I've mentioned the platforms that probably get the most ink as replacements at this time.  None offer stats like Google Reader did, which I really miss.  Also, none of the RSS readers proper offer search (yet) and it looks like this function will be considered premium and locked behind paywalls.

There are plenty more alternatives out there, by the way, so take a gander at this huge list.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.