The best Google Reader replacements
March 13, 2013
Were you disappointed at the news that Google will soon kill its RSS service, Google Reader? If so, you aren't alone. Fortunately, you have until July 1 to find a worthy alternative. Read on, as we break down the best Google Reader replacements.
Twitter’s popularity played an indirect – but crucial – role in the demise of Google Reader. Though Twitter’s focus is on social interaction, it can also serve as an RSS replacement.
Nearly every news source – including Gizmag – tweets new posts immediately after publishing. To use Twitter as a Google Reader alternative, create a separate account (apart from your social account) that you only use for news feeds. Follow your favorite sites, then browse your feeds on Twitter’s website or in any Twitter-integrated app (like Flipboard, see below).
The biggest downside to the Twitter-as-RSS approach is that the company has been cracking down on third-party apps that use its API. So there’s no guarantee that any given third-party Twitter app will still be in the game a year from now.
Feedly is a magazine-like app that connects to your Google Reader account. That could have spelled doom for Feedly, but the company announced that it already has a plan in place for the Google Reader apocalypse.
Feedly says that if you sign into its service (available for web browsers and mobile devices) with your Google Reader account before July 1, your feeds will automatically transfer to Feedly’s own upcoming RSS service. The change will all occur on the back end, so your front end experience should be seamless.
Flipboard is the most popular of the magazine-like content aggregator apps. In addition to its own curated feeds, it connects with a variety of social networks that can collect news feeds – including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
For many readers, though, Flipboard's lack of a web or desktop client will be a deal-breaker. At least for now, it's iOS and Android only.
If you want your Reader alternative to look and feel a lot like Google Reader, then NewsBlur is worth a look. Available on the web, iOS, and Android, it lets you easily import your Google Reader feeds and enjoy them in a traditional RSS layout.
The biggest downside is that – at least right now – the service only works with its own apps. So if you aren’t crazy about its interface, it doesn't play nice with any third-party alternatives.
Now owned by LinkedIn, Pulse is a feed-reader along the lines of Flipboard. Its interface, though, is less magazine-like, focusing instead on rows of tiles.
Pulse serves as something of a standalone RSS service, letting you manually select your favorite sources, which sync across Pulse’s web and mobile apps. Unfortunately, though, Pulse no longer lets you directly import your old Google Reader feeds.
Taptu presents feeds in a slick layout that’s similar to Pulse’s. It lets you enter feeds manually, import them from Google Reader, or – much like Flipboard – browse your followed Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Reeder or FeedDemon
Reeder is one of the best RSS clients on the Mac and iOS. Right now, it relies exclusively on Google Reader for feeds, but its developers say that a plan is already in the works for the app to survive long after Reader is dead.
FeedDemon is a similar app that runs on Windows. Its developer also confirmed a plan to break free from the Google Reader chains and continue offering the app for free.
The Early Edition 2
The Early Edition 2 is an iPad-only feed reader that presents your news in a newspaper layout. Though it integrates with Google Reader, it doubles as a standalone RSS service; so it’s poised to survive the Reader-pocalypse.
The fact that it's confined to the iPad, though, limits its appeal as a full RSS solution for many readers.
The Old Reader
When Google removed Reader’s social features, a throng of loyalists longed for the Reader that once was. So they created their own replacement. The Old Reader lets you import your Google feeds and connect socially via Facebook and Google+.
Unlike Google Reader, though, The Old Reader doesn't serve as an API for other apps and services. It also doesn't (yet) have a native mobile app. So it's web only here.
Do you have any Google Reader replacement solutions that we left out? Join the conversation in the comments below.