Yesterday, Google decided to pull the plug on Google Reader. Actually, Google Reader users still have over 3 months to find themselves alternatives. But finding an alternative for Google Reader is not as easy. Most of the feed managers are actually using Google Reader to sync. That is why FeedDemon too announced it was ending the project as it used Google Reader to sync the RSS feeds people were reading.
So what are the real alternatives for Google Reader? Here are 5 that I tested and found useful.
Feedly is a something I have personally settled on using at the moment. Feedly allows users to sync their Google Reader feeds but is not reliant on Google Reader’s API like other services. It has built a backup API which is what it will switch too when Google Reader shuts down. Feedly works quite well and has a nice interface for mobile phones and tablets (both iOS and Android). It also has a handy Chrome Extension.
The Old Reader, is a web based RSS reader. It is a bit like Google Reader but lacks its fluidity and some options. It also has some better options like double-clicking on a feed or folder to rename it. Users have to register either with their Google or Facebook account. The feeds from your Google Reader can be backed up at Google Takeout and imported to Old Reader.
The Old Reader is a web only service and has a Chrome and Safari extensions. Unfortunately it has no apps and hence cannot be used to sync your feeds on mobile and PC.
WordPress.com actually has a built-in web based RSS reader. All you need is a WordPress.com account and you are set to go. It also makes it very easy to move your Google Reader feeds to WordPress.com Reader. I still did not like the layout of this reader as it does not display the entire post. For that you have to click on the link and look at the post all over again.
NewsBlur is a lot similar to Google Reader. To be honest, I found its design and interface slightly better than Google Reader and it displays the original webpage. Unfortunately at the moment it seems to be operating too slowly possibly is due to a lot of Google Reader users moving to it. It also had Android and iOS app. The premium version which allows unlimited number of feeds costs around $3 per month.
Flipboard is a great app to have if you have a tablet or mobile phone. The App is available on Android and iPhone/iPad. Flipboard allows users to sign-in with Google Reader. Once you do that, those RSS subscriptions will remain on Flipboard. The only issue is Flipboard does not have a web app and hence it cannot be used like Google Reader on your computer.
The hunt will continue!
The hunt for a valid Google Reader will continue and honestly it will take time for smaller players to actually reach a level where Google Reader was. As you see, some of the alternatives work great on tablets and mobiles only but have not web presence. Also Google Reader was free and some apps might not be able to remain free especially to handle hundreds of feeds, something Google Reader did without breaking a sweat.
Do you think of any more alternatives that can be added to this list? Do drop in your comments.