Alternatives to Google Reader

posted in: Social Media | 6

Now that the reality of Google Reader shutting down by July 1st is kicking in, competitors are cashing in and it’s time (if you haven’t yet) to consider alternative RSS readers that will provide as great an experience as GR did. I’m only listing three popular ones I’ve come across – there are other options suited to cater for different reader preferences.

1. Feedly

More than 500 000 Google Reader users have signed up for Feedly since Google’s announcement. This browser add-on claims to be a ‘powerful curation tool’ that provides an easy-to-use and efficient experience in organizing and accessing your RSS feeds. It’s available for web browsers and iOS and Android devices. Feedly uses Google Reader as its backend. All you need to do is login with your Google Reader credentials and viola! All your feeds gathered in a functional format. When Google Reader shuts down, Feedly will move over to their Normandy back end, a project they are currently working on to replace the Google Reader API (application programming interface).

2. NewsBlur

This is another free service for web browsers and mobile devices. A premium account with more, and better, features is also available. NewsBlur has a simple user interface and organises your feeds in a convenient fashion: allowing you to browse through various headlines from a specific site via NewsBlur. Many existing users commend the app for being quick and fast. Importing your feed from Google Reader can be done in a single simple step. You also have the option of importing your feeds as an OPML file. NewsBlur added new servers to accommodate the influx of ex-Google Reader users, so your experience is not compromised.

3. Flipboard

My personal favourite – Flipboard is a smart, sleek way of organising your RSS feeds. The layout is designed to resemble a virtual magazine that you ‘flip’ through. The appearance is pleasant with large, bright images and the cover page is organised with a main image and stories that you might find interesting. Flipboard enables you to easily access your Google Reader feeds by accessing Google Reader via Flipboard. You can also manually add your feeds. The single downside is that Flipboard is only for mobile devices that operate on iOS and Android. To get the best feel of this virtual magazine, use it on a tablet.

Have you tried out any other RSS readers that are practical and appealing? Drop me a comment, I’d love to hear. 🙂

Follow Saajida Akabor:

Digital Copywriter

Freelance digital copywriter; animal-lover; reader; photography enthusiast; and a tea drinker.

6 Responses

  1. Bryan Lee

    I looked into both Feedly and Flipboard, some free alternatives to Google Reader. It seems Feedly has learned that usability as well as interface is required to keep viable. Though I could be wrong, I’m not sure that Google Reader lacked from a number of users, and so was quite a viable feed aggregator. I always viewed Google’s products like I do kudzu: a virulent, though beautiful, invasive plant species introduced to the American South fifty or so years ago, that grows so fast you can actually hear it. Its tendrils are lovely, but get their way into every crack of every tree around it. Too, Google’s ubiquity came from how it seamlessly integrated its products into the browsing experience. If you used the Google browser, you could always count on being able to save things to Google Reader. Not so with other feed readers.

    Flipboard’s #1 feature is the magazine quality of its interface. The layout resembles every Conde Nast magazine, with their artsy white borders and the compelling way the pictures are displayed. At first, I didn’t get the search feature. Neither Feedly nor Flipboard are intuitive when it comes to searching. The ability to curate one’s own magazine, and to subscribe to those offered by others makes up for that. That is what, for me, makes Flipboard worth the small learning curve.

    • Saajida

      Hi Bryan

      Thanks for the much insightful response.
      I like your Google-Kudzu analogy 🙂

  2. sgs3 (@TiSgs3)

    Flipboard is working for me, for now, Feedly is just weird, there is something about the interface that I find simple yet confusing…..if that makes sense, hopefully they get better.

Your thoughts?