The humble Google Reader has been going about its business since 2005, providing thousands upon thousands of users with a great RSS reading experience.
It’s great to be able to read all of the content you enjoy in one simple interface.
Recently however, a Google blog post announced that the product is to be retired on 1st July 2013:
“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.”
Since I heard this news I’ve been looking for a Google Reader Alternative which will give me a similar or even better experience!
After much testing and hours of research here’s my top 3 Google Reader Alternatives.
I haven’t listed these in any order of preference because some services will be better suited to some users than others. Let’s just call all of these readers good alternatives.
I’ve settled into Feedly very, very well. I signed in with my Google account and imported my feeds from Google Reader into Feedly with a minimum of fuss. Straight away I felt at home. Everything is laid out clearly on the web interface. Plus the experience transfers pretty seamlessly to the Android app too! I love the embedded social share buttons for each article, which allow me to Tweet, Like and +1 everything I find interesting without leaving the interface.
Another alternative is Netvibes. It’s got a slightly different feel to it, starting with the ‘Widgets’ interface, which lets you add a number of widgets. These widgets include a Gmail checker (very useful), Twitter, Facebook and weather. All in all a nice little addition to the front page of my RSS reader. However, flip the switch at the top of the page and you’ll be met with a more familiar, list style interface. Again it’s really simple to use, try using the keyboard shortcuts (namely the arrow keys) to navigate things in a flash.
If you’re looking for the most direct replacement, in terms of style, for Google Reader, The Old Reader is probably what you should be using. It’s a simple reader with the basic functions covered. That makes for a great user experience, even if it doesn’t add the innovation that Feedly and Netvibes do. I would still highly recommend it to some people who I know like to read their feeds with a minimum of fuss.
All in all it’s been a great journey. Personally I would settle on Feedly, solely because it works best for my style of reading. Others might find Netvibes the more effective option and I know that many of you will prefer The Old Reader just for its simplicity.
Hopefully you’ve all got over the shock of Google Readers closure and are ready to get back on the horse. These three readers represent the future of RSS in my opinion. Use any one of them and you’ll be on the right track!
Have we missed out your favourite reader? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.