|Google Reader Takeout|
|The Old Reader|
Today's 1st July, 2013 and sadly it marks the shutdown of Google Reader- an easy to use RSS Reader, which made everyone's life easier for reading up information from their favourite websites and even archiving what they liked. The best part about Google Reader was Google’s ubiquitous search functionality, syncing between web and mobile apps and powering many other services/ apps running on it in the backend.
But, don't lose hope yet. Demise of Google Reader has actually spurted lots of innovation and growth in otherwise boring space of RSS. Not only old services, several new options have popped up to replace Google Reader within short period of 3 months. Let's take a look at them-
Before reviewing the replacement options, first make sure that you backup your RSS feeds from Google Reader.
Many services listed below will allow syncing of data from your Google Reader's account directly and save those RSS feeds. But, it’s better to export those RSS feeds and save them so that even in future you could use them with any service or at least be assured that your years of hard-work of finding great information sources will not go down in drain. Exporting feeds is pretty simple:
In past 3 months, if one service has truly stood up to replace Google Reader, without doubt it's Feedly. We've covered Feedly before as well and conferred is as one of the best mobile apps for reading. While earlier, Feedly was dependent upon Google Reader as source of feeds, now Feedly has built its own Engine for RSS feeds.
Adding your RSS feeds from Google Reader is as simple as selecting Google Reader Import. Connect your Google account and you’re done. Not only syncing RSS feeds, the service does pretty good job of syncing even starred items and tags.
If you want to add a new website to the feed, then use the in-built search tool provided by Feedly to enter the website name. To make it even simpler, use Feedly extension for Chrome to subscribe to any feed or browser bookmarklet.
If you're not comfortable with Feedly's mobile apps/ we reader, then the good news is that several other apps which were earlier depending upon Google Reader, now use Feedly's engine:-
Digg, a popular website for finding news socially has also joined the fray to provide an alternative to Google Reader. The service shares a lot of functionalities from digg.com such as offering news which is currently trending on Digg.
Similar to Feedly, Digg Reader allows one-click import of Google Reader’s feeds and also syncs saved articles.
For adding new feeds, one can use the Add button which allows to enter the feed URL or browse various categories and add website from there.
The developers have also promised to bring more sharing options to social networks, support for third party services like Buffer and Evernote, browser extension/ bookmarklet, importing/ exporting feeds, algorithmic way of ranking/ sorting items based on popularity, personal interest and article lengths.
While the other services were expected to develop a RSS reader, AOL's entry is a surprising move. It has a minimalistic and intuitive design with bare minimal features allowing one to solely focus on reading content.
Unlike Feedly and Digg Reader, AOL Reader offers the ability to connect Google Reader account to directly add feeds as well ability to import feeds.
Users can also add feed of their favourite website by clicking + button at the top, which also lists down numerous categories and popular websites in it.
AOL has promised to bring several other important features such as exporting feeds, ability to search feeds, sharing items with other AOL Reader users, integration with third party services, notifications, and much more.
AOL Reader is currently available for web only, which works seamlessly across devices like smartphones and tablets as its HTML 5 compatible. However, company has also committed to bring native iOS and Android apps soon.
Pulse is a mobile-first app which we’ve reviewed earlier in the reading apps for mobile article. Pulse is now available as a web service offers and unlike other apps having simple interface, it has a very pleasing UI.
It supports Google Reader import and even gives option to select feeds to import.
It allows users to subscribe to websites via Add Content option and also shows popular websites in various categories. Using Chrome extension or browser bookmarklet, one can add even an article to the Pulse for accessing it later.
The Old Reader’s claim to Fame was when Google Reader turned off its social sharing functionality in 2011. The Old Reader provides a simple and clean interface which is very similar to Google Reader.
Users can import their XML file to the service, which they’ve downloaded through Google Takeout.
For adding a website, users can click Add a Subscription option.
It's true that not only the options mentioned above, we've countless other choices for finding a new home for our RSS feeds, but it also seems that none of them will actually match up to the might of Google Reader. That being said, all of the above options compelling features to move into them and as promised by the developers that most of these services will be continuously upgraded to provide more useful features. So, if you're looking for simple yet very effective option, then look no further than Feedly. Other options like AOL Reader and Digg seems to work well, but they are yet half-baked products as they were built in very short period of March-June 2013. In case you’re looking for reading articles from mobile phone only, then check out- Joy of Reading on Mobile phones. If you want to read content primarily from computer, then Newsvibe and NetNewsWire (for Mac only) are pretty good options.
Which service will you be using to replace Google Reader? Or, do you think RSS readers are passé and one can get latest news through social media (Twitter, Google+, etc.)?
PS: Make sure you don’t miss out news from the ever-changing tech and mobile world, subscribe to 91 mobiles RSS feed.
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