Individuals who consume news are crying foul today with the news that Google is shutting down their RSS feed service, Google Reader, on July 1st. Most users will be surprised to learn that the decision to shut down Google Reader was due to declining users and changing ways of news consumption through social media, not RSS. However, the community of individuals making use of RSS is still strong and as a whole growing. If you are one of these individuals, you have no need to worry, as we are highlighting here five alternatives to Google Reader that will do the job.
The appeal that I have with Feedly is the way it keeps some of the same Google Reader aspects, e.g. how the reader works and handles content consumption. Feedly is well-organized in terms of allowing you to personalize the application to fit your content consumption patterns while still making it easy to quickly jump into the “Today” tab and catch up on the hot stories of the day.
One important aspect of Feedly that I enjoy is that it is cross-platform compatible. You can find Feedly on most mobile devices and well known browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. From now until July 1st, Feedly’s use of Google Reader’s API will make for a great transition; however, with the reader having its own system created by then, chances are the amazing Feedly app will become even better.
2. The Old Reader
The Old Reader is an RSS reader that comes with a great design reminiscent of Google Reader.
The Old Reader allows you to browse the day’s content and even makes sharing the content easy and seamless.
Plus, The Old Reader’s ability to facilitate comments and have a social air to it allows you to have the day’s stories come to life. The Old Reader has Google Reader exportation features, allowing for a seamless transition. While they are promising to be mobile-ready soon, we have to cut them slack and remember that they are in beta.
Pulse is an RSS reader for Android and iOS users. It makes heavy visuals to show you the news. When you find a story that interests you, simply click on the tile in Pulse and reader further in. You can also surf the news seamlessly by tapping either ends of the full screen article to go to another story. Pulse allows you to choose subjects first, presenting sources later. However, unlike The Old Reader, Pulse doesn’t have a huge social aspect. Except for sharing options, Pulse doesn’t facilitate conversation. It also doesn’t offer Google Reader importation. However, for most users, this is okay. They want a classic RSS reader with a modern flair, and Pulse offers you the content you crave with a good face to match.
NetVibes is a Google Reader alternative that ups the ante on content consumption. The website can look a little scary in the beginning; but as you explore deeper, you will find that it offers much more things than just being a RSS reader.
The basic, free version provides you with the ability to keep up with not only all of the news that you want to absorb through RSS feeds, but also the content that comes from social media. With desktop and mobile versions available as well, NetVibes gives you a deeper look and a more personal view of the content that matters to you.
Flipboard is a tried and tested RSS reader that is self-denoted as the “social magazine”. For iOS and Android users, Flipboard mixes the content that you care about from your personal life (social networks) and the greater news sources and provides you with a magazine-like application with a beautiful design to match.
It is amazing how the service is able, for free, to provide your mundane social media feed in a format that matches the important news stories of the day. Flipboard isn’t gesture-packed, meaning the learning curve is short (a good thing, allowing for more time to use, less time having to figure out). You simply flip to view multiple pages and tap to view the feed you want in detail. “Cover Stories” provides you with the top news of the day. While it is mobile only, features like a search function allow it to be a competitive contender to alternatives to Google Reader.
The alternatives to Google Reader we have lined up above are those that any user, from Windows to Mac, iOS to Android, would make great use of. Many of the alternatives above offer even more features than that of Google Reader. Let us know in the comments below which alternatives above tickle your fancy.