It’s been two years since Google Reader shut down, and it’s no secret that for people who like to catch up on RSS right in their browsers, Feedly is one of the best alternatives. Feedly is free, fast and has a minimal, yet customizable, interface. Plus, it has a cool slide-over article view that makes it really easy to read articles without ever leaving the Feedly tab in Chrome.
But, of course, the stock Feedly experience is not perfect. Stock experiences are tailored towards the general public and not pro users. Thankfully there are a couple of Chrome extensions that will make catching up with RSS in Chrome a much more joyous affair.
1. Feedly Mini
Feedly Mini is Feedly’s own Chrome extension that was removed from the Web Store for a while. But now it’s back. The extension basically shows a faded Feedly icon in the bottom-right corner of the browser when you’re on a website reading something. Most of the time it’s not intrusive.
The best thing about Feedly Mini is its ability to quickly subscribe to the website you’re currently on. I’ve tried many other Chrome extensions that offer similar functionality, but they almost always surface the wrong RSS feed (either a comments feed or section feed). But as this is Feedly’s own extension, it can tap into Feedly’s vast database to make sure to surface the right link.
Other than that, the Mini also has the ability to save a page in Feedly or to share it on other social networks.
2. Feedly Notifier
If, for some reason, you need to be notified about new articles from a website as soon as they are published (taking into consideration the slight delay caused by Feedly’s crawlers), Feedly Notifier is for you. It will use Chrome’s native notification system to alert you.
This is a super useful extension for a journalist, writer or just a website stalker.
You’ll need to log in to Feedly via the extension, but once that’s done you’ll be presented with a plethora of options to customize everything from the notification bubble to the sources you get notifications from. The extension doesn’t let you subscribe to specific sites, but you can do it for categories.
Also, the extension icon in Chrome will show the current unread count, and clicking it will bring up a drop-down menu with the latest articles.
As much as we might hate it, not all websites show full text in RSS (by the way, MTE does). Of course, they have their reasons – combating piracy and ad revenue being the two top-most options. Still, as a user, it pains me to come across a truncated article that I really want to read. I need to open the whole web page in a new tab with all the formatting, trackers and ads an unnecessary media. Wouldn’t it be just great if I could read the full article right inside Feedly’s article view? A hack makes it possible.
Previously, Make Tech Easier published more Chrome extensions for Feedly. Feedly Readable works similarly to FullyFeedly, but for some reason I wasn’t able to get the extension working. While I can get FullyFeedly to work, the formatting is messed up. There are no line breaks between paragraphs. I hope the issue is fixed in an update.
4. Feedly Preview Window
Feedly Preview Window is the exact opposite of FullyFeedly. Instead of loading the article right there, you press a shortcut key and the current article opens up in a new window. Keep doing that and the window will keep filling up with the articles. When you’re done loading up all the articles you want to read, just close Feedly and cycle through all the open tabs.
5. Feedly Plus
Feedly Plus is an extension that basically brings a couple of extra features to Feedly. My favorite of these is “Mark previous as read.” It quickly lets you mark all the previous entries in the list as read. Plus you can disable the “All” view, bold the categories text and more.
Sortly is a simple extension that just does one thing; it sorts all the articles in your Feedly account by popularity (based on shares). This makes it really easy to discover content that everyone else is reading and sharing.
Do you use Feedly in the browser instead of a dedicated RSS app? What are your reasons for doing so? Share with us in the comments below.