Can Rolio Be the Next Google Reader Alternative?

With the death of Google Reader now all but assured, it is time to move on, regardless if you want to or not – the search giant is giving you no choice. There are a number of options – a surprising number that none of us were even familiar with, until we were forced to begin scrambling for a new source to fill our RSS needs.

We have shown you some of the popular alternatives, and I previously gave you the low-down on CommaFeed, but this time around it is Rolio that looks to grab your attention and become your new RSS friend.

Using Rollo

What do you want in your next feed reader? Honestly, I believe most Google Reader refugees simply want that experience back, and there are services that mimic the tried and true product from the search giant.


Like any of these services, Rolio will require you to set up an account and, as most, this is free. The service also prompts you to subscribe to at least one of its promoted feeds – you can delete it later if you are not interested.

Then you are off to import your feeds via an XML file – no OPML allowed. If you are coming from Feedly then you are in luck, as the service has at long last implemented an Export option, something it claimed “A FEW people have been asking about.” I suspect that the number was much greater than a few. You will need to make the conversion from OPML to XML though.

With these details out of the way, you can get started importing your feeds for use in Rolio. The length of the process will, of course, depend on the size of your file. Click “My Rolio” to begin setup.


The Interface

When it comes to RSS, many services do things in a similar manner, only making slight changes to interface and options, with perhaps a few extras thrown in. In that regard, Rolio does not stray far from the course.

Basic options are aligned along the top of the screen, including the aforementioned “My Rolio”, which is not only a place to import the file from your former service, but also the home of “Settings.” Beyond this, you can peruse social options and add individual feeds through the appropriate, but perhaps uninspiringly named, options of “Add Feed” and a “Social” dropdown list.

While “Add Feeds” is self-explanatory, Social actually has options, but there are only two of them, so unless you wish to connect with your Facebook or Twitter account then I am afraid there will be little to see here.


The most noticeable feature missing from the interface is the left column that displays a list of feeds contained within most services. Different users will react to this loss in various ways, but the lack of this display will likely be a polarizing one.

Settings are also less than inspiring, simply giving you basic options for changing the password and closing or deleting your account.


What Is the Bottom Line?

There are numerous services just waiting for the chance to dance on the grave of Google Reader. Rolio is in an increasingly crowded market, and may appeal to some users, as this always boils down to personal tastes. The interface is more modern, as opposed to attempting to mimic the Google Reader look. While adding my OPML file was a bit slow, the interface worked flawlessly once the service was up and running.

None of this means that I recommend you avoid the service – it may be exactly what you are wishing for. After all, personal tastes vary.

Alan Buckingham
Alan Buckingham

Alan is an avid fan of all things technology, including Microsoft, Android, Google, and more. When not writing about or using gadgets and software, he can be found on the trails hiking or mountain biking.

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