Google Reader Alternatives: Our Top Four
So now that you’ve gotten over the shock of Google shutting down Google Reader, you’re probably on the hunt to find the perfect alternative. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite alternatives below to help you find your match before July 1st, aka Doomsday for Reader.
If you’re seriously attached to Google Reader, Old Reader may be your best bet. Old Reader is essentially a redeveloped version of Google Reader’s old self, before a slew of controversial changes were made to the service like the removal of sharing buttons. Even though these lost features may have been brought back, Old Reader offers a refreshed design with a Web 2.0 feel. Old Reader will allow you to import your previous Google Reader subscriptions using XML, though you can also add new feeds by simply typing in the website’s link in the “Add A Subscription” field that is accessible on every Old Reader page.
The service also has a Trending menu that shows trending articles as well as a sharing menu that allows you to view your shared posts. Finally, the Liked menu shows the articles you’ve liked in the past, so you can always refer back to your favorite news stories and editorials.
Feedly is the most full-featured RSS reader on this list. While its design may be more liberal and newspaper-like than Google Reader, it’s something I’ve come to love over time. Like Google Reader, Feedly allows you to single-out different feeds on your list or view them all as a running list. Like Old Reader, you can easily share articles you’ve read with friends using Facebook and Twitter social buttons.
Feedly really shines with its mobile apps. Available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices, the Feedly app syncs with your desktop client and offers an interface similar to that of the browser app and allows you to view your feeds on-the-go.
Even though Feedly is currently based off of Google Reader, the company has said that they will transition seamlessly to Project Normandy, the Google Reader-free version of Feedly. Project Normandy is essentially a clone of the Google Reader API that is run on the Google Apps Engine.
NewsBlur is a simple web-based RSS reader that offers an interface very similar to that of Google Reader. The idea behind NewsBlur is pretty simple: sign up for an account, add news sources and read. Once you’ve added your favorite blogs and news outlets, you can organize them into folders. Another cool feature of NewsBlur is the fact that you can view the full web view, text view or story view of articles within the web app.
There are two NewsBlur plans available: free and premium. The free plan will allow you to add up to 64 feeds with up to 10 stories displayed at a time. These restrictions can be removed by subscribing to NewsBlur premium. The premium account is only $1 per month and includes other premium features like multiple article views. Finally, you can go mobile using the NewsBlur iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
Fever is a whole new take on RSS readers. The application organizes your stories by how “hot”, or new, they are at a given moment. The heat of the article is represented by actual temperature notations. If you want to view what was hot at a certain point in the past, you can go back in time with Fever as well. If you’d rather view your news in a traditional format, just click into the “Stream” menu that allows you to view your RSS stream in a traditional format without varying temperatures.
If mobile is more your thing, Fever doesn’t offer a mobile app though it does have a mobile-optimized website. Also, since Fever doesn’t include a Mac app, you can take advantage of its full integration with Fluid, a Mac app that turns web apps into native apps.
The catch to using Fever is the fact that you must have your own server to run it. The app is MySQL and PHP based, so any shared hosting plan will work fine with it. Since it’s self-hosted and web-based, you can access your Fever feeds anywhere you have Internet access and a web browser. Fever is available for $30 via the developer’s website.
There you have it: our top four Google Reader alternatives. Even though these alternatives may not offer all of the same features as our beloved Google Reader, it’s the best we can do under the circumstances. If for some reason these alternatives don’t work out for you, you can always sign this Change.org petition to keep the original Google Reader alive, like that’ll do any good.