Google Reader is on its deathbed, slated to meet its end TODAY. Its demise has been looming in the distance for a while, so this should come as no surprise. While this is certainly a time of mourning, there’s the unseemly business of finding a replacement. Here’s a list of platform agnostic alternatives that should help make the transition as painless as possible. We’re sorry for your loss.
Feedly‘s one of the best options who need one reader on all their devices. Feedly has finally rolled out its web-based reader in addition to standard Android and iOS apps. It’s well designed, but it’s a bit more like a newspaper than the constant-flow-of-feeds-to-my-faaaaace Google Reader. But, it’s free and Feedly has been out there saying a transition from Google Reader will be “seamless”.
Digg’s Reader hasn’t come out yet, but it’s looking mighty fine, the grand hope of post-Google readers possibly. Interface-wise, it’s as clean and simple as you’d hope for, but it also comes with a few, tiny bonus features, like a built-in Instapaper button, and full-on Digg thumbs-up, thumbs-down integration. It’s still anyone’s game, but those subtle social hooks could make Digg a winner.
Weird to see AOL popping back on the scene, but AOL Reader is stripped down, simple and fast. All things you want from your Google Reader replacement. There’s nothing too new here, but it’s not busted either, and i’ll come with a full suite of apps for iOS and Android. It’s definitely worth a look.
NewsBlur’s got a solid, Google Reader-esque web app you can try out on the spot if you hop over to their site. And, if you’re a mobile user, it also has an Android app as well as iOS versions for the iPhone and iPad. Free accounts max out at 64 feeds, which won’t be enough for a real power user, but a real, unlimited subscription is only $US1 a month.
This basically is Google Reader; the interface is practically identical. And you can login right with your Google account import feeds that way, though The Old Reader claims it’s flooded at the moment, and won’t let you. The downside here is that there are no apps (yet) and social integration is only available by connecting through Facebook. But it’s great as a bare-bones replacement for web-use.
NetVibes is a web reader with some powerful customisation options. Like any good RSS reader, you can resort to a pure feed approach, but NetVibes also has a dashboard setting that allows you to create and organise “widgets” for specific feeds and folders and move them around. The downside is that there aren’t any mobile apps, so you’ll be tied to your computer.
While a mobile app an never fully fill the hole Google Reader leaves in your desktop browser, Flipboard (Android, iOS) is another great, magazine-like mobile option for folks whose feeds are image-heavy. It’s so pretty you might just forgive it for not living on your laptop.
It’s by no means a perfect replacement, but it might be able to fill part of the hole depending on your use-case. Twitter doesn’t have an “unread” state, so it’s only good for here-and-now developements, but many outlets user their Twitters a glorified RSS feeds anyway, and there’s no shortage of mobiles apps, for now anyway. If you’re a light RSS user, and a heavy Twitter user, you might be able to work something out. Maybe.