Google Reader announced its nearing end on July 1. As written on the Official Google Reader Blog, the declining number of users and Google’s focus to maintain a tighter range of products are the main reasons for shutting down the RSS reader a lot of netizens have been accustomed to.
As a consequence, avid blog subscribers and readers like me are now seeking alternatives that would provide the convenience that Google Reader has brought them through the years.
Reading my blog roll has become part of my daily routine which makes finding an alternative imperative. I have searched the net and tried some of the recommended alternatives one can switch to before Google Reader disappears on the face of the web forever. I have trimmed my options down to those that have an appealing interface and easy to read from and navigate.
Here are my top choices:
Feedly is one of the most recommended alternatives for Google Reader. You read about it in every Google Reader alternative-related article that you can find. It doesn’t surprise me at all because first and foremost, it is very easy to import subscriptions from Google Reader to Feedly. You log in with the same details. Plus, it keeps the starred or favorited items in the “saved for later” tab. It has a clean modern look that is easy on the eyes. I have the Feedly smartphone app in my iPhone and it works perfectly.
The only turn off is that you have to install it as an add-on or plug-in to Chrome of Firefox to be able to use it on desktop. Nevertheless, I’m using it still.
What Feedly lacks is present Bloglovin’. Since it is web-based, it can be accessed online with any browser. Migration of Google Reader subscriptions to Bloglovin’ is also possible, but in my experience, it didn’t mark the starred items. It is also accessible through an application that syncs read items. It’s not as popular as other RSS feed readers, but once you get the hang of it, it does the job pretty well.
A special feature of Bloglovin’ is the navigation bar that appears on top of the pages which makes it easy to switch from the newest to the oldest post. Also placed on the bar are icons that allow blog posts to be shared to social media networks instantly.
What you might not like about Bloglovin’ is its Tumblr feel. Although you follow blogs privately, it tends to turn into a community—something that other users don’t necessarily like. However, it can be useful for growing blogs like mine.
You may follow Quingdom.com with Bloglovin’.
This could have been the perfect RSS reader for me, except that it doesn’t have a web-based interface and the desktop application only runs in Mac. Even before the news of Google Reader closing down came out, I have been using its mobile application to keep me updated through my iPhone (alongside Google Reader) and it has made reading blog subscriptions a lot more convenient and pleasing. The intuitive interface is similar to that of Google Reader, only more sophisticated. If I were a Mac user, I would’ve stuck with Reeder.
If you don’t mind a mobile app-only RSS feed reader, then Flipboard could be your choice. It makes your feed look like a personalized magazine, which is best viewed with a tablet. It shows posts and entries in an artsy layout with the first of its kind (I think) flipping transition to navigate through posts.
Again, the downside is it only runs as a mobile app. You would have to resort to other means if you want to check on your subscriptions on your desktop.
Subscribe via E-mail
If you can’t find the reader that suits you, might as well just subscribe to your favorite blogs and sites to receive updates via e-mail. At least you can access them both on your desktop and on your mobile phone or tablet.
Do you know of other RSS feed readers? Share them as comments below.