Richi Jennings

Google Reader alternatives roundup; RSS FTW!

March 14, 2013 7:15 AM EDT

R.I.P., Google Reader. Here are some alternatives.

Google Reader Alternatives

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), in its infinite, non-evil wisdom, is killing its RSS feed reader in about 105 days. Ouch. What are the alternatives? To where should keen RSS-heads jump? (Not to mention Atom-lovers.)

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers castigate Google.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 
John Ribeiro reports:

Google is shutting down its Google Reader [saying] it needed to focus to take advantage of new opportunities. ...its usage has declined over the years.
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users did not take kindly to Google's decision...with many recommending alternative RSS [readers].  MORE


 
Caitlin McGarry adds this eulogy:

Google Reader will shutter July 1, giving...devoted users a few months to port their subscriptions to another service. ... More instantaneous news sources such as Twitter...have led to the downfall of RSS feeds and the readers that aggregate them.
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But fear not, RSS diehards: Some alternative readers to check out include Pulse, Flipboard, and The Old Reader. ... Let us know if you have a favorite RSS reader and where you plan to move [to].  MORE


 
Jason Parker and Jaymar Cabebe have more suggestions:

One of Feedly's most popular features is that it can sync with Google Reader. ... More than just an RSS reader, though, Feedly comes with a built-in "Save for Later" feature and a History function. [It's] one of the best RSS readers out there. [It's on] iOS and Android..for desktops, it is available via Firefox or Chrome.
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Taptu gives you a visual interface for browsing news feeds...great for finding and tuning your feeds and makes for a great way to tailor your news to your specs.
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Pulse News gives you all the news from your favorite feeds with an intuitive interface...a slick and elegant way to quickly read news stories from all your favorite Web sites.
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Flipboard is already an immensely popular newsreader and social-network hub, but it has no desktop [version].
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Google Currents may not be the biggest name on our list [but] there's no doubt that this app has potential.  MORE


 
As does Christina Warren:

On the surface, the three alternatives that match the look, feel and functionality of Google Reader are Feedly, NewsBlur and The Old Reader.
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Our only fear with recommending some of these services is the long-term viability of these platforms. ... Another alternative for more savvy users is to build your own RSS sync backend. This is where a service such as Fever has a big advantage. ... It's self-hosted [so] as long as you can provide a place for the software to be installed, it will run and continue to work.  MORE


 
But why? Brian Shih, a former Google Reader product manager tells all (but later hurridly backtracks):

Let's be clear that this has nothing to do with revenue vs operating costs. ... Reader has been fighting for approval/survival at Google since long before I was a PM for the product. ... It turns out they decided to kill it...in 2010 [but] it survived for some time after...because they believed it could still be a useful source of content into G+.
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I left Google in 2011 so this is all my own speculation. I have no idea if this is the real reason or not.  MORE


 
Meanwhile, Martijn Wismeijer is easy for you to say:

RSS is still the tubes powering the inter-webs. ... DEAR GOOGLE: Don't kill a good product just because marketing wants to force their **** down our throats. ... You already killed the sharing feature...in a desperate attempt to push your social network.
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Stop ****ing around with your customers.  MORE


 
Update 1: Barbara Krasnoff looks for lessons:

I really like cloud applications and I work with a lot of them. ... [But]the idea of having an application you depend on available as long as you need it...is also a lot more convenient than wondering...whether a rug is about to get pulled out from under you.
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I start to wonder what we've traded off for the convenience of working in the cloud -- and how firm a surface that cloud really is to stand on.  MORE


 
Update 2: JR Raphael pleads with Google:

Reader [is] a unique and valuable service. In addition to providing an unmatched Web interface for...RSS subscriptions, Reader's API allows third-party developers to...make it available anywhere you go. ... [So] its demise will leave a hole that'll be difficult to fill.
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Some people [are] claiming that social media and visual news apps like Flipboard are far more in style. ... [But] judging by the Internet's loud outcry...those services simply aren't the same thing.
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So Google, I appeal to you: Reconsider.  MORE


 

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