RIP Google Reader: Alternative ways to get your RSS fix on all platforms
Whilst some of us are still clinging on for dear life, Google Reader is no more in some parts of the world. One of the most popular RSS reading services closes its doors today, but there’s no need to fear that your years of carefully curated feeds are gone forever. We have alternatives.
The avid Google Reader fans out there will have no doubt been scrutinising some of the popular alternatives that have risen in recent weeks, but for those who log in to Google Reader to find a terrible surprise in the near future, here are our favourite alternatives to cover most platforms.
There are a number of readers available on Mac, but in our experience Reeder is one of the best. Once priced at around £5, Reeder is now a free download for Mac users from the App Store and offers a similar layout and set of functions to Google Reader. Mac users will no doubt appreciate the simple design and iBooks-style wood effects, too.
Feedly (Web, Mobile)
Perhaps one of the biggest rivals to Google Reader and an alternative that many have probably already flocked to, Feedly is a neat web-based service that will import everything from your Reader account with a simple Google account sign in. They’ve also got a pretty nifty mobile site as well as apps for Android and iOS.
Digg (Web, Mobile)
Long-time curators of all things internet Digg decided to barge in on the Reader replacement race within the last few weeks and have already garnered plenty of interest. Like Feedly, there’s a neat and quick import function to bring everything across from your Reader account with minimal pain. The layout is again simple and clean and of course, it links with your Digg account so you can ‘Digg’ articles from your feeds. One thing we don’t like, however, is the lack of an article count on each feed – hopefully it’ll be fixed soon!
Pulse (Web, PC, Mac, Mobile)
Unlike the alternatives above, Pulse is pretty snazzy and has a slick design rather than a clean, mainly white look. Their mobile apps are slick and the desktop software is also fun to use. It won’t be for everyone, but for those who like a futuristic and different look to their software it’s certainly a good bet. Oh, and it also offers the really quick import from Google Reader option, which is nice.
This one has been around for ages and offers RSS reading in the form of a really simple Windows program. Available as a free download, FeedDemon can be downloaded on multiple devices and will synchronise your feed additions, read articles and other actions between devices seamlessly. You’ve also got a neat option to tag articles with a keyword, which then makes finding that interesting story you spotted 12 hours earlier a lot easier to retrieve.
Flipboard (Android, iPhone, iPad)
Flipboard is probably our favourite mobile app for RSS feeds and general media consumption. As the name suggests, the app lays out your content in a magazine-style layout which can be flicked between with an upwards or downwards swipe of your finger. As well as offering RSS content, Flipboard can also merge in stories from your Facebook and Twitter pages and also offers links to new sites you may enjoy.
Downloadable from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
Export your feeds!
If you’re not ready to move away from Google Reader just yet – we know, it can be hard – then the best thing to do is to ensure you’ve exported your stuff. Log in to Reader and hit the settings button (cog icon) in the top right, then select Reader settings. Choose Import/Export and then hit ‘Download your data through Takeout. You’ll then need to log in to your Google account, click Create Archive then wait for the blue Download button to give you access to your Reader files. These can then be imported into an alternative Reader service at a later date!