Top free alternatives to soon-to-be shuttered Google Reader
With Google Reader set to shut down this summer, many other apps have come into the spotlight as possible alternatives to the popular RSS service.
So here are some of the top free services we recommend as users prepare for Google Reader going dark July 1.
Available for Firefox and Chrome web browsers as well as Android and Apple devices, Feedly is one of the most popular RSS platforms. The service comes with helpful features such as sharing to social networks and saving items for reading later. Besides that, Feedly announced it has been working on a Google Reader clone that should be ready by July 1. In their words: “If you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless.”
The Old Reader
Speaking of Google Reader clones, The Old Reader is the original copycat. It was built after Google got rid of a few features in 2011, and now, it stands as an obvious alternative to the dying service. Importing from Google Reader to The Old Reader is easy, and the two services share many similar features. Unfortunately, there is no mobile app.
Netvibes is another worthy RSS alternative. The service features a sleek design but also has many of the same features found on Google Reader. It can be accessed over Web browsers as well as Android and Apple devices, and it’s possible to import data from Google Reader. Netvibes also lets users monitor their Twitter content alongside their RSS feeds.
Another service many RSS users have flocked to is NewsBlur. Unfortunately, the Google Reader exodus has brought the site to a halt and it is currently down. But NewsBlur is available on Web browsers as well as Android and Apple devices. It’s simple layout and number of useful features, including its ability to learn the type of stories you like and highlight them, have made it a popular choice. Unfortunately, users can only subscribe to up to 64 feeds before they have to pay to add more.
Flipboard isn’t a traditional RSS platform, but the popular Android and Apple app pulls content from users’ RSS feeds and the people they follow on Facebook and Twitter to create a personalized magazine. The biggest downside is the lack of a Web or desktop version.
If you don’t mind waiting, Digg has announced it will build its own RSS reader and design it for “the Internet of 2013.” There’s no set date for when it will launch, but Digg says the project has moved to the top of its priority list. No word on what type of features to expect, but Digg asked users for feedback on what they want and the top comment, referring to Google Readers, says “Just copy theirs. Simple is elegant.”
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