Google Reader Alternatives

Google Reader, an online app that allowed you to read and be notified of updates to blogs like this, will close on July 1st. It’s unlikely that anyone reading this isn’t aware of that but just in case. Export your data now!

google-reader

There are a number of alternatives to Google Reader, each one has it’s own quirks and advantages. Gamma Goblin has listed a few on his blog but I’ll recommend my favourite one, Feedly.

After the frankly stale and unmaintained user interface in Google Reader the UI in Feedly takes some getting used to. At first I hated it but in the last few months they’ve improved it. I could try and describe how they’ve changed it but I’m just a user of the service. I notice when things go wrong but when they work right I don’t notice. However, I was reminded by Joseph Scott that Feedly doesn’t have an export option so make sure you backup your data out of Google Reader or you won’t be able to try other services quite as easily as you can now.

Feedly is moving at a great pace. Make sure you follow their blog (in Feedly, or the WordPress app as it’s on WordPress.com!) for further updates.

Also make sure you subscribe to this blog if you haven’t done so already!


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9 thoughts on “Google Reader Alternatives


  1. I’ve been trying out the three main cloud-based rivals
    Feedly, Digg Reader and AOL reader.

    Feedly. This is the front end cloud-based reader I’m commenting on.
    - Love it. There are a few niggles, and I’m convinced that some of my feeds didn’t make it over but it synched with Google Reader and kept count/synch with it.
    - Keep getting caught out on different keyboard shortcuts, but that’s practice.

    AOL.
    - Last out of the gate, and surprisingly good.
    - As it pull out the feeds, but not the state from Reader, you end up seeing old posts again, about 50 items from some feeds.
    - Polished. Apart from the newsprint look, its pretty close to Google Reader. I’d be happy to keep this as my alternative. I might actually have to start using the rest of the AOL feature set.
    - Same keyboard settings (instinct kicked in when reading through)
    - If you are not app-based, this may be the reader alternative for you.
    - Downside, slow to update. 24 hours later its finding new / old feeds to expand things out. I think its servers are getting a little hammered.

    Digg
    - As it pull out the feeds, but not the state from Reader, you end up seeing old posts again, but not quite as excessive as AOL
    - Crap.
    - Seriously.
    - The only way to get Digg reader to see that you’ve read a post is to select the section and “mark all as read”. Which ruins part of the reason for a reader. (Note I am using NoScript, but its not showing any blocked scripts)
    - Its something that needs a “lot” of improvement, but given that it looks like Digg wants to use it to feed in to their voting systems, things are going to improve.

    TL;DR
    Feedly is the number one, and has a working backend
    AOL is good, working well but no back end (yet)
    Digg should be buried for now


    1. Reader.is is a paid for service. I tried the guest login but you/it probably needs to offer a free trial. Even if it’s cheap there’s the added step of accepting payment..


  2. To fully export your Reader data, look at http://readerisdead.com/

    I’m running it now on my old gmail.com account. Last night’s export of my GAFYD account was 8.3gig – so it gets a lot.

    I’m using ttrss. It’s open source and you can self-host it. It can import and export opml files. Feedly was pretty, but I’m not making the mistake of depending on a company again for this sort of thing. ttrss needs a fair bit of work (for one thing it’s written in php), but it’s functional enough to get going. And it supports a slew of front-ends.

    But you only have 10 more hours or so to do it.

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