Seems like a false title, should have been “Life after the announcement of death of Google Reader” – whatever, Google Reader is reaching to its end now and so are the people quickly moving to other RSS feed readers. Google announced the death of World’s best feed aggregating service on March 13 saying that it will no longer be operational after July 1. I was using this service since 2009 and have had over 900 subscriptions. I had read over 20 thousands articles in this period. As a student, Google Reader always meant a lot to me; whether it was about reading the informative WordPress.com News or going through Terence Tao’s notes. Google Reader was an essential part of my daily life. Now as the service and also the applications based on Google Reader API, will not be functioning after 1st July, I started my own hunt for Google Reader alternative. Here are some of the Google Reader alternatives, which I gave rigorous tries and found useful.
1. WordPress.com Reader
Available on : Desktop Web Browsers, Mobile Browsers at http://wordpress.com/#!/read
Apps: iOS, BlackBerry, Android, WP7/8, Windows 8
Probably the best one and most easily accessible to me, WordPress.com Reader is nicely improved since the “death” of Google reader. You can subscribe to any feed, import your Google Reader subscriptions or can import via an OPML file. Firefox and Google Chrome extensions allow to follow blogs directly via ‘address bar’. WordPress.com reader can be easily accessed on mobile browsers and have the Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and BlackBerry applications with reading functionality. WordPress.com homepage takes you to the reader page after you log in to your account. The reader page starts with newest posts and notify if there is any latest post available from your subscriptions.
The design is pretty awesome and the readability is amazing at WordPress.com reader. The reader lacks the social sharing options, it has regular “like” and “reblog” options though, which is not a ‘big’ problem because the way WordPress.com is focusing on it, social sharing might be there in no-time. WordPress.com Reader is my first choice of being a great alternate of Google Reader.
Available on: Google
Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari at http://www.feedly.com
Apps: iOS, Android
Now the most talked feed reader application, ‘feedly’ has emerged as a sensation among Google reader users, with great new features, promising applications and social sharing tools. The user interface is nice but the reading experience is so bad. You can’t actually read stuffs that easily as it has many confusing options. The feedly team is adding features day by day and I suppose that it’ll be the most popular reader alternative in upcoming days. Feedly provides Android and iOS applications at the instant, which are loved by their users. It has a bunch of amazing social network sharing options, including Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, Digg, Delicious etc. Feedly now relies on Google Reader API but will moved to its own soon after Google Reader closes.
Update: Feedly is working on its own API.
I’ll be using feedly along with WordPress.com reader, as it provides a detailed view of unread and read articles from the subscriptions.
3. Thunderbird / Outlook / Windows Live Mail
Apps: Windows, Mac
Thunder-Bird or Mozilla Thunderbird was the one feed reader, I was using on my desktop before March 13. The app is highly reliable and stores feeds for offline reading. I use it for email checking and composing, so will not be leaving it too. Other similar desktop applications, Outlook, Windows Live Mail give the same features, they are not that friendly to me. Thunderbird provides easy navigation options and easy subscription and import-export options.
My regular emailing habit will never let me give up using Thunderbird.
Available on: Web browsers at http://www.digg.com
Apps: iOS app
Not a feed-reader, digg is a great news source for me. It provides the best news resources on one screen. Digg can be used as an “RSS” alternative (NB: not, the Google Reader alternative).
I’ll be keeping my eyes on the other reading resources, including WebReader, if there are special reading features included and the Google Reader API sync is removed. RSS-Owl is another great desktop application for reading the RSS feeds but due to the lack of time, I’ll prefer the email and chat client Thunderbird to it. The Old Reader is another option for me, as it mimics the older Google reader and is really convenient to use.
After the death of Google Reader, Google Plus will be another hope, where Google Reader features could be lightly integrated.