That Gnashing and Wailing You Hear Is Google Reader Retiring

4 years ago

Yesterday Google Announced that Google Reader would be retired on July 1. A howl went up from people like me who have a regular blog reading list and a happy relationship with Google Reader. An effort began to urge Google to reconsider, but mostly people began looking around for alternatives to the popular RSS reader.

Scream by soundfromwayout via Flickr with Google Reader Logo

Before I get into the alternatives, I want to point out the directions for getting all your Google Reader subscriptions transferred into some other RSS reader. Google provides an exporting tool called Google Takeout that promises a file of all your Reader data, which can then be imported into another reader.

Now for alternatives. Some are cloud based, some are mobile apps, some are browser plugins, some sync to all your devices from mobile to web.

RSS Readers that Work In All Devices

A cloud based option, Netvibes goes from browser to mobile device. Here are the directions for migrating from Google Reader to Netvibes. This video gives you an idea what Netvibes is all about.

Feedly is a browser based add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It's also an iOS and Android app. Lots of reports are saying to stay away from Feedly because it uses a Google Reader based backend, but Feedly announced that they have another backend ready to go and are prepared for the transition.

Newsblur is a works-everywhere choice. The free version is limited to a mere 64 feeds, but the paid version is only $1 a month. It has a Google Reader import function.

Newsblur image from Newsblur.com

Taptu even works on Nook, as well as the usual app platforms. If you're a tablet person, this might be your fav.

Mobile Apps that Read RSS Feeds

Google Currents is a very slick mobile app that makes reading some of the slow loading sites like Huffington Post really fast. However, I don't know if it uses Google as a backend, so I'm not sure what its fate will be going forward.

For iOS and Mac only, Reeder is another app with a transition plan in place, according to this tweet from the developer yesterday.

FlipBoard is available for both iOS and Android. You log in via either Twitter or Facebook, and it sounds pretty image oriented like Google+, but it does read RSS feeds.

Pulse has a lot of rave reviews, including one from Steve Jobs, on its website. It works in iOS and Android.

Browser Only RSS Reader

The Old Reader promises to be like the old Google Reader, but has a tool for importing your subscription data from Google Reader.

The Word on the Street

Okay, not on the street. How about the word from the frantic blog consumers here at BlogHer who are trying to find their favorite alternatives to Google Reader? So far there have been several good comments about Netvibes, particularly since it is cloud-based and not device dependent. People liked how NetVibes looks and how easy it is to transition, but had complaints that updates are slow. (Every alternative RSS reader site is dealing with heavy traffic right now and getting things going may take some patience.) Feedly got a couple of good comments among BlogHer adopters.

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
virginia.debolt@blogher.com
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

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