We were all shocked at the news that Google Reader, the RSS Reader that everyone has relied on for years, is going to be taken away July 1st. Most people can’t even name another feed reader thanks to the fact that Google Reader has been their primary RSS Feed reader since it came out. I know I’ve checked mine almost every day for the last few years! But I didn’t want to wait too long to replace mine, so I set off on a quest to find the top 3 RSS Feed readers that could replace your (and my!) Google Reader that we have relied upon for so long. Here they are (in no particular order):
Feedly was the first one I tried, and when I did it had a bit of a slowdown thanks to 500,000+ people migrating over to it at the same time! But other than that small hiccup, it is a fantastic online reader. It has a similar interface to Google Reader, with a 3 column format. On the left are your feeds/options, in the middle is the content itself, and on the right are the suggestions that you may like. I really liked this one, thanks to it being based on the web instead of an application you install, making it easy to take anywhere much like Google Reader. Feedly also has simple and aesthetically pleasing look to it, with easy to read text/titles coupled with larger pictures. On top of the attractive interface, it has all the features (plus a few more) as Google Reader. And if you are a RSS reader who is always on the go, Feedly has apps for iOS, Android, and the Kindle!
Pros: Attractive interface, similar to Google Reader, mobile apps
Cons: Mobile apps require swiping instead of scrolling, can be confusing
FeedDemon has a pretty cool setup, but instead of being web based, it is an application that you install on your machine. This may appeal to some people who want to view their RSS Feeds in separate window from their browsing, but for me, I’m always on the go. Just like Feedly, FeedDemon allows you to import all of your Google Reader subscribed feeds, which is very nice. The first feature I noticed, which is very helpful and time saving, is the ability to mark all posts older than a certain time (24 hours, 48 hours, 5 days, etc) as read, so you don’t get as bogged down. It prompts this right off the bat when you sign in, and allows you to clean up your feeds before you even start using the program. The posts are incredibly easy to get the idea of, with long excerpts below the title and a small image. Finally, the application also features a “tab” ability, allowing you to have multiple tabs with different feeds open at the same time. For people who only check RSS subscriptions when at the computer, this application is perfect. But if you want a reader that lets you read on the web anywhere and on your mobile devices, this is not the one for you.
Pros: easy to use program, tab feature, migrate data from Google Reader
Cons: No mobility, has to be installed
Feeder is a really neat site. With a browser version, chrome/safari extension, and mobile versions as well, you can take your RSS Feeds with you anywhere you go, so long as you have the pro version! I found the Chrome extension to be really awesome. It was quick, gave the article title and took you right to the article when clicked on. It was quick to install, quick to navigate, and really easy to use. I did not test out the apps or the browser version, however, because it costs $19.99. Based on their site, I believe that the online reader will be as good, if not better than the chrome extension. For people willing to pay $19.99 once, this site is perfect for you.
Pros: Quick and easy extensions make reading your RSS Feeds simple
Cons: Pay 19.99 for mobile and online RSS Reading
Overall, I really like everything that feedly had to offer, so that is the site I will stick with for now, but Feeder is also a very tempting option, and I may switch to it in the future. If you are using a feed reader that I haven’t listed, or have one that you think should be up here, speak up! I’d love to hear from others about what what you are using!