Ch-ch-ch-changes. Sure, it’s a David Bowie song, but it’s also what you’re dealing with since Google Reader has closed shop. If this is news to you, well, you were probably never a fan of Google Reader, or perhaps you’re just one of the billions of Americans who get their news from the TV. Google Reader has pulled the plug after 8 years, going “Good Night and Good Luck” on July 1. Does the loss of Google Reader mean there’s a gaping void where the news used to be? No, of course not. Need a new electronic paperboy? Here are 6 alternative reader apps that can replace Google Reader.
Feedly is the heir apparent to the once mighty Google Reader empire. Its services and features closely mirror the Google Reader experience, so those looking for a Google substitute are going to land at Feedly. Tagging, favorites, keyboard shortcuts — Feedly has them all. Feedly announced it has reached 12 million users.
With a name like Newsblur, you expect a constant feed of late-breaking action on your tech gadget. And that’s what you have with this app. The news refreshes every minute. Newsblur has a host of cool amenities. For example, the “intelligence classifier” triggers the app to prioritize certain types of stories; you want nothing but sports — you got it. Ditto for the latest Kardashian gossip. It costs $2 a month to subscribe to Newsblur. But here’s a headline you shouldn’t forget: you only get 64 feeds with Newsblur.
So you’ve been wanting a Blackberry Q10 for a while. It is great for more than checking emails and texting, it can be a good resource for RSS feeds because of its small size, easy-to-use keyboard and clear screen. PressReader is like your favorite newspaper shop — you know, the one that used to exist on Main Street with the wooden Indian out front — but with 2,100 newspapers from around the globe. A $29.99/month subscription gives you access to the entire PressReader collection. Individual editions can be downloaded for $0.99.
Digg Reader is another app that resembles Google Reader in form and function. It’s not the heir apparent, but the second in line to the throne. It has a minimalist feel, with blacks, white and shades of gray (hmm, sounds like a newspaper). Although Digg has been around for years, this service is brand new. Development started after it was announced that Google Reader was closing. The features are similar to Google Reader and Feedly. You can organize info into folders and navigate with Google Reader — like shortcuts. There is a “popular’ section that will show you everything that’s trending.
CNN.com recommends that instead of looking for an electronic news service that mirrors Google Reader, you get your news via a different route. Whether you’re tracking your favorite news organizations or specific journalists or bloggers, Twitter is like a trail of breadcrumbs; all you need to do is follow the links and hash-tags.
Feedbin’s $2/month app is another feed tracker. While the service has similar functions to the aforementioned apps (tags, keyboard shortcuts, etc.), it doesn’t have a wide variety of layouts. Furthermore, Feedbin is not a cross-platform product. In order for it to work, the app needs to be powered by an API such as Reeder or Press.
OK, right. If your head is spinning right now, head to the store and buy a good old fashioned newspaper.
About the author:
Nicole writes about web design and is a freelance consultant who specializes in e-commerce.