Google has announced that they will be shutting down Google Reader; one of the most popular RSS Reader ever available. This means that you’ll need to find an alternative to Google Reader before 1st July. This is indeed a sad news for many of us since we all are accustomed to use Reader to follow popular blogs and news sites on the web, without actually visiting them. Google’s decision to shut down Reader is because of two reasons – the user base of Reader has declined over time, and secondly because the company want to focus its energy on few products. Google has received backslash on this decision by many of its users.
At this moment, there are not many alternatives available to Google Reader. It is difficult for independent companies to compete with a company like Google and offer such a tool for free. But don’t worry, we’ve took the time to handpick some of the best alternative options that are currently available for Google Reader.
Backing-up Google Reader Data
First things first. Backup/export your Reader by using Google Takeout. Click here to head over to Takeout and then click on “Create Archive” button. Wait for the process to complete and then a new “Download” button will become active. Click on it and then download the zip file. Store this file in a safe place.
Cloud Based News Readers to Read RSS Feeds Online
Firstly, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best web based RSS Readers. The plus point of using them is that you don’t have to install anything on your computer, and you can login from anywhere and start reading your favorite RSS Feeds.
Feedly is one of the most popular RSS Reader, but with a different interface than Reader. It’s interface is more like newspaper, but very easy to read. To use Feedly, you’ll need to install a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. There’s also an app available for iOS and Android, just in case if you are thinking to read the feeds on your mobile device.
NewsBlur is a news reader for the web, plus there are apps available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The interface is similar to the Google Reader and therefore users of Google Reader would love NewsBlur. The free version comes with some limitations and the paid version costs $1 per month. Feeds from Google Reader can be directly imported to NewsBlur easily.
The Old Reader
The Old Reader very much resembles to the Google Reader, and offers a web based interface. You can import your feeds directly from your Google Reader account or use our OPML import feature if you’re sensitive about your security. You can also search for your friends manually or see who among your Facebook friends or Google contacts is also using The Old Reader.
Taptu comes with web based RSS feed reader and also supports iOS, Android, BlackBerry and nook. You can login to Taptu by using your Google Reader account. After adding feeds, you can convert them to streams.
Netvibes is much more than a simple RSS Reader, as it also combines social media too. There are paid plans, but if you’re just starting out, then the free plan should suffice. From the dashboard, you can access all of your feeds.
Pulse is a fast and beautiful way to read your favorite blogs, magazines, social networks and newspapers right from one central place. You can sign-in with your Facebook account or can manually create a new account. Once signed-in, you’ll need to select three interests, and then you will be able to see the main screen. You can add more websites/blogs to your Feed list by clicking no “Add Content.” What’s more – you can also save stories for reading it later by using Read it Later, Instapaper and Evernote. Pulse has a beautiful web based app and iOS and Android apps.
FeedReader is an RSS aggregator that comes with a very simple web based layout, plus a desktop app for Windows. To test it out, you can simply add a RSS URL to the search bar and start reading it, without even signing-up. FeedReader allows you to pick your feeds based on what you really want to be updated on, and not just on what you can find on the web.
Best Desktop Based RSS Readers
While the above web based reader work great for many, not everyone’s requirement is same. That’s why, let’s take a look at some of the best desktop based RSS reader, which can be used as an alternative to Google Reader.
FeedDemon is one of the most popular desktop based RSS Reader. The interface is really simple, and you can click on the website name from the left side to view all the stories from that website. You can also import your Google Reader subscription to the app but the developer says that once you add the subscription, disable the syncing from Tools > Options > Synchronization Options and then then switching to the “Accounts” tab and removing your Google account.
WebReader is truly a multi-platform based solution for your RSS needs. It is available for Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Blackberry PlayBook and for Desktop. It even saves complete articles with images for offline reading – now this feature is something that makes WebReader stand out from others. If you’re the one on the go and don’t have internet access everywhere, then this is what you need.
RSSOwl is a free and powerful news feed reader. RSSOwl lets you gather, organize and search news in a convenient, easy to use interface with endless flexibility. RSS owl can be used on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It supports synchronizing with Google Reader so that you can get started quickly.
So go ahead, try out these options. Let us know which of these apps is your favorite.