On Wednesday, Google surprised denizens of the Internet with the news that they would be discontinuing Google Reader. This was a sad day for people like me who consume most of their blog content with this simple, easy-to-use RSS aggregator.
Almost immediately, I was flooded with messages from people wondering what I was going to do. You would have thought the North Koreans had just launched a missile against California!
Though I depend on Reader to forage the blogosphere in search of useful information for my tribe, I wasn’t in a huge hurry to solve the problem. After all, Google won’t be shutting down the service until July 1, 2013—more than three months from now.
As a result, I replied to these inquiries with, “I’m not sure what I will use to replace Google Reader. Right now, I am considering several alternatives.” But, that didn’t seem like a very good answer.
After a few hours, I thought I may as well dive in and figure it out. After all, that task sounded easier than actually working on the book I am supposed to be writing. (You can thank the Resistance for this post.)
I looked at the following apps:
Keep in mind that I typically process my RSS feeds on my MacBook Air, so I ruled out apps that were exclusively or primarily designed for the iPad.
I settled on Feedly for seven reasons:
- It will transition your Reader feeds seamlessly. Some of the others might too, but in my research, Feedly made this explicit.
- It uses most of the same keystrokes as Reader. (After years of using Reader, these are wired into my muscle memory.)
- It has a nice, clean user interface.
- It provides several viewing options: Titles (my preference), Magazine, Mosaic, Cards, and Full Articles.
- It already integrates with Buffer and the developers are working on Evernote and Pinterest integrations now.
- It has iOS versions.
- It’s free (my favorite price).
The folks at Feedly even posted some tips yesterday for people migrating from Google Reader to Feedly. I suggest you check it out.
Making a decision about which software to use is highly personal. If Feedly doesn’t meet your needs, pick one that does. Thankfully, there are lots of options.