They said it was ‘Like a magazine you design’, and many of us eagerly lapped up the platform’s services. But now, the big daddy of ‘readers’ is going down as part of what is being called Google’s Spring Cleaning drive! Unless you live in the North pole, I am sure you have heard that Google will officially shut down the Reader on July 1, 2013.
When Google Reader is thrown down the black hole of Internet, where will faithful followers of blogs and sites go to for their daily muesli? Don’t worry all is not lost. Many others strive to give you the same experience – the power to aggregate content from your favorite websites. While major readers in the market have been generating a buzz since Google dropped the bomb, smaller ones have also been picking up some traffic.
Filling the ‘Reader’ gap
Feedly is easily one of the best replacements in the market right now. It not only integrates with Google Reader and imports all your subscribed feeds, it also offers you a new interface which is refreshing and easy on the eyes. Unlike some of the other readers, Feedly reproduces the in-site reading experience. You can create separate categories of feeds that you might want to check out from time to time.
It can be integrated with your Chrome web browser and is also compatible on your smart phones – Android and iOS.
The Old Reader
When the good ol’ Reader is history, someone has to take over and shepherd readers the same way Google Reader did. Written by three friends with day jobs, The Old Reader seems to hit the right note. The presentation is crisp and The Old Reader ensures a wonderful experience. It is a new Social Networking Platform in itself. You can share your favorite posts with friends, catch up on trending topics and of course, archive the best into a separate folder for later reference!
Those a dash of colors and jazz is not quite your thin
g, go with this ebony-and-velvet reader. The Pacman-esque loading animation is cute. Highly recommended.
Unlike Feedly, BlogLines has not made any effort to import feeds from the Reader forcing users to import feeds manually. Although, it predates the Reader by a couple of years, the development that has taken place in BlogLines is not all that evident. It strikes a decent appearance and does not resemble Feedly or any other RSS Feed Reader. It has the feed view with an excerpt from the post, as well as site view which is neatly presented.
Personally, I’d give this a pass as BlogLines means a lot of additional work for me and is in dire need of a makeover. It also has some usability issues.
This Mac-specific RSS Feed Reader is a ripper! One of the very few out-of-the-browser readers that neatly integrates with Google Reader – in fact, it works only if you have a Google Reader account. On launching the App on your Mac, it collects all unread posts and notifies you as and then. On a Mac, Cappuccino’s neat interface makes reading your favorite blogs very enjoyable.
Although it does not present an original view, it is sleek and chic! A must-install for Mac users.
If you are like me and the aesthetics of the window is as important as the words you read, you might want to check out this brilliant reader. Why?
1) Because it is highly efficient – it presents the posts on a platter so beautifully decorated that I want to gobble ’em up as soon as you see ’em, and keep going back for more many times a day.
2) Because it has a Google Chrome extension in case your default browser is Chrome.
Also, any blog registered with BlogLovin can appear on the Top Blogs list, and a post shared widely is pinned up to the popular posts tab. You can import feeds from your Google Readers account.
BlogLovin has an awesome alert feature, which keeps you updated all through and when it comes to efficiency, this reader has a clear advantage over others. I am going to try it.
So, when Google puts Reader to sleep, you can still get your daily news fix. These five are on top of my list of good alternatives in the Feed Reader market. Though Feed Demon and the likes give these services a tough fight, they still have some catching up to do in terms of quality and members.
Life beyond readers
Although Feed Readers are brilliant and help you instantly get new posts from your favorite blogs, they still leave you in that little sinkhole where other posts that might seriously interest you will still not bump into you. That’s precisely why news curation services are aplenty in the market and people are subscribing to these to stay up to date. Some of them are even topping the most downloaded apps charts in the Play Store as well as the App Store.
Flipboard, Apple’s iPad App of 2010, is one of the most popular news aggregation service. It collects trending stories from all over the internet and presents it in a magazine-like format. Users can flip through stories in this elegantly made app. Flipboard is supported on both Android and iOS platforms.
Pulse, is also a news curation service that filters out news according to your tastes and interests. This app, which is available on the Web, Android and iOS devices, is carved out beautifully and stories are presented attractively.
Zite, what most users call as “The perfect magazine App”, definitely lives up to its reputation. It combs the web for top stories and matches it with your interests. The interface is cool and highly addictive! Go ahead and rip it off the App Store/Play Store/Games Store already. It is supported on Android, iOS and as well as Windows Phones.
Of the many other curation services available, FLUD, InstaPaper, UTopic and XYDO stand out. So, when Reader bids adieu to the information superhighway, don’t get left behind. Get the right App on to your device and get stories at your fingertips, just the way you like it.
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