Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/164375/why-google-reader-died-4-alternatives-to-rss-readers/
Google Reader will be dead soon, but it has been dying for a long time. A declining user base, lack of innovation, and lack of mass appeal doomed it. People are using other types of services to stay up-to-date with their favorite websites.
Utilizing news aggregators and social media sites in order to let others filter content and 'do the work for you' is fine for most people, but the fact still remains that someone or something needs to do that filtering first. For the power users, or the filter-ers (until there is an intelligent automated system) traditional RSS readers still seem necessary; or at least, the most effective. Any suggestions for alternatives for the 'power user/reader'?
Kinda surprised IE doesn't get a fair mention here. Ok it's simple but it works brilliantly nontheless. It's the main reason I haven't switched completely from IE to Chrome
Feedly is better in nearly every way, and I am kind of glad that Google Reader died because otherwise I wouldn't know about the superior services that exist.
I'm loving it. Simple and clean. It doesnt have a mobile site or app, but the page works pretty well on mobile browsers anyway.
Feedly. For the win. It is amazingly sleek and easy to use.
There are two big things Reader did well. It was always in sync no matter what device you are reading from and it simplified the text formatting of what ever article you were reading. Add onto that the searchable reading history and you really had a winning product. Feedly is a great replacement and has dramatically improved since the Reader shutdown was announced. Evernote can be used to save articles you have read.
I think you're quite correct that fewer and fewer users were using Google Reader as a primary reader anymore. However, the service was still invaluable to many people for transferring content to other services. I was less concerned with the reader aspect - I did use it, and preferred the inbox style for use on mobile devices. My primary complaint with the service going away is the loss of a repository I could use to easily transfer my content to services LIKE Flipboard, Currents, and especially in my personal case, podcast players.
I'm a big podcast listener - I listen to 40-50 podcasts a week. Losing Reader as a repository for these feeds is a huge disappointment for me...it was a valuable service for me. Since Google ended Listen (their now defunct podcast player for those not aware) I've been through multiple players and not found one as intuitive and simple. I'm staying with my current player now out of inertia - entering all those feeds from memory by hand on a mobile device will be horrible when I finally have to change devices.
My favorite Google Reader clone is CommaFeed. It's still a bit early in development, but it's open source and you can even install it on your own server if you want to.
Pretty much every reason you gave that Google Reader failed is why I love Google Reader (I LOVE the Inbox-style) and why I've had a hard time finding an alternative (I HATE the magazine-style).
I would have to agree with you. I've found that Feedly is great in a lot of ways, but I immediately miss the simplicity of Google Reader. I also apparently fall into a minority of people that read their RSS feeds using the full article view instead of just titles, and Feedly doesn't support wide-screen resolutions if you are using this view so they only use minimal screen real-estate which is very frustrating. (They fixed this problem w/Title view a few versions ago, but left full article view alone).
Newsblur honestly looks fairly promising and offers a lot of the Google Reader features that I want. I've been keeping my eye steady on it. I just need to know that some decent mobile apps will use their API (which I believe is open) before I completely switch.
I for my part am pretty happy with that. If lines get too long it makes reading hard for me, so when I read Wikipedia on a 22" screen I commonly resize the window using Half-Screen-Snapping.
I am currently using Feedly and, after initial annoyance by the forced switch I find it quite good. The mobile app is indeed a little improvement over the Google Reader App.
I just hope that they hold true to the promise, or rather rumor, that they will implement OPML export, once the Google-Reader-transition is done.
By the way, I too prefer the inbox style approach. I explicitly do not want to mix different sources. Webcomics I want to read in chronological order and only once a few posts of the same comic have accumulated. News sites I prefer reading "newest first", especially newspaper feeds that post too many articles to keep up with anyway.
I agree though that the inbox style can be problematic. I unsubscribed from MobileGeeks.de and other tech news sites in favor of smaller blogs, because I ended up reading several hours a day tech news at some point. I prefer a small tech blog to do the selecting over the social media approach though.
Shortly after I posted this, Feedly updated their blog saying they will have support with quite a few apps:
We have been working behind the curtains with the developers of Reeder,Press, Nextgen Reader, Newsify and gReader
I guess this may make my decision easier...http://blog.feedly.com/2013/06/04/feedly-is-listening-the-roadmap-you-helped-us-shape/
I was able to replicate my GR experience with NetVibes (in Reader mode, not Widget mode).
I have Tiny-RSS installed on my server and it works as an awesome replacement for GReader. It has an ever improving mobile app for Android and since its on my own server I know it won't shut down on me
That's exactly for the same reason I finally chose eldonreader. They have what I call a very good "regular mode".
I agree. Might I recommend Tiny Tiny RSS. If you already have a web server (I did) you can just throw it on and customize it to your hearts content. I've got a bunch of friends using it off my server, because it basically is a more updated version of Google Reader.
A few other people I know bought a raspberry pi just so I could set them up with their own install.
+1 for Newsblur. Blows feedly out of the water IMO, but unfortunately it looks like feedly got more of the 3rd party developers to jump on their API.
i always though rss readers were a bunch of jumbled junk that kept building up. i haven't used one for a few years until i read everyone raving on feedly. very nice
Word is that the folks at betaworks (they're behind the new digg.com) are working on an option in direct response to Google Reader shutting down — hopefully it's something nice and simple
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