Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader Alternatives: First Glance

I've begun looking at various alternate RSS Feed Readers recommended by various Tech sites, such as Macgasm, LifeHacker, and CNET.

Feedly: Has different apps for iOS, Android, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. No version for Internet Explorer. I don't like Internet Explorer, but I am restricted to using it at work. I wouldn’t be able to catch up on blog posts during my lunch hour. (Well…sure I could…on my phone. But it’s easier to read blog posts on a large screen.)

NewsBlur: When I first looked at NewsBlur the evening of March 13th, it said that its free version had a limit of 64 feeds. By March 14th, that number had decreased to 12. The decrease could be temporary, there is no information on their blog. Regardless, that's too low for me. Their premium version is only $12/year.  If there were no other viable choices, I’d consider it. But with worthwhile free options, paying even $12/year is too much.

TheOldReader: Created when Google Reader made some changes that upset some users, it was constructed to look and feel exactly like Google Reader. Currently, due to server overload, they are limiting the number of users who can import their feeds at one time, so I haven’t had a chance to really test this out, but it looks promising. Especially for users who don’t like getting used to new things. Update: Was able to upload my subscription file the evening of March 14th, but received a message that it could be several hours before the subscriptions were imported, as 5482 users were in the import queue ahead of me.

Google Currents: Only has iOS and Android versions. If you only follow your subscriptions on a phone or tablet, this might be a good alternative. Until Google decides it no longer wishes to maintain it either.

NetVibes: The only place so far I have been able to import my Google Reader feeds. Their interface is more complicated than Google Reader. They have two views: Reader and Widget. Reader is similar to Google Reader, though I haven't figured out the best way to bookmark articles to return to them. Widget view allows you to add additional functionality similar to an iGoogle page. (iGoogle is being retired in November of 2013)

Pulse: This seems to be one of the more popular 'visual' readers. For those who like to view their blogs in a newspaper/magazine style. It is my opinion the more blogs one subscribes to, the less useful this becomes. It was announced yesterday that LinkedIn is close to buying Pulse. Not sure how that will impact the application (or the networking site).

Currently, my plan is to test out NetVibes and TheOldReader and decide which one I prefer. If someone suggests I try something not listed above, I'll consider it.

Another factor some might be wondering about is how likely are the above websites to be around a year from now? I have no ability to measure that for any of the options above. Especially not Google Currents. Google Reader has been in existence since 2005, but Google has been doing a lot of 'spring cleaning' recently, and making it clear they are willing to abandon applications they view as unsuccessful. (And many people would not have included Google Reader in that list.)

1 comment:

Julie Goucher said...

Thanks for the info on The Old Reader. I will investigate!