FEEDLY: THE BEST REPLACEMENT FOR GOOGLE READER

As you may or may not know, Google Reader, which has been used to read RSS feeds since 2005, will be retired on July 1st, 2013. Many of us who have used this service since the early days of RSS feeds were left pondering the question of what to do, as we have grown dependent on this service for updates from our favorite websites. So for the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with several different RSS aggregators. Some were good, some ok, and some just plain dreadful.

I settled on an aggregator called Feedly. This service is available as an Android, Kindle or iOS app, and as a plugin for Firefox and Chrome (a version for Safari is in development). From what I have seen in the past few weeks, it is the most versatile, flexible reader available to date.

Moving from Google Reader to Feedly was extremely easy. Some of the readers I experimented with required you to download data from Google Reader, unzip the file, and then upload the feeds to the new reader. Not Feedly! A few clicks, and all of my Reader content, including subfolders, was imported into Feedly. Within seconds I was ready to go.


Feedly List View

Feedly Features

One of the great things about Feedly is display options. If your an old school reader who simply wants a list of feed titles, you can set for this type of view. Many of the younger generation will no doubt prefer a magazine style or full page image view; these options are available as well. Switching between view style can be accomplished quickly and easily, using a simple selector button is the upper right corner.

To make the most of limited tablet or phone real estate, the Android version does not display the subscription list until the three line icon at the top of the screen is clicked. This results in a much cleaner, less cluttered interface. Compared to Feedly, the interface of the Google Reader Android app feels clunky, so this was a welcome change.

Feedly Magazine View

On opening an article, there are a number of options for saving and sharing articles. Twitter, facebook, email and other social media sharing options are available. I also found a link shortener, which was a nice touch. And of course, you can book mark articles to be read later.

Besides the Chrome and Firefox plugins, I tried the Android app on my Samsung Galaxy. I found that all versions of Feedly sync together nicely, with never a hiccup experienced. For reading blog posts, I found that the full screen cards view was my favorite, and allowed me to read posts with ease. If you decide to click through and read a full post on a site, the mobile app wisely opens the website inside its app instead of sending you to the phone’s browser, which results in a much faster experience. Feedly also switched screens seamlessly and smoothly, and left me feeling like Google Reader had lagged behind the competition in creating a great user experience.

Feedly Full Article View

While I still moan about the loss of Google Reader, I realize that it, like all good thing must come to an end. Luckily, there are plenty of feed services waiting to take Google Reader's place. For me that, service is Feedly. Give it a try; I think you'll like it.

I hope you have enjoyed this hub. Have you tried Feedly, or have you switched to a different reader? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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