Web Alternatives to 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 RSS aggregators. Some were good, some ok, and some just plain dreadful. What follows is a some of the best web-based RSS Readers.
The Old Reader
The Old Reader is so named because it resembles the older versions of Google Reader. The interface is a simple, no frills list view. There is integration for social sharing via Facebook, Digg, and StumbleUpon, as well as the option to email links to friends. You can import your Google Reader subscriptions by downloading a OPML file from Google Reader, extracting the settings xml file, and uploading that xml file to The Old Reader. I tried this and had no trouble uploading my feeds. If you are looking for a simple, no-nonsense RSS Reader, this may be your reader.
Feedly was my favorite of the bunch. Available as a browser plugin for Firefox and Chrome (a Safari version is in beta testing as we speak), Feedly also has Android and iOS apps that sync with the web version. Feedly will sync with your Google Reader account, which allows for a quick and painless transition. Feedly is very flexible, and allows for multiple viewing methods. Since this was my favorite, I have written a more in depth article on this reader, which can be viewed here.
Netvibes is available in both free and paid versions, and is aimed at marketers, managers, and analysts. However, it does a pretty good job as an RSS reader. I signed up for the free version, and after a little tinkering, had the service set up to view my feeds. As an added bonus, you can add widgets that will import news and other content that you may not have a feed for. Importing my Google Reader feeds was pretty easy, as it uses the same method as The Old Reader. If you're someone who likes to play around with the look of web apps, this may be the reader for you, as it is infinitely customizable.
The Pulse Reader is available in both web and mobile app versions. You can subscribe to pregenerated streams, or add your own feeds. You can import feeds from Google Reader, but it took me a long time to find the setting which would allow me to do this. Once I found them though, Pulse seamlessly synced with my Google Reader account and added my feeds. My biggest gripe about this service is the lack of customization. However, if you are using the mobile app, this may be the reader to use when you are in front of your laptop.
Taptu feels a lot like Pulse, while also allowing you to add your personal Facebook and Twitter feeds for ease of access. Available both as a mobile app and on the web, this service is very customizable. There are tons of predefined streams, or you can add your own feeds. Syncing with Google Reader to get my feeds was simple and easy. Unfortunately, both the mobile and web versions seemed to lag a great deal, enough to get on my nerves. I hear this is less of a problem if you only have a few feeds to follow (I have over 100), so Taptu may be worth your while if you don't have many feeds.
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