Since it was announced that Google are axing Google Reader – the web-based RSS reader that rather a large number of people have been using for a long time – I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a suitable replacement.
To cut straight to the chase, Feedly (which I’ve been using for a month now) is leading the way. As I mentioned before, it is available as a Firefox plugin and has apps for iOS and Android. As a result of using the Firefox plugin and the iOS app I now know that Feedly is also fast – very fast. And very nice looking – well laid out, good use of fonts and images, as well as offering flexible configuration and theme options (you can make the Firefox plugin behave almost as if it were Google Reader). Syncing between the different clients is seamless too as these all connect to a web-based service. Overall it is an excellent RSS reader and it’s getting better – in the time I’ve been using it there have been a couple of updates as the Feedly team respond to feature requests made by the droves of people who are flocking to Feedly from Google Reader. So top marks for responding to and supporting customers are due too.
Note – I’ve only recently added Feedly to my Android device but early indications are that it works just as well there as it does on iOS. The Android app is very similar to the iOS one and seems to be just as fast and reliable. Which means I’m probably sold on Feedly as being the future for my RSS needs.
However. Let’s not forget about The Old Reader.
The Old Reader is a clone of an earlier incarnation of the Google Reader and it does the same job very well. It is described as being “the ultimate social RSS reader” and the sharing, liking and trend watching features it offers certainly suggest it is moving in that direction. As with Feedly, The Old Reader has seen a fair bit of development recently as it’s makers adapt to the needs of their share of the Google Reader pie. This suggests that it will have a bright future too – though I think it may be a bit too niche to appeal as widely as Feedly. There are no mobile apps for The Old Reader yet but these have been promised but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue as the present web-interface seems to work quite happily in different browsers (well Firefox, IE, and Chrome anyway – haven’t tried it anywhere else).
There are quiet a few other options for replacing Google Reader out there but these two appealed the most to me – initially because they’re free but now because they both offer good features, work very well and are backed by responsive and creative developers. I think I’ve decided to stick with Feedly but can happily recommend The Old Reader to those looking for a more familiar and direct replacement for Google Reader.