Yep, today is the last day for Google Reader. I’m still mourning the loss, frankly, as it has been the way I read the internet for the last nine years. I subscribe to over 500 blogs on Google’s RSS service, carefully separated into folders by topic, and it kills me that I have to say goodbye.
Before you read any further, go immediately over to Google Takeout and download your subscriptions. Every single reader alternative will be able to use that file to import your feeds.
I’ve already written about some great alternatives to Google Reader, but I wanted to share about a couple more; these days alternatives are popping up all over the place. The most popular readers are those that are visually based, such as Feedly and Flipboard, but I prefer my reader to be content based. I need a reader that allows me to flip through news headlines easily, with a lengthy teaser, so that I can process huge amounts of information quickly.
First up is The Old Reader. I’ve heard from several bloggers that like this alternative, which is a fairly simple app that looks similar to Google’s reader. It works very much like Google Reader, and honestly would have been my first choice if I hadn’t fallen for the app I list below.
Hilariously, AOL has released a new reader. (It’s hilarious because RSS is almost as irrelevant as AOL). It looks nice, and I tried to get hands on with it but was put on the waiting list (after being forced to sign up for an AOL account for the first time since 1995 *shudder*), so I can’t tell you how well it works.
My favorite, however, and the choice I’m sticking with, is NetNewsWire. It is fantastic. It successfully imported all of my folders, and best of all, when I click on a feed that is a partial feed (meaning the site the feed is from only shares a portion of a piece, requiring you go to the site for the full article) NetNewsWire opens the feed within the app so I don’t have to click away. I love this feature SO MUCH. It is a desktop client, however, and not a website so bear that in mind. Lastly, there is no mobile version of the app which sucks (and weirdly, there WAS an app back in 2008) so if you read your RSS on your tablet or phone you might want to use Flipboard or Feedly instead.
Ironically, I’ve also seen a whole lot of people being educated about RSS feeds because of Google Reader shutting down. I suspect we might all see an upswing in subscribers and folks newer to the net find out they can keep tabs on their favorite sites and blogs using RSS. So there’s your silver lining, folks.