Goodbye Google Reader! (Or the Best RSS Reader Alternatives)
With the recent redesign of the infamous and geek-loved Google Reader comes a bunch of geek-hate. The internet is steaming right now with the change to Google Reader where Google has made the obvious next step in their social movement to say, “do everything now with Google Plus”. Google has changed the way that Google Reader allows you to share articles and in the process has ruffled some nerd feathers.
It’s not necessarily the way that Google Reader handles RSS feeds that is the problem, it’s the new UI that has people up-in-arms. So, rather than stay salty and use something that you don’t like to look at to read your content during the day, try these Google Reader alternatives instead.
NetNewsWire (Mac, iOS)
NetNewsWire, recently acquired by Black Pixel, has been a long standing OS X RSS reader and now can use your feed from Google Reader to sync with the iOS (Universal App). The newest iteration of NetNewsWire for Mac has full Lion support which includes full screen mode.
The interface is clean and if you don’t want to sync with Google Reader you don’t have to; NetNewWire can be a standalone app.
Reeder (Mac, iOS)
This is my staple RSS reader for my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Made by Silvio Rizzi, Reeder links to your Google Reader account and provides one of the simplest and approachable interfaces for an RSS reader (or any app for that matter) I’ve ever encountered.
Reeder also allows you to quickly send stories to Instapaper, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, Email, etc. It’s really great.
FeedDemon is a free Windows based RSS reader that syncs with your Google Reader account. Not only does FeedDemon read RSS feeds, but you can subscribe to podcasts, tag items for later reference, and setup “watches” to find news related to a set of keywords.
The UI is simple, effective, and fast.
BlogLines has been around for a while now and even though it is more of a dashboard type of site, you can definitely follow popular feeds. I like how BlogLines recommends some feeds off the top but also allows you to add a custom RSS feed if you want.
There are also Twitter and Facebook widgets so you can have your social network fix mixed in with your news. The site is mature and is free.
Snarfer is a simple, lightweight Windows reader that’s also free. Snarfer allows users to search their RSS feeds, subscribe easily, and organize their content effectively.
If you want a dead-simple RSS reader for Windows that doesn’t need to be synced with Google Reader, Snarfer is your best bet.
Feedly (Web, iOS, Android)
Feedly is one of my favorite web-based readers because it is so visually stunning. I really love good UI design and if you do too, you should definitely take a look at Feedly. Feedly is a free web app that also has Android and iOS apps that sync up with your Feedly account.
Feedly offers a nice way to search different websites and topics and has some great recommendations for starting off with content. This isn’t the most stripped down reader, or one that will give you the most control, but it is beautiful and well-implemented.
Pulse (Web, iOS, Android)
Pulse is a little different from the rest of the readers that we looked at so far. It is definitely more of a mobile based application, encouraging you to “start” stories on your devices or using their bookmarklet on the web. After you have selected some content you can view it at your Pulse.me profile on the web.
There is no “RSS reader” function on the web site, more of just an “Instapaper-ish” type of setup. However, on the mobile apps you can subscribe to different and feeds.
If you haven’t heard of Flipboard yet, then you must not listen to Scoble. Which is surprising because it’s hard to get away from that guy. Anyways, Flipboard has been dubbed by many a geek as the best way to look at content from the web. Flipboard allows the user to subscribe to content as well as their social networks and presents it in a “magazine” type of style. Users can flip through pages and tap stories to read through to them.
It’s a great experience using Flipboard and if you have an iPad without this app I highly suggest you give it a try. It totally changes the way that you think about web content presentation.
So, if you are fed-up with Google changing everything that you have gotten use to and the recent change to Google Reader has just put you over the edge, definitely check out these Google Reader alternatives. Is there any other RSS readers you use? If so, you know where to recommend them!
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