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Goodbye Google Reader! (Or the Best RSS Reader Alternatives)

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.

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      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 (Windows)

      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.

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      BlogLines (Web)

      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 (Windows)

        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.

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          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.

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            Flipboard (iPad)

            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!

             

            More by this author

            CM Smith

            A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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            Trending in Technology

            1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

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            Last Updated on September 11, 2019

            8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

            8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

            Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

            Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

            Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

            Why Typing Fast Matters?

            Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

            Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

            Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

            Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

            8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

            Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

            Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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            For Beginners

            1. Speed Typing Online

              What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

              The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

              2. Typing Trainer

                Typing Trainer

                is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

                Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

                The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

                3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

                  There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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                  Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

                  The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

                  For professional writers and programmers

                  4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                    Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                    If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                    Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                    If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                    If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                    5. The Typing Cat

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                      Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                      Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                      The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                      Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                      Fun typing games

                      6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                        Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                        Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                        The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                        7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                          Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                          Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                          Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                          8. Daily Quote Typing

                            Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                            Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                            With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                            Bottom Line

                            At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                            By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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