Damn! I’m going to Miss Google reader from July :( Yes, Google announced that it is going to shut down the most useful thing on the web ‘Google reader’. I have been using it daily for all my reads and after the news of its death, am worried about choosing an alternative. There are quite few apps as alternative to Google reader, but nothing comes close to its minimalist interface. Also not a big fan of Flipboard or any other tablet RSS feed readers. Now would be a good time for Google to see how much people would pay for their RSS reader. Google already charges for business Gmail/apps.
If the reason they are shutting it down is because it is not profitable enough then they should give it a chance to pay for itself. Why not test out charging for Google reader since there are apparently a lot of ardent fans lamenting its demise. Brain Shih former Google reader product manager answers why is Google killing Google reader, you can read his answer on quora.
When I was looking out for an alternative to Google reader, closest to my interest comes Newsblur and The Old Reader. Newsblur is charging 1$ per month for unlimited feeds, the free version can hold up to 60 feeds only. Feedly, Flipboard, Reeder, Pulse, Google currents, Zite and there are lot of magazine style RSS feed reader apps, but none comes close to minimalist Google reader. Also most of them require mobile or tablet device to read feeds. If you take iPhone, iPad – here are few apps to read RSS feeds on iPhone, iPad.
Some of my friends suggested a pro tip – not to migrate your feeds till June 20th. Because most of the RSS feed readers like Feedly, The Old reader, Newsblur are changing its pricing and plans. Also after the news of Google reader’s death, other RSS feed readers are enjoying huge traffic. Many people have started to export all their feeds from Google reader to other RSS readers.
How to Export Google Reader RSS Feeds?
Open your Google reader, navigate to settings and under export/import tab, you can download your RSS feeds xml file. Once you’re done, you can import that xml file to any other RSS feed readers. All your feeds will be migrated easily without any hassle.
Best Google Reader Alternative
When I looked out for the best alternative to Google reader with similar minimalist interface, easy sharing options, I found The Old Reader to be closest match. I just tried out the Old Reader for few days and here are my thoughts.
- The Old Reader is a clone of Google Reader.
- You can import your XML file that saves all your feeds and folders exactly from Google reader.
- Sharing options as same as Google reader, people can follow your shared items.
- You can share and save articles. Twitter, Facebook, G+ to share articles and Pocket app to save articles for later read.
- The display modes are similar to Google reader. You can view in expanded mode with excerpts / full view of articles or just the title alone in the list view mode.
- I love keyboard shortcuts. J,k for previous/next post, o – open post in new window, s for share a post, and other keyboard shortcuts as in Google reader.
- Integration with Pocket app is awesome. It allows us to save an article for read it later. The keyboard shortcut, F allows us to save an article to Pocket. With one click, you can send to pocket app.
- The Old Reader has browser extensions for Google chrome and Safari that shows us the notifications for unread new items.
- Similar to Google reader, you can double click to rename a folder, drag and drop items into a folder etc.
- Try out The Old Reader and leave your thoughts as comments, will add the best comment as 10th point along with your name and website URL. (dofollow backlink)
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