Google Reader is Dead: Here Are The Best Google Reader Alternatives
You might be aware by now that Google announced they are shutting down Google Reader, the longtime RSS reading favorite. Google Reader will be put to rest on July 1 of this year, and chances are good that will impact at least some of you reading this. We know that over 15,000 of you use Google Reader alone every day to read OSXDaily’s RSS feed, that’s about 1/4 of our RSS subscribers, so we’re going to offer some suggestions for alternative RSS readers. We’ll focus on desktop RSS clients for Mac OS X, mobile RSS readers for iPad and iPhone, and a few web options, in addition to covering a few others ways to follow OSXDaily and your other favorite sites too.
Be aware that many RSS readers sync with Google Reader, that syncing feature will be dead along with Google Reader itself, so that that is exactly what you’ll want to avoid moving forward. Take the time to export your RSS feeds from Reader before it’s culled, and don’t rely on the Reader syncing feature, or else you’ll be left with nothing to read.
RSS Readers for Mac OS X
Vienna – Free – Vienna is an excellent RSS reader for Mac users, and for most people either Vienna or NetNewsWire will be their best bets on the Mac side of things. Free, super easy to subscribe to new feeds, a very familiar interface, Vienna is all around a winning choice for following and managing RSS subscriptions. This is now our top choice for the Mac.
NetNewsWire – Free with ad support, paid with no ads – NetNewsWire is a great ad-supported free app that also has a paid version, a while back we called it the best RSS reader but many of our readers felt that Vienna was better. They’re both great, and it’s probably worth checking out both and seeing which works best for you.
RSS Readers for iOS
Feedly – Free – Feedly has a free iOS app, Anddroid app, and web version, that makes it simple to subscribe to RSS feeds. Browsing is a bit different than what you’ve become accustomed to with Google Reader though, as things are tossed into a grid layout. That grid can make it harder to skim article headlines, but once you get over the interface differences it’s actually quite nice. It’s worth checking out.
Reeder – $5 – We’ll focus on the full-sized iPad version, but Reeder also has a Mac and iPhone version. Reeder has a nice interface that makes it simple to scan through feeds, manage your subscriptions, and everything syncs easily between the various versions if you’re into that. If you don’t mind shelling out a couple bucks, Reeder is one of the better choices and has a more familiar interface.
RSS Readers for the Web
This is where a true Google Reader replacement would be, but there simply aren’t any services out there (that we’re aware of) that are quite the same as Reader itself. Nonetheless, there are a few options…
NewsBlur – Free, $1/month for more features – NewsBlur has a clunky interface that initially just throws an iFrame around an existing webpage, but it does let you gather RSS feeds and read through large groups of them. Once you get used to the interface it’s actually pretty good, so it’s worth a look.
Feedly – free – Feedly for the web works as a Chrome browser extension, it’ll pull in RSS feeds and then throw them into a grid layout that looks nice, but it’s admittedly difficult to scan through large blocks of headlines. Nonetheless, it’s free, and reading with it is fairly nice.
Alternatives to RSS?
Another possibility is to consider alternatives to RSS completely, and focus instead on email subscriptions, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other methods of tracking your favorite publications (like us!):
Email Subscriptions – Why not get RSS feeds in your email inbox? We offer a daily email subscription that contains the posts directly from our site to your inbox. No spam, no garbage, just content that you’d read on the web or in an RSS reader anyway.
Follow us on Twitter – Nearly every website publishes their feeds to Twitter these days, and we’re no exception. OSXDaily is there, and if you follow the right accounts, Twitter can function similarly to a headline only RSS reader. Twitter feeds can quickly become overly cluttered for info overload though, so it’s all about limiting the amount of accounts you follow to things you’re actually interested in seeing updates from.
Follow us on Facebook – Liking and Following your favorite sites on Facebook is another alternative, though you may miss out on some updates because items are going to be mixed in with your friends posts too. But if you’re always on Facebook anyway, it’s a great way to keep in touch.
Follow us on Google+ – It’s very easy to follow people and publications on Google+, and a lot of publications republish their RSS feeds to GooglePlus. It’s certainly an option worth considering, though with Google’s regular spring cleaning efforts you never know if it’ll be around for the long haul or not.
Are we missing anything worthwhile? Let us know in the comments!