When I discovered Google is going to shutdown Google Reader, I felt sad. Not because I am one of those hardcore users that had half of his social life in Google Reader’s social features (which have been kicked out some time ago), but because I didn’t know any decent alternatives.
Well, I decided to look and apparently there’s a lot to try.
I’m not going to pick one as my favourite, because it’s going to take time for me to play with them and see which one I like the most, but at least I can list them here so others can find them, and also for my future reference. I will also update this post whenever I discover a new reader I consider worth mentioning. Feel free to leave a comment suggesting others I may have missed.
Finally, I think it’s worth mentioning there’s a petition going on to ask Google to keep Reader going. You may want to sign it.
And so, without further ado, here it is, my list of alternatives to Google Reader:
- At the top of the list comes Newsblur. Everyone seems to be recommending it and so far I have to agree: it's pretty nice. If you subscribe to a lot of feeds you will have to pay, though, but at $24 per year it's not a bad price. And it's also open source (Python, Django, MongoDB, RabbitMQ), so you can take a peek at its code or even install your own, which for me only adds more points to the score.
- The Old Reader claims to be «the ultimate social RSS reader. It's just like the old google reader, only better.» It aims to provide all the functionality of the old Google Reader, which means bringing the social features back. I couldn't care less about the social features but I do love the simplicity of The Old Reader - the exact same thing I used to love in Google Reader. This one is currently my favourite and the one I recommend to everyone, along with the mobile gReader app.
- Feedly started as a Google Chrome app that now has a full website. They also have apps for Android and iOS. The service is free and also has instructions on how to transfer your stuff from Google Reader. Until recently, this was my favourite but it really bothers me that it insists on asking for the same permissions every single time I login - why? Are the developers behind Feedly that incompetent? I've implemented OAuth logins some times myself and none of the implementations behaves like that. Also, their Android app sucks big time. I much prefer gReader.
- g2reader, or "Generation Next RSS reader", despite its cheesy name, is a simple and clean news reader that works quite well, just like Google Reader. Unfortunately, like Feedly, it doesn't allow you to export your subscriptions.
- The not-so-recently announced Digg Reader (yes, that Digg) is another contender for the thousands of users resulting from the mass exodus from Google Reader. It seems to be trying to mimic Google Reader in every aspect, including aesthetics. Unfortunately, they too don't offer (at least for now) the possibility of exporting your subscriptions. It hasn't launched it yet but you can leave your email for them to let you know when they do.
- CommaFeed is another hosted solution that also gives you the option of self-hosting by providing the code - but only if you like to suffer, since it's Java...
- Netvibes is an oldie and it's much more than a RSS reader. It also seems to have become more focused on businesses, lately. Doesn't look as appealing as I remember it.
- If you're the technically inclined person and don't mind (or even want) to host your own solution, Tiny Tiny RSS is a very simple, Open Source, PHP-based option.
- Last but not least, Sharebro, another open source attempt at cloning Google Reader's functionality. It doesn't seem to be straightforward at all, requiring that you install a bunch of non-trivial packages of software, but hey, in a rainy Sunday afternoon, maybe it's a fun thing to try.
And that’s it. What do you think? Do you know any others?