Monday, 18 March 2013

Google Reader Alternatives

Looking for an alternative to Google Reader, that is being closed in the summer, I have come across three possibilities so far. All have their pro's and con's.

Note: I am immediately discounting the likes of Pulse, Flipboard, Currents etc, as I am looking for a direct replacement for Google Reader and not a tiled aggregation service that puts content it thinks you will enjoy at the top.



Feedly can provide the feeds in the form of tiles (like Pulse, Flipboard, etc) but also has a number of different layout options, including the layout in the screenshot above that looks familiar to Reader users. It also has the ability to share content.

Pro's:
Multiplatform (android, iOS, desktop)
Customisable

Con's:
Currently uses Google Reader for synchronisation (as does FeedDemon that has decided to call it a day)



Another similar interface to Google Reader. You can star and share stories like you could on Google Reader and also change the layout or get rid of pictures. There are free and premium account options.

Pro's:
Multiplatform (android, iOS, desktop)
Customisable

Con's:
The android app is, according to the reviews, awful and often doesn't work:


The free version only allows 10 articles at a time and 64 subscriptions
Free accounts are currently not available due to high demand
Text-only previews is a premium feature
You have to provide a credit card to sign up



Currently in beta, The Old Reader is a project designed to work like Google Reader used to. You can log in via Google or Facebook.

Pro's:
Most like Google Reader

Con's:
No mobile apps
Will be introducing paid accounts for full features in the future (link).

Conclusion
I am not sold on any of the three so far. Others I have been looking at all seem to use Google Reader to do the work with syncing and aggregation, so many of them may disappear the same time that Reader does. What would be ideal is an amalgamation of the three.

I was very tempted to pay for Newsblur, but all the recent reviews for the app on my portable devices say that it doesn't work, it force closes, crashes or just displays a black screen. I would need the premium version as I have so many feeds, but I am not going to pay if the android version does not work.

The Old Reader looks to work just as I would want it to on the desktop and works most like Google Reader. However, there is currently no mobile app which, with so many feeds, is how I keep up to date with most of the news.

Feedly, then, seems to be the pick of the bunch, but hopefully they will make their own engine (and that it works well) before the Google Reader switch off.

No comments: