Google continues shutting down features and services which aren’t earning them revenue. The long list of services and tools that Google has already closed include Picnic (a very famous online image editor), Google Desktop (the ultimate Windows Desktop search tool) and iGoogle (personalized start page). This continues with the latest news of Google Reader being shutdown.
The world’s most popular RSS client is FeedDemon which also relies on Google Reader for synchronization of RSS feeds. With Google Reader, many services including FeedDemon will die.
Although it will be a few months when Google Reader will discontinue, users have already started shifting to other services which are touted as Google Reader alternatives.
Not all the users will be able to find alternatives and migrate their feeds to the new services. The websites who have the most RSS subscribers using Google Reader will get a hit and the overall number of subscribers will decrease after shutdown of Google Reader.
Finding the alternatives to Google Reader
I have been using FeedDemon along with Google Reader for a very long time. Infact, Google Reader was the first RSS reader that I started using and am using it until now.
Since now it is bound to close on July 1st, 2013, I am also on a hunt to find the perfect alternative to Google Reader. I have tried quite a few RSS readers. I am using Windows 8 along with Windows Phone 8 so I would need a solution that is available for both these platforms.
The best rated Google Reader alternative is Feedly which is available for most platforms as a web app as well as native Operating System app. It is available as an addon for Firefox and Chrome. It also comes as an app for Android and iOS. Migrating your feeds to Feedly is super easy. You only have to sign in using your Google account and Feedly does everything else.
Newsblur is another great feed reader which is available for iOS, Android and a web app. Although the interface is quite good but the only problem with Newsblur is that you can only subscribe to 64 RSS feeds in the free edition. For unlimited site, you will need to pay $24/year.
If you want to see RSS reading reimagined, you should try out Pulse. Pulse is a fantastic web application which can be quite innovative when it comes to user interface of the app. Pulse also have an app for Windows Phone in addition to Android and iOS. The only problem with it was that I was looking for a simple alternative with as much similarity to Google Reader as possible.
Finally, I have come across The Old Reader which has almost the same features as Google Reader. The Old Reader sports a minimalistic design which looks very similar to Google Reader. The Old Reader includes some features that were discontinued in Google Reader long ago.
The Old Reader is a web based application and there is no dedicated apps available for any platform. But the user can easily open the web based app in a browser of any device including Android, iOS and Windows Phone without any problems. Since the web design is responsive, it will adjust to the screen size automatically.
The Old Reader comes with a very useful How to tutorial which gives an overview of how to use the web application efficiently. You can go through the tutorial before using the app. It only takes a couple of minutes to go through the tutorial.
The problem with The Old Reader right now is its inability to handle huge amounts of traffic. Since the announcement of Google Reader retirement, people have been flocking to alternatives including The Old Reader.
If you are adding new feeds manually, then there is no problem for you. But if you want to import your feeds from Google Reader to The Old Reader, it will take a huge amount of time for processing. It has been two days and still my migration is in pending status.
What are you using for reading your RSS feeds and subscriptions? My decision rests on Feedly’s announcement of a Windows Phone app coming soon. If they are able to provide a Windows Phone app before Google Reader dies, I will shift to Feedly. Otherwise, I will prefer to use The Old Reader.