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Now Google Reader is dead, what's the best alternative?

Laura Barnes
Now Google Reader is dead, what's the best alternative?

The time has come to say goodbye to Google Reader.

Export those feeds and keep them somewhere safe, because it’s time to find a new home for your tailored news.

Feedly

Feedly is free, hence why I keep accidentally referring to it as Freedly. It has a pretty similar layout to Google Reader, which some my find a comfort. With four different viewing options the reader caters for all kinds of RSS watchers who may be using a reader for a number of different things.

For instance, being a journalist, I like to skim through headlines until certain keywords pop out. Others may want to casually glance over their feed in a newspaper-style fashion.

Feedly is easy to transfer feeds, and very simple to navigate. My only slight annoyance with this service is that I’d like to have an index down one side of the page rather than having to click on the ‘index’ button to switch to it.

NewsBlur

NewsBlur looks nice, but when you’re met by a screen that says you have to wait for a free account of go premium ($2 a months) for immediate access, I can’t help but feel immediately put off.

I understand that $2 a month is a very little amount of money, but I haven’t event had the chance to play around on it yet, why would I give over my money on a chance when there’s so many free RSS feeds out there?

After waiting a few days, I was eventually granted a free account. The layout is fine, but it all looks a bit stuffy and dull. It’s simple and does what is says on the tin but isn’t nearly as exciting as some of the other options out there.

Digg Reader

Digg Reader has been one of the most talked about alternatives since Google announced the retirement of is reader service.

This one most closely resembles Google Reader, its very clean and simple. There’s only two viewing options – list or expanded. Meaning those who like to see a little more info, but not the whole page, may find Digg Reader a bit frustrating. It also doesn’t display the number of unread stories by each site, which a lot of the other RSS readers seem to do.

Digg Reader is ideal for those wanting to quickly skim through their feeds, but might not appeal to those looking to customise the layout. Digg Reader focuses quite heavily on sharing content to social media, something that Google Reader didn’t really touch on.

The Old Reader

I’m very impressed with The Old Reader. It is set out beautifully, and it’s free. It’s incredibly easy to use and has a drop down menu on the left hand side with all my subscriptions in, a feature that I’m look for in my new RSS reader.

The amount of unread feeds, along with the sites they come from are all clearly marked, which makes it easy for me to stick it in ‘list view’ and skim through all the lovely news waiting to be read.

There’s a ‘full view’ option as well for those wanting to scroll through articles and images.

The option to switch between all content and ‘unread only’ brings me much joy. It’s a great feature that I will most certainly make use of.

AOL Reader

I personally haven’t heard anyone talk about AOL Reader as most of the attention as been on Digg and Feedly. AOL could certainly be making a comeback now that Google Reader is dead. Its own RSS feed service is actually really good.

It looks very similar to Google’s, which should help those transitioning between the two. There’s four different layout options and, much like Digg, it’s very easy to share posts to social media.

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Tags: Google Reader, RSS reader, Digg Reader, Feedly, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, AOL Reader

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