Google Reader is dying
, but that doesn't mean you are going to be cut off from the world. There are dozens of Google Reader apps and not all of them are going to simply disappear when Google shuts down Reader. Instead, there is likely to be something of a renaissance in the world of RSS readers, because there is a lot of competition about to happen. With that in mind, here are the 8 best alternatives to Google Reader.
We'll break it down into 3 categories to make it a bit easier. For the hardcore news junkies, the clear choice is NewsBlur, although Taptu is also a good option. For those looking for a more casual way to pull things together and may not necessarily need RSS options, there is Feedly, Google Currents, Flipboard, and Pulse News. And, for those who want news, but don't necessarily need a dedicated app, there's Twitter and Google+.
Let's go a bit more in-depth on the choices:
8 best Google Reader alternatives
8 best Google Reader alternatives
NewsBlur is by far the best option for those of you who were power users on Google Reader. NewsBlur not only offers similar features to Reader, and has apps for the web, iOS, and Android, NewsBlur also has some extra features that are extremely nice. The big feature of NewsBlur is that you can train it to know what you like, and what you're interested in, so that even within the feeds you follow, it will start to sort stories as important and regular. NewsBlur can learn based on topics, or even what authors you like.
Best of all, NewsBlur is open source and has an amazingly robust API, so even though the apps are limited right now, that could very well change if enough users migrate over. NewsBlur is a somewhat small product right now, but there are already plans to add servers to make up for the expected growth (so try back soon, because the site may be overloaded as of this writing).
Newsblur offers a free tier, which gives you access to 64 feeds, and a paid tier which gives you unlimited feeds and faster syncing for $1 per month.
Feedly is one of the prettier alternatives, offering a magazine style similar to Flipboard or Google Currents, with plenty of swiping and gestures. Feedly is available through a browser extension, as well as an iOS and Android app.
The key to Feedly is that the company has already promised that it will make the transition away from Reader "seamless" by cloning the Google Reader API in order to shift the app into a standalone product.
Flipboard is the app that can get the recognition as starting the move towards more magazine style UI for news readers, and it's still one of the best. There is no web component though, so this is an iOS and Android only option. Still, if you like the style, Flipboard is a great option that can pull in content from a number of sources including your social networks. Although, Flipboard doesn't allow you to add RSS feeds, you have to select from the content offered.
Google Currents is Google's answer to Flipboard and offers a similar experience, but with a few differences. Currents won't pull in content from social networks, but it does have options to get content from select "curators" who are sort of experts in various fields. Like Flipboard, Currents doesn't allow you to add RSS feeds, you have to select from the content offered. And, like Flipboard, Currents only has iOS and Android apps, no web app.
Taptu is a nice option for a few reasons. First, you can import your Google Reader feeds to easily get yourself started. Second, it not only offers an iOS and Android app, but has a web app, and apps for Nook and BlackBerry as well. Like Flipboard and Google Currents, Taptu will sync your subscriptions across devices as well. So, if you're a cross-platform user Taptu is a great option.
Taptu also adds some nice features like creating custom SearchStreams which can pull together content based on keyword searches, and you can even make a custom SearchStream for keywords within a feed in your list. And, there is also the DJ Your News feature, which lets you mix, merge, divide up, re-name and color code streams.
Pulse is one of the original alternatives, and it is one of the best (which may be why LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Yahoo have all been rumored to be interested in buying the app
.) Pulse is quite similar to Taptu (even in the UI), and offers a web app, iOS and Android apps. Pulse can import your Google Reader feeds, and get you content from tons of other sources.
Google+ may well be the reason why Reader is dying
, but the simple fact is that there are plenty of Reader alternatives (as this list proves), and Google+ is one of them. If you want your news, but don't necessarily need a dedicated news app, Google+ is an easy way to get your news. Most websites have Google+ pages (including PhoneArena
), so even if you want news from a source that isn't hooked into something like Flipboard or Google Currents, chances are they'll be on G+. All you have to do is find the sources you like and make circles for different topics, and there you go, easy news feed.
Google+ is available on the web and has apps for iOS and Android.
The same reasoning behind putting Google+ on the list is why Twitter gets to be on the list, but Twitter could be an even better option than Google+. Just like G+, any content source you follow is likely (maybe more likely than G+) to have a Twitter feed (including PhoneArena
!), so you just follow the sources you want, make lists and you're good to go. One thing about Twitter is that it really will be just a basic feed of your news, just headlines and links, no flashy images or anything like Google+, or Currents or Flipboard. But, there are also dozens of options for Twitter clients on every platform available, so you can find an option that suits your style.
And, since Twitter has become something of a real-time news phenomenon, it may be the best option for staying on top of breaking news.