Monday, 18 March 2013

Google Reader is (going to be) dead. Long live the (RSS) Feed!

Google Official Blog, Wednesday 13th March 2013 a "spring cleaning post" suddenly appears...
We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

I doubt Google will reconsider this (even via petition or rage), so we must be prepared to the switch off.
I am listing some alternatives there. The only real alternative is Feedly (free, available both via web and mobile with dedicated app, plus a good API). I excluded some "basic RSS reader apps" like gReader... Or social aggregators like netvibes).

  • Feedly (my choice, today)
    • Seems promising and fully fledged
    • A lot of sharing options (Fb, Twitter, Instapaper, etc...)
    • Features "read it later" aka "star"
    • Google Account login
    • Fast UI
    • Free (at the moment)
    • Keyboard shortcuts
    • Runs on Google App Engine
    • Developers try to clone an open source Google Reader API (named Normandy)
    • Chrome Extension
    • Web access
  • NewsBlur
    • Paid "service" for unlimited feeds: 24$/year
    • Open source on github
  • Fever
    • Paid "package": 30$/year
    • You need a webserver to run it (PHP + MySQL)
    • No mobile client (probably only HTML5 based) 
    • Web access only
  • Press
    • Mobile only (Android)
    • Paid App: 2,25€
    • Good design and typography
  • Current
    • Google based
    • Good design and typography
    • Mobile only (Android)
  • The Old Reader
    • Still not mature
    • A lot of sharing options
    • No mobile App
    • Chrome, Mozilla, Safari Extensions
  • Pulse
    • Google Current "copied" it
    • Web access
    • Mobile (Android and iOS)
    • Well established
  • Flipboard
    • Came after Google Current and Pulse
    • Mobile only (Android and iOS)
    • Good UI and design
  • Taptu
    • Web
    • Mobile (Android, Blackberry, iOS)
    • (to me) not really clean
The other option could be migrate completely to Google+ or Twitter (following the respective accounts of the websites producing the feeds... Or write your own reader...

Feel free to notify me in case of errors or add some other platform/service.

In case of panic, liberate your Google Reader data using Google Takeout.