You may have heard the unfortunate news that Google Reader will be shutting down after July 1. Like so many of you, were shocked to hear that this popular RSS reader is getting the axe, especially after building a loyal fan base over the past five years. Fortunately, there are great alternatives out there to Google Reader for you to continue gathering your relevant news and updates in one place.
Here are our picks:
Feedly is probably the best alternative for making a smooth transition from Google Reader because it syncs directly with your current Reader feed. You even sign in with your Google credentials. Depending on your viewing preference, Feedly offers your choice of a basic view that is more in line with a traditional RSS feed reader, or a more visually-appealing "cards" view (above)that is image-based. You can also set different view styles for different feeds, which is unique to Feedly. This service is available on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and as a mobile app for iOS, Android and Kindle so pretty much anyone is in luck here.
Do you read all day at work and don't want to read all night to get your news? Newsy is a smart video-based news aggregator that compiles actual clips from news broadcasts to give you the quick and dirty on the top news of the day. It's a simple layout that you can scroll through, and the headlines pop up on the bottom for you to see what each clip represents. There is no option to personalize by category, but the news feed does cover all the major topics of the day--if not blogs and other feeds you might have followed with Reader. It's available on the Web and on mobile devices for iPhone, iPad, Android, Nokia and Windows 8.
Pulse is my all-time favorite, and is actually something I read every night before bed. You can customize categories to your heart's content and hand-pick from the largest variety of mainstream and off-the-beaten path sources to completely personalize your news feed. Pulse is visually appealing, simple to use and you can easily share stories via email and social networks. I also like how you can save stories to read later. It's available on the Web and on mobile devices for iOS and Android.
Flipboard is another popular news aggregator, best known for its magazine-like interface. You can literally "flip" through pages like a virtual magazine which is a fun tactile feature. And what makes Flipboard different is that the stories presented in your desired categories are the ones that are most shared across the Web, so that viral video that everyone is talking about the next day, you will have already seen the night before.
Newsblur is another alternative and like Feedly, it easily transports your current RSS feeds from Google Reader. It certainly has the more functional RSS reader feel without the bells and whistles of lots of images. However Newsblur gets to know your preferences over time and starts customizing your feed to adapt to the types of stories you read, which is a nice convenience. There's also a social element, letting you see other Newsblur users who are reading the same articles you are.
The one shortcoming is that the free version only allows you to access 12 sites with a limit of 10 stories at a time, so this is really more for heavy news readers who are willing to upgrade for $24 a year to get unlimited content. Newsblur is also available for iOS and Android.
One more tip: For the services that don't offer direct transfer from Google Reader, make sure to use Google Takeout to extract all the RSS feeds and saved sites from your reader. Good luck! We know there is life after Reader. -Jeana