Alternatives to Google Reader for OS X and iOS users
Google caused a stir yesterday when it announced that it will shut down Google reader this summer. Though you have a few months to migrate to a new RSS reader, now is the time to start looking at alternatives.
We've compiled a list of web services, OS X clients and iOS apps for you to consider while you prepare to make the switch. Don't be quick to abandon your favorite apps just yet, as most will likely migrate away from Google Reader in the next few months. Both Reeder and Feeddler, two popular Google Reader clients, have said they are not going away.
If you have any suggestions for clients or services not mentioned in this post, please share them in the comments.
Feedly is a news aggregator with a newspaper-like flair. It has its own iOS and Android apps so you can setup your feeds in the browser and view them on your mobile devices. There's no desktop app, but you can use Fluid to create one.
In response to Google's announcement, Feedly said it has been working on a clone of the Google Reader API that could easily replace Google Reader both in Feedly and in other popular Google Reader apps.
Newsblur is another news aggregator that pulls down stories from your favorite blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels using their URL or RSS feed. You can access your news via the web, iPad, iPhone or Android device. The basic service is free while a premium account (US$1 per month) adds extra features like unlimited sites, private shares and more.
Feed Wrangler is an RSS aggregator service from David Smith that is ready to enter beta testing. He describes it as a backend syncing/aggregation subscription service with web and native clients. Smith started work on the service as a replacement for Google Reader and planned to launch it this summer. After Google's big announcement, those plans have been moved up. You can sign up on Feed Wrangler's website to be alerted when the service is ready to launch.
Feedspot, created by Anuj Agarwal, is another startup service that's building a new RSS platform to replace Google Reader. It already has a working website and you can create a login to check it out for free. Feedspot lets you import your Google Reader feeds.
Bloglines is another online agregator that lets you subcribe, manage and share news feeds and other web content. It's been around since 2003 and has changed hands a few times. Now owned by MerchantCircle, Bloglines is one of the largest news and feed aggregators using RSS. It is web-based; there are no native apps.
Fever is a PHP and MySQL application that you run on your own Apache server. Fever serves up your RSS feeds and rates them so you can see the hottest stories first. It's not for everyone and developer Shaun Iman, who created Fever, has some tips for those considering switching to this self-hosted option. There is a $30 one-time fee to use the software. There's also a native iOS client, Sunstroke, created by Gone East.
NetNewsWire debuted in 2002 and was one of the first desktop RSS readers. The app has changed hands a few times over the years and has undergone a lot of changes. Now owned by Black Pixel, NetNewsWire is receiving a major update in the coming months that'll bring syncing to its OS X, iPad and iPhone apps. All apps will also get a modern design.
OS X Apps
Readr is a basic RSS client capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds. You'll see a setting for syncing with Google Reader, but that is optional, not required. The app also integrates with Pocket, Instapaper, Readability and Evernote.
NewsRack is a basic RSS reader for Mac OS X with a keyboard-friendly, tabbed interface. Syncs with Google Reader, but that feature is optional, not required. Created by Ole Zorn, the developer behind Pythonista for the iPad, Newsrack hasn't been updated in a over a year. Hopefully, the Google Reader News will be incentive to bring some fresh features to the app.
Pulp takes your favorite news feeds and presents them in an magazine-style layout. You can scan through previews and quickly find the stories that interest you the most. You can export your current Google Reader feeds as an OPML file and import them into Pulp for OS X. Pulp works on the Mac & iPad.
Headlines brings together the news you are interested in and displays the content in newspaper-style columns. It supports RSS feeds and lets you organize them into 7 pages of content. This is a good option for someone with a smaller RSS feed portfolio.
Feedy is an RSS reader that uses Twitter and Facebook to score the items in your feeds. Those topics with a high rating float to the top of your news stream. It's designed to help you find the news that you care about.
Rss Runner, Free
RSS Runner is a non-Google Reader client that supports 9 different feed formats, offline reading and background downloading. It'll import your current feeds from Google Reader as well.
News App is a basic RSS Reader for the iPhone and iPad. No accounts (Google, Yahoo!, etc.) of any type are required. It's not as robust as the more popular Google Reader-based apps, but it will still work a few months from now.
xFeed RSS Reader, Free
xFeed is a lean RSS Reader for the iPhone and iPad. Like the News app, it's not as robust as the more popular Google Reader-based apps, but it will still work a few months from now.
TLDR is a news aggregator that pulls down 100 feeds from 14 news categories. The app gives you short summaries of each article so you can quickly decide which story to read. If you are tired of managing RSS, TLDR is a nice alternative.
Zite is a news service instead of an RSS reader. The service scans news stories and pulls down those articles that match your areas of interest. It's not a replacement for your RSS reader, just a different way of consuming your news.
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