Last night Google announced that Google Reader will be shut down as of July 1. Prior to some changes in 2011, there had been a significant social networking presence with Google Reader where people would share news stories. Many others, including myself, have used Google Reader as a tool to aggregate news into one centralized location through the use of RSS feeds. While the social sharing elements from Reader have died out, there are alternatives to replace its RSS functionality. Here are a few other tools to try out before July:
Feedly is available as a browser-plugin and an app for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices. According to the Feedly blog, they have been working on a clone of its product called Normandy that will allow for the seamless transition once Google Reader is shut down. I set up an account this morning and Feedly quickly soaked up my Google Reader feeds and folders. It was quite impressive. The site design is simple and easy to navigate. Your feed folders act much like sections in a newspaper with some of the top stories appearing prominently at the top.
Flipboard is my top pick if you primarily look at news from a mobile device. It is super thumb friendly and very visual, much like a magazine. Flipboard already has the ability to view Google Reader subscriptions. On the Flipboard blog, they also claim that if you have a Flipboard account and have signed into Google Reader that your feeds will be saved once the service shuts down. You can also add RSS feeds to the service at any point. It is available as an app for iOS, Android, Kindle and Nook devices.
Newsblur Newsblur has been touted as another replacement for Google Reader. The interface of the browser-based application appears to be very useful. I have tried out the demo account on the site and it runs smoothly. So far, I have not been able to get the Google Reader feeds to transfer over to Newsblur as part of the account setup process. I am excited to try it out once all my feeds are included. Newsblur has the potential to best replicate my current workflow. There are two editions of Newsblur. The free edition allows for up to 64 feeds with 10 stories at a time while the $1-per-month paid option is unlimited. It also has apps available for iOS and Android.
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