Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, March 25, 2013

RIP Google Reader, Long Live Feedly

Google, how could you?!

Yes, it is true. Google is getting rid of Google Reader (link is to CNET, I work there), the much-beloved site that kept us abreast of each other's blogs since 2005. Google Reader is shutting down July 1st.

If you read this blog via Google Reader, you will need to find an alternate feed reader before then. I aim to help!

Here are some worthy alternatives to Google Reader. I'm going to focus on Feedly because it is an incredibly easy way to port over your Google Reader experience, which I feel like has a few drawbacks but quite a few advantages over Reader.

Importing your feeds is easy. Just go to Feedly and add the web app to your browser (Chrome or Firefox only right now):


Then Connect to Google Reader, input your Google login and accept the permission:


And voila! Click on the "All" tab and you already have a pretty comparable experience to Google Reader. 


Or you can use their "Today" view, which gives you a more magazine-y look:



The wide-open format of the open articles took a little getting used to, but I appreciate that the keyboard shortcuts are the same as Google Reader and I really love the "history" tab. I always hated in Google Reader how when I accidentally refreshed a page the article got marked as read and I had to go hunting for it. 

You can also connect your Twitter account to see which articles your friends are sharing, and easily share things to social media or via e-mail.

The mobile app looks great, though there again the gestures took some getting used to. There's no column summary view, so instead you navigate your unread articles by swiping up. Sometimes you see an article display full screen:



Sometimes you get summaries:


You swipe up to get to the next article(s), swiping right to left gives you a selection of articles from around the Internet, and left to right gives you different views and your feed categories.

Here are some more tips on how to get the most out of Feedly.

I'm still very sad to be losing Google Reader, which I appreciated for its bare-bones interface and the fact that it was integrated with Google. Alas, alas.

Have contemplated life beyond Google Reader? Do you have a favorite RSS reader?






25 comments:

David said...

Nathan, I installed Feedly in Firefox, but all I get is a blank page.

I like the idea of Feedly, but so far not the practice.

Matthew MacNish said...

I just want my blogger dashboard to work again. I "installed" Feedly for Chrome, but ever since my blogger dashboard broke about a year ago, it only imported maybe a hundred blogs I was following.

Oh well, I spend too much time reading blogs anyway.

Cathrine Bock said...

I switched to feedly a few days ago, and so far I am loving it. I'm still getting used to it, since Reader was a part of my daily life for years, but all in all it's been a smooth transition.

LadySaotome said...

I'm still getting over how upset I am at Google. Getting rid of iGoogle wasn't enough - that's twice this year they've thrown my internet experience in a kerfluffle.

That being said, I've been experimenting with netvibes since that would be a handy replacement for both iGoogle & GoogleReader. Not sure it's going to work - I like the layout but I'll spend 20 minutes editing and then loose all my updates. We will see...

Chihuahua Zero said...

I'm reading your blog via Feedly's mobile app right now. I love how slick Feedly is on mobile devices.

Collectonian said...

I love my Google Reader + iGoogle, it gives me just what I want: the headlines of the feeds I've subscribed to, easy to click and read the ones of interest, then can mark them read either one by one or as a group of what's on screen at the time. I've seen a lot of posts recommending Feedly as the best alternative to Google Reader, but I'm hesitant to make the switch. Feedly uses the Google Reader API as it's back end, so right now, if Google pulls the plug, Feedly goes down too. Now, they are working to build their own version, the Normandy thing, so that it should continue to work, just using it's own code base.

Right now, it feels like it would just be taking a gamble that they will finish their version in time and that it will work the same come July 1st as it does today. There is also the gamble that they will last or continue to be free - from their site, they are a self-funded company with no revenue coming in from Feedly at all, so where does the money come from and will it last?

I probably will give it a try, but I'm actually leaning towards just building my own thing and putting in on my site so it will always be available, always work the way I want it to, and I don't have to worry about it being shut down by Google's silly whims of what is "popular", someone running out of money, the owner getting bored, etc.

D Writer said...

I just about died with news that Google Reader was "being put down", and I couldn't understand why this decision was made. But then I switched to Feedly, and I wondered why I hadn't done that earlier. Much cooler interface, seamless, and the app for my phone is WAY easier to navigate. And for someone who likes to use downtime to weed out the unnecessary posts, that makes Feedly a HUGE winner.

D Writer said...

i just about died with news that Google Reader was "being put down", but I switched to Feedly and all my fears disappeared. Way nicer interface, seamless transition, and the mobile app is a godsend. It's so easy to navigate, and for someone who uses downtime to weed out unwanted posts, Feedly is FAR superior.

Bryan Russell said...

I use carrier pigeons to bring me news about the world, so I'm okay.

Richard Mabry said...

I tried Feedly--actually, tried it twice--but wasn't thrilled with it. Seeing lots of recommendations for Reeder for Mac that are interesting, so I may go for something I actually have to buy if I can convince myself it's what I want. Grrr, Google, why are you doing this to us?

Carol Riggs said...

Hey, Nathan, thanks for your clear instructions. I'm pretty much a stick-in-the-mud technophobe, and NOT looking forward to switching. (grumblegrumble,stupidGoogle)

It looks really similar to Reader, and what I like is the NAME of the blogger shows up along with the blog title. NICE!

But...when I log out, how do I get back IN to it? Like...how do I use it from this point on? I guess I don't get how apps work. I bookmarked the Home page but that doesn't help. Eh.

Carol Riggs said...

I figured out! I had to go back to your original FEEDLY link here in the post, and click on that. Then I clicked Login. :) (How will it access the info via my gmail once Reader goes away, though?)

Chris Bailey said...

Thank you, Nathan! The option was available to download an app for Firefox. I did. Seamless.

Anne-Maree Gray said...

Well, that was too easy! Clicked two buttons and it is all loaded and with my existing categories all listed. Perfect and painless.
Thank you so much.

Dale Day said...

I tried Feedly but found it didn't import all my daily feeds.

I downloaded FeedDemon and have been very happy with it.

SA Larsenッ said...

I really do like Feedly. I started using it last week. Love the mobile aspect. Very easy to use on the go!

Nancy Kelley said...

A Twitter friend recommended Feedly last week, and I love it. I've got the app on my iPad, and I imagine that's how I'll be reading blogs from now on.

FYI, there is a Safari extension as well.

M. R. Pritchard said...

I'm not one for change. Losing Google Reader is kind of ruining my life right now.

wendy said...

Gawd, I'm so behind in all this. I wasn't even aware of what Google Reader was. I just clicked on a link in my email and - voilah! - Nathan's blog appeared. But yours, Mr Bransford, is the only blog I follow, anyway.

Whirlochre said...

Feedly's menu is a little more cluttered but it's essentially a great alternative to Reader. Looks like Digg are on the case also.

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

Thanks for the tip! I connected my personal Google Reader.
Unfortunately I am using explorer for my Blog so I can't connect it's Google Reader to Feedly.

Peter Dudley said...

Been trying out Feedly for a week. My favorite part is that now I have a browser tab with the label "f | All" which I like saying out loud. I think they need a view named "You" instead of "All."

Cranberry Morning said...

I signed up for Feedly in Firefox but I wish they had a better tutorial. Anyway, is there going to be a widget we can use like Bloglovin' has for bloggers to encourage subscribers?

Dave said...

I just started using Feedly. It's really slick. Matter of fact, I found your blog through Feedly.

Alexandra said...

Amazed to hear that feedly is a free app. How do these kinds of services ever make money? :-)

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