Google announced via their blog this past Wednesday that they will be shutting down their Reader service on July 1, 2013, due to a steady decline in usage. The service, founded in 2005, allowed users to aggregate multiple news sources in to one convenient feed. Apparently, this wasn’t popular enough for most Google users to keep the program afloat. While we have nearly four and a half months to either find or create a similar service, my serene morning coffee escape has been disrupted as I experience anxiety trying to find a suitable replacement.
Barring Google actually changing their minds and keeping the service alive, here are some similar, though not identical, aggregators that should fit your feed needs.
Set up to read more like a magazine than an actual news feed, Currents allows users to organize and share their usual news and entertainment sources while also aggregating breaking news headlines broken down in to general categories (world, sports, politics, etc).
Currents is designed for touch devices, promoting a “swipeable magazine format” that’s both phone and tablet-friendly. As Google readies to do away with Reader, Currents is becoming a viable replacement, especially as it integrates with Reader (as well it should).
If you’re hard-stuck on remaining with a Google product, then Currents will be your next best thing.
Coining themselves as a “seamless transition from Google Reader”, Feedly is both browse and touch-device compatible. Users will find Feedly’s UI to be more of a feed site instead of a magazine format that most feed curators seem to be favoring. If you prefer a more linear approach to your news aggregation, then Feedly will be a great alternative to your soon-to-be-former Reader.
You can save, share, sync, and sort with ease using Feedly’s simple yet beautiful layout. Named one of TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Smart-Phone Apps of 2011, Feedly is fully customizable, aggregates popular headlines and “tailored-to-you” suggestions.
Another image-interactive content gatherer, Pulse is a healthy blend of touch-based magazine and content-organized programing in a sleek design. Navigation is tuned to swipe gestures that allow users to smoothly scan through topics or scroll through a specific category.
Their cloud-based service allows for insta-syncing to your account—read laters, sharables, new feed content, and favorites are all accessible from almost anywhere. Their mosaic design will speak to more visual-based crowds, but won’t be an overwhelming news-image-overload, as if a newspaper exploded into your Pinterest feed.
NewsBlur is a trainable RSS hub that allows free users to collect up to 64 feeds. Boasting that their service allows users to “read the content in context, the way it was meant to be seen”, NewsBlur ports readers to the originating site to view content.
Unfortunately, free accounts are currently suspended (most likely to ease the impending server strain of news users as Reader dies), but paid accounts are available for only $1 a month (the cost of ONE magazine subscription) and allow users unlimited collections and full privacy (the free version only allows public shares and limited sites). Similar to Reader, their UI is both touch and browser-friendly and offers the all-important real-time feed streaming.
BlogBridge touts themselves as a service best suited to “true info junkies.” A free and open-source program, BlogBridge has a simple non-distracting UI that is simple and easy to navigate. Users can easily add in their favorite content sites, synchronize across multiple computers, and find new content tailored to your interests.
Unfortunately, this program is exclusively browser-based, so it’s not a good on-the-go option, but as the service is account-based, you can use it from most places with an internet connection (think “office”).
Check out more RSS Readers/Agregators: Editor’s Top Picks: A Second Round of Google Reader Replacements