Couple of months back, I woke up to realize that Google guys have decided to discontinue Google Reader - my personalized news reader with all the RSS feeds I have subscribed to. My anguish is well documented here. It also contained the RSS feeds of my favorite blogs and that, for me, was the only way to stay connected to fellow blogger friends around the way (ofcourse, Facebook and Twitter were also the means, but here I wanted to dramatize the situation).
That's when realization dawned on me that I have no other option but to replace my beloved Reader with able alternatives. If you do a simple Google search using the terms "Google Reader Alternatives", you will get a plethora of replacement tools! The most popular one is Feedly. And that was, for me, an straightforward solution since its easier to go with the flow. And yes, it is an able alternative too - if you want to access your daily dose of RSS updates at your home or on your smartphone. There are certain apps / externsions that you need to download and your account is ready in seconds. Not to mention, your google reader data can be easily imported to Feedly. Also popular among netizens was Flipboard that provides similar features to feedly, but with a better magazine like interface. Good options.
But that's not what I selected!
You see, my requirements were different. All the features mentioned above were fascinating and will enhance my experience. But my basic need was to have a web alternative. I used Google Reader wherever I went to. My home, my friends home, my office, my smartphone - any system that can access the internet. Feedly and Flipboard did not have that option. So I had to look elsewhere.
Cut to the chase - I shortlisted 3 alternatives that had web interface like Google Reader. Android app / extensions is always a bonus for me. Here are my nominations -
All the three mentioned above has similar feature set with minor differences here and there. Personally, I loved News Blur for its look and feel, but guess what, its not free anymore! Damn, I never thought I will have to shell out money (in dollars) to access my subscribed feeds. I admit, I was shocked when Google decided to terminate Google Reader, but it doesn't mean I need to pay to get a better alternative! Hence, News Blur is hereby disqualified.
I tried Good Noows for sometime. You have a lot of options there to change the look and feel of the reader interface and its quite satisfactory. Inoreader is something I found recently and it looks very similar to Google Reader in the look-n-feel and feature department. Registration is also easy for Good Noows and Inoreader and you can directly import your google reader feeds. Once, its done, you are ready to go. So both are equally good.
My winner - InoReader! Maybe its the nostalgia factor that decided the winner. Its Google Reader with a different identity.
PS: This post is not intended to be a feature by feature comparison to select the best reader alternative. I have found two that suits my requirements. Do let me know what you have selected as your Google Reader Alternative.
- Binu Thomas Follow @Binugthomas