Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Google is killing off Reader - No More RSS For You

According to this blog post, Google Reader is going the way of the dodo bird in their latest round of spring cleaning. I understand that development and maintenance resources are limited commodities, and they should be focused on those applications that are growing or heavily utilized. I find it highly ironic, however, that I read about the impending shut-down using the very tool that they are killing off.

The D-Day for Reader is July 1, 2013, or just under 4 months from now. The one good thing is that Google provides the Google Takeout tool (part of their data liberation initiative) to export all of your Reader subscription data. It also includes files with all your starred items, bloggers you follow, etc.

The only trick now is finding a suitable replacement RSS tool. One of the things I liked about Google Reader was that it was "in the cloud" and was browser agnostic. Most of the previous RSS tools I've used were plug-ins or add-ons for specific browsers. Either that, or they were thick-client installs. Reader allowed me to maintain one RSS subscription list that I could access from a multitude of devices. Granted, the Chrome browser is available on almost every device I use, and it has synchronization capabilities for its plug-ins, favorites, etc. I don't know how that plays with RSS readers, and I still don't like the idea of my RSS feed being tied to another piece of software. When it was in the cloud, I could use any browser to access it, so I was only halfway tied to the Google ecosystem.

So, does anyone have recommendations for an RSS reader that works across multiple devices and OSes, will synchronize item state across all of them, and is not a pain to manage?

I'll share anything I find and let you know what I settle on, if you care.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)


  1. Not a clue, so if you run across a good one, please post a link... sigh...

  2. Well crap. This sucks. Do post a link when you find some good candidates for replacement. Reader is a huge part of my daily workflow.

  3. I'm looking too. Please share if you find something.

  4. I'm trying this, currently. Lot's of configuration to make it work like I want, but it seems like a decent alternative

    1. Yeah, I'm going to put a post up later this evening on some of the alternatives. Personally, I'm settling on Feedly as well, but there are some downsides to it.

      Primarily, it's not a 100% pure web application. It requires a browser plugin to work. This means that it's only support in Firefox or Chrome. Or, if you have a mobile device, you can get their native iOS or Android app. This does mean that Safari on Windows, Opera and Internet Explorer users are left out in the cold. It also means if you're on a Windows phone or a Blackberry, you're also out of luck.

      If you don't fit their target demographic, it's a big ball of suck and fail. However, if you don't mind a browser plug-in, or you can use one of their mobile apps, it seems like a great fit.

      What I really like is that it authenticates using Google's oAuth services, so you don't need a separate account. Also, because it was initially designed to sync with Google Reader, it connects to that and pulls all your feeds in without issue, even keeping your last-read statuses, folder settings, starred posts and tags. And there's no need to go through the whole export/import process.

      So, know that I've turned this reply into a mini-blog post, I'll stop typing now :-D