AndroidAppsGood and EVO

The seven best alternatives to Google Reader on the web and on Android

Google Reader logo - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereThe internet is currently throwing a huge fit about Google retiring its popular RSS reading service, Google Reader, at the end of July 1. Petitions have started (this one has almost 80,000 signatures at the time of publication), even while Google has already gone so far as to pull Google Reader from the Play Store.

Believe me when I say that I’m just as angry about this as everyone else, but I think it’s slightly more productive to compile a list of the services I’ll be considering, leading up to July 1. And, of course, let me know in the comments if I missed any big ones. We’re all in this together, folks, so let’s band together and share our knowledge.

So without further ado, here are the seven best alternatives to Google Reader on the web and on Android.

  1. Feedly: Available on Android, iOS, and as a Chrome web app, Feedly can sync  your read and unread stories across different devices, and it will also maintain a full sync with Google Reader until the latter is no longer available anymore. As an added bonus, the developers behind Feedly promise a smooth transition behind the scenes for all former Google Reader users as of July 1. Personally, I really dig the desktop web site and find it quite visually appealing and easy to navigate. The mobile app, however, is taking some getting used to. It’s really hard to beat the straightforward simplicity that is Google Reader.
  2. NetVibes is getting some good coverage on a few other sites, but there are some downsides: as far as I can tell, it’s not available on Android, so those of you who turn to this service will be missing out on a mobile-optimized experience. It does seem to have a few nice intelligent features, but for anything other than the most basic feed reading, you’ll have to purchase a premium plan. The website has also been incredibly slow and sluggish for me, so that’s reason enough for me to pass on this one personally – even though others are raving about it.
  3. NewsBlur is another service that has Android, iOS, and web apps, so you can stay in sync on any device you happen to be using at the moment. Unfortunately, it is also incredibly sluggish right now, and I’ve also learned that free accounts have been suspended due to the overwhelming demand over the past 24 hours. Still, this might be one to keep an eye on in the coming days and weeks, as the company learns to deal with its new workload and (hopefully) open up free accounts again.
  4. The Old Reader is known by Google Reader enthusiasts as a feed reader that kept all the best parts of the old Google Reader alive, before that redesign about a year ago. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test that one myself, as it too seemed too bogged down by all the demand.
  5. Pulse has a web interface, along with iOS and Android apps, although this service is probably one of the furthest away from the traditional Google Reader experience. It’s flashy, colorful, and – to me, at least – just not very efficient. Perhaps most importantly for those of you who have a huge feed library in Google Reader, I don’t see an easy, quick way to import lots of feeds all at once. But this too has a loyal following, so it bears mention here.
  6. Flipboard, and …
  7. … Google Currents are two apps available on both Android and iOS that also have loyal following, but they too are less than ideal for several reasons: again, it’s difficult to add a bunch of feeds at once (at least in Google Currents); their designs are quite jarring to those of us enamored by the simplicity of Google Reader; and there’s no way to keep things in sync on the desktop.

Again, I invite you to leave your suggestions below, too. While I doubt Google will listen to us and bring back Reader, I have no doubt that we’ll get through this together!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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12 thoughts on “The seven best alternatives to Google Reader on the web and on Android

  • Avatar of Simon Belmont

    Yeah. Currents would be good, but the lack of the desktop client or even a web based solution makes it less palatable.

    By the way, I’m not sure when this happened (maybe it’s been a while and I was just slow to notice it), but why is G&E called “Good and EVO Archives” now? Is it because the EVO name is likely dead with the HTC One being the branded across all carriers that have that handset or what?

    Reply
    • Actually all our category pages are labeled “archives” …so don’t read too much into that! :)

      Reply
      • Avatar of Simon Belmont

        Oh, good. I was getting a little worried. :)

        Glad G&E will stick around even into the “One” era. Yay. :D

        Reply
  • Avatar of Aaron Orquia

    I can understand why Google didn’t want both Currents and Reader active as separate products (and two different apps on my phone), but I think it would have made much more sense to integrate the Reader interface with Currents as the mobile app. As of now, Google doesn’t really seem to have a good alternative for Reader, and if the company really is trying to push Google+ I’ll be pretty unhappy. However, I’m still holding out hope that Google has something even better than Reader or Currents up its.

    Reply
  • Go to the Playstore
    1. Apps
    2. Swipe left to Categories
    3. News & Magazines
    4. Paid apps or free apps
    Plenty of options
    I use Pocket…it’ll read to you & sync to desktop!

    Reply
    • Problem is, a lot of those RSS apps use Google Reader as a backend, and so far, feedly is the only one I’ve heard that has a plan in place to transition people over.

      Reply
    • eh – tried it, don’t care for it. I think feedly is probably going to be the best thing for my needs, unless Google has something else amazing up its sleeves like Aaron mentioned.

      Reply
      • Avatar of Simon Belmont

        Evidently, DIGG is going to try to duplicate the Google Reader API. Hopefully, this would mean compatibility with apps that depends on it to sync up feeds.

        In the meantime, I agree that Feedly is probably your best bet. I like it so far.

        Reply
      • Avatar of William Devereux

        I’m leaning toward Feedly too. I can’t see Google making any Reader replacement remotely open or as ubiquitous as Reader was, so we’d have to rely on the company’s first-party apps.

        Reply
  • Taptu is cross platform and synchronizes. Doesn’t use Google reader backend.

    Reply
    • I use taptu too. Is really good. I like the interface. And it has a smart feature where you can pull in news articles under specific categories without having your own feeds

      Reply

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