Do you remember where you were when you heard they were going to close down Google Reader? Probably not; very few, if any, would.
Part of the reason it’s being closed down one would suppose. The absence though, in terms of internet services, is a fairly big one. Google Reader was an application that allowed users to keep a tab on any websites, blogs, papers or that had an RSS feed. They could then keep themselves up to date by flicking through Google Reader, when any new content had been added to their favourite websites.
When the smoke clears on July 1st, what will be left? Well, being the fairly stand up people which we are at Startacus, we’ve decided to give you a rundown of the three absolute best replacements to make it easier to traverse the compendium of content released every day.
Flipboard. This was, I’ll be honest, really the only other online reader that I knew of prior to researching them. It was also Google Reader’s biggest competitor and with good reason. Its website is as sleek as its app, and just as easy to navigate. The goal of these readers is normally to make it feel like you’re reading one big enormous magazine, that just happens to be filled with your Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as every website you visit.
Newsblur is the hands down winner for an original interface. There are bright shiny colours, sound effects and designs everywhere you look on it. Like Flipboard, it is available on Mac, all Iproducts. It does however limit the number of sites you can subscribe to, to 12 – unless you pay for the premium version which is an admittedly cheap £16 for the year.
Feedly is the lucky host of an extremely loyal fan base, meaning it pops up wherever you see discussions of readers online. It has also put itself in the loop for nabbing many of Google Readers users who will be left out in the cold with no place to go, by enticing them with a programme called “Normandy” (Mass Effect fans rejoice). It’s simple to navigate and is best suited as a mobile app, or browser add on as opposed to an actual web app.
The list was originally intended to hold only three contenders, but there are so many of these readers that it’s impossible to leave some of them out. Pulse comes with heavy support from Microsoft, and is thus a prime contender for use on Windows 8, especially if you’ve a touch screen. Similar to Flipboard in design, it relies partly on its own news sources as well as your own.
While the whole Apple vs. Windows argument is fairly silly (as Windows is so much better - *ahem..author’s views only!)*) NetNewsWire deserves a mention simply for its longevity. It is, by internet standards, a white haired elderly gentlemen, telling everyone about the ‘good old days’. It comes only for Apple products, and does them well.
There are other readers out there, and more will likely be arriving en masse soon given the massive boost that their potentially biggest adversary is no longer in the game. Search around until you find one that matches your particular style and go for it.
...Noisily typed on a computer by Ethan Loughrey
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