Netflix’s offline downloads has always been the app’s best feature, but it’s a pain to download an entire episode or movie especially if you’re…
If you’re a feed junkie, you may have suffered a mild panic attack today if you logged into Google Reader and were met with this seemingly harmless pop up:
Yes, Google Reader is headed to a spot in the Google graveyard stocked with Google Video, iGoogle and dozens of other discontinued G-products. While Google is ‘sunsetting’ Reader, it has given users until the beginning of July to download their archives and move across to another feed reader.
Google says it is discontinuing Reader because, while there is still a loyal user base, its growth has slowed over the years. It is choosing to focus its efforts on key products instead and push ahead with its more-wood-behind-fewer-arrows philosophy.
So where does this leave the current Reader users? Scrambling for an alternative. Here are a few options to get you started on your search for a replacement.
Social newsfeed reader Taptu is allows you to combine your world in one simple stream. You can pick your interests in any number of categories and link your accounts to pull in updates from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and RSS feeds. It also allows you to log into your Google Reader account straight from the app for a quick transition. But from that stage, you have to click to add each individual feed you follow, which could be a bit time-consuming the first time you get everything set up.
Other than that, it’s a very intuitive application that allows you to read articles while view unread posts in the left hand column and easily navigate to related categories and share interesting finds. You can also create custom colour coded streams if you’re interested in specific niche topics and ‘DJing your news’. Taptu is available on a number of platforms — from a Chrome extension to Android, iOS, Nook and BlackBerry apps.
Designed to prevent the inevitable pile-up of unread posts, Fever takes a look at what you’re subscribed to and picks out the posts that are attracting the most attention and assigns them a ‘temperature’. A high number means that more people have marked it as important, as opposed to supplementary reading. The reader also hides the number of unread posts by default, so you won’t feel as guilty about not keeping up to date. It’s available on web and iOS for a once-off US$30 fee.
It’s hard to imagine a more simple and beautiful feed reader. Feedly is one of the easiest alternatives for Reader users looking for a quick port, as it allows you to sync directly with your Google account and pull all your feed subscriptions and folders over to its service with a single click.
Unlike Reader’s more standard, text-based chronological view which takes you to the first unread post when entering a folder, Feedly structures articles in groups with emphasis on leading images. Its uncluttered layout is easy to navigate, allowing you to switch between groups of feeds and individual posts, which are all formatted neatly inside Feedly. It also suggests similar feeds you may be interested in, and allows you to save posts the same way you starred items in Reader.
Mixtab works in… well, tabs. Like other news readers, you can customise your subscriptions and choose categories of interests (in this case, they’re called tabs) that you’d like to follow. It doesn’t have a direct quick sign in option to move all your Google details across, but once you’ve exported your Reader files, you can easily upload them to Mixtab — either in bulk (by sticking them all in a dedicated tab) or by shifting subscriptions over individually to existing default tabs like technology, cooking, fashion or travel.
From its visually striking home page to the clean and beautiful layout for posts, Mixtab makes keeping up to date seem like a more leisurely experience. You can switch between a grid-like chronological layout and a Pinterest-y image-heavy one, depending on if you’re interested in quickly skimming posts or casually browsing. It’s available as a Chrome extension, Mac app and iPad app.
A favourite in the Burn Media offices, Pulse’s image-heavy grid like design allows you to flip through news quickly and see what your favourite sites are posting. It’s geared more towards established sites, but it can be used to subscribe to less popular feeds through its search function. For example, if you’re into everything digital, you can visit its technology section which is stocked with the feeds of sites like Mashable, TechCrunch, The Verge and Wired, or simply input the web address of any other site and wait for Pulse to locate the feed.