The Google Reader Alternatives We’re Considering

Note: This post is a running list and will continue to be updated with new options and evolving opinions.

What is this for? Those looking for the best possible RSS reader to replace Google Reader.

Google Reader shutting down on July 1st. While we still agree with David Sparks that most users should sit tight, we want to start getting our head around the alternatives. This list is not meant to be compressive. It’s meant to highlight what we believe to be the best options and who we think would benefit most from each alternative. We expect that more options will continue to make their way onto this list, but we’re currently considering the following Google Reader alternatives:

Feedly

Who is it for?Feedly is a great looking service that is ideal for those looking to close the gap between Google Reader and a read-later service like Instapaper or Pocket.

What we like – Great design, lots of users (over three million of them) and it’s seen several recent updates.

What we don’t like – It’s free and we all know what happened to the last free option. That said, the team has hinted at a freemium model.

Price – Free

Feedbin

Who is it for?Feedbin seems to be the best option for those who are not looking for a better way to handle RSS. Where Feedly has more of a unique point of view, Feedbin is a comfortable replacement to what we already have.

What we likeReeder for iPhone integration. A decent looking app. A business model.

What we don’t like – While it’s getting a good amount of attention, it may be a bit too familiar…

Price? – $20 per year or $2 per month

Feed Wrangler

Who is it for? – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/feed-wrangler/id634486174?mt=8 is a great option for those who are mostly happy with what RSS has been, but are curious and optimistic about where it can go.

What we like – A great developer. A well thought out and nice looking design. There are also interesting features such as the ability to mark several posts as read at once using keyword filtering.

What we don’t like – It’s still very early days and the vision isn’t entirely clear yet (don’t get us wrong, we’re curious about the Podcast client, just not sure we want one service to do it all).

Price – $18.99 per year

Fever

Who is it for? – Since Fever requires that you host the service yourself, it’s only a viable option for geeks with their own hosting.

What we like – Fever is damn pretty, well established and offers unique features. It has Reeder for iPhone integration and it’s Hot list – a features which helps identify and consolidate the most commonly shared links – is enough to figure out how to get this thing up and running.

What we don’t like – The need for hosting is certainly a limiting factor, but it’s the fact that Fever will come second to creator Shawn Inman’s Retro Game Crunch that has us worried.

Price – $30 (a one time fee) plus self-hosting

What Are We Doing?

Schechter – I’m still using Google Reader at the moment, but I’m leaning towards Feedbin. It’s comfortable and requires no major change to my current workflow. I’m also interested to see where Feed Wrangler goes. Feedly isn’t for me and Fever, while tempting, doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Vardy – I’m still using Google Reader as well, but I’ve also added Feed Wrangler to the mix so I can give it a good run. I’d rather be into something now then play with Fever. I do like Feedbin – especially the Reeder for iPhone integration – but Feed Wrangler offers me an all-in-one solution right now…and that’s what attracts me the most.

17 Responses to The Google Reader Alternatives We’re Considering

  1. I’m going with Fever and Reeder for now… I even set up a Readbility account to have a built-in Read Later service inside Reeder too. Seems to work well.

    Pros: – Reeder’s clean design, sharing options – One app to handle both RSS and read later – i like owning my own RSS option

    Cons – Sync is slower for Fever – Occasional self hosting headaches – Readability could go away (plus not a super fan of their past choices)

    I am going to keep an eye on the Betaworks team… I think Digg + RSS reader + Instapaper could be a killer app, if they decide to go in that direction with a single app. I’d pay for it.

    • We’re excited to see what Betaworks is up to as well. Decided to hold off adding it to this list until it’s an actual thing, but agree they will almost certainly be on here shortly. Thanks for reminding me about Reeder for Fever, btw. Just updated the post.

      As for the read later services within, this is sort of the issue I had with Feedly, I like the separation between choosing what to read and reading what I chose. Still happy with the gap between Instapaper and Reeder.

      • Yeah the read later/RSS split is a tough call for sure.. As apps, Instapaper and Pocket are much better for reading IMO.

        I am experimenting with the all-in-one method, though, to see if it works for me. I tend to go through the ups and downs of using and not opening Instapaper, which leads to quite a backlog in the “not opening” times — hoping this helps.

    • I’m definitely curious as to what Betaworks unveils – -especially with the Instapaper acquisition playing some sort of role in it. Feed Wrangler is a stopgap for me until then, although it might become more than that if it winds up being a decent solution.

  2. I switched over to Fever a few months before the shutdown announcement becuse I was feeling uneasy (and bored. Mostly bored). It’s a different paradigm if you’re going to commit to the Hot List model but as my interests (and therefore feeds) are widely varied my Hot List is all-but-useless. If/when Inman adds a per-group hotlist or some such, that’ll suddenly and completely change my thoughts on that part.

    As for a Reader replacement? Honestly: I don’t care if its going to play second fiddle to Inman’s game-thang. It’s established, I own it, and he’s not ignoring it; it’s just not his #1. Sync could be faster, but that might be as much Reeder’s implementation as anything. When I’ve used the web interface it seems much faster.

    As it stands: I’d rather own (or license in perpetuity) the software than pay a subscription to someone that, theoretically, could go away just as easily as Reader…

    • I’m in the same boat as you with Fever, I think. I have interests that are all over the place so the Hot List isn’t getting any use.

      I’m not on the fastest server, but I set it up with a cron to automatically refresh my feeds every 15 minutes so I don’t have to wait for the server to refresh before my feeds refresh in my app. That’s helped a ton with the speed.

      Additionally, comparing Reeder and Sunstroke, Sunstroke is currently providing me with the superior Fever experience. I love Reeder (small UI details are awesome) but Sunstroke refreshes sooo much faster and has the all-too-amazing “mark read while scrolling” feature that allows me to stop scrolling through a certain group and come back later without losing my place.

      Give Fever + Sunstroke a try. After a day you’ll be wanting some Sunstroke-like features in Reeder!

      I love your idea of a Hot List per group.

  3. It may have been mentioned in previous comments, but could you please add a section for which apps each of the services works with. I suspect a lot of people are wedded to their particular feed reader(s) and knowing when they are supported will cause them to make the jump. Personally, I use Reeder (main reader) and FeedlerPro (reaping).

  4. I agree with Dennis. Sunstroke destroys Reeder for Fever integration. I’m personally sticking with Fever because once it’s installed, it’s mine. I don’t have to worry about it being shut down by a company.

  5. If one of them wants my certain business they should incorporate some sort of filtering mechanism. Preferrably by author or subject terms. For instance, I want to filter out any entry that has the word “android” or “windows download” in the subject.

  6. Still using Google reader Feedly is too pretty and graphic intense. Newsblur is almost right but no easy way to view in a list and mark as read as I scroll past, or mark in screen sized blocks of posts. Currently my most likely choice. Paid for option, and very responsive developer. Looks extremely similar to feedbin even with “river of news”, and so I guess there is an underlying common program. Same annual cost. Netvibes not quite as good as newsblur, and but seems to be a bigger company behind it.

  7. Thanks for this post. A little late to convert (I was in denial I guess), I nervously checked today (July 3) and I was able to export my Google feed file. I have set up a FeedBin account and imported my feeds there, and have synced with my Reeder app.

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