As Google Reader closes, alternatives for every style — but no replacement

With Google’s sunsetting of its RSS feed tool, Google Reader, a host of new, interesting alternatives have been released or are now gaining new life. Here are some good options, matched to your reading style.

G2Reader and The Old Reader are relatively drop-in replacements for Google Reader fans: The Old Reader in particular apes much of Google Reader’s aesthetic, while G2Reader updates the visual style but keeps the same general reading formats. Both are accessed through the web and both offer tolerable mobile reading experiences.

For those looking to shake things up, Flipboard has earned raves for a glossy, magazine-like interface, designed for tablets first, smartphones second, and web browsers not at all. It’s a major change, and not a good fit if you like to skim dozens of headlines quickly and methodically; instead, it makes browsing a more leisurely experience.


Feedly might be a good middleground for those who moved past 2011 in terms of design and feature but want a little bit more of a workhorse than Flipboard: It offers a more engaging, visual design, browser-based and app-based reading tools, and a number of customizations to format your content the way you like it.

In his rundown of RSS readers, Globe technology columnist Hiawatha Bray said Feedly was “so good I probably should have been using it all along.’’

Some other alternatives worth a look if none of the above fit your boat:

NewsBlur, a web-based reader focused on speed.

Digg Reader, a very new alternative from the social network that can’t quite seem to die.

NetNewsWire is beloved by the Mac nerdy, and offers a native reading experience for those looking for a Mac desktop reader.

Most of the above help automated pulling in your Google Reader subscriptions, but for those that don’t, there is a unified file format for backing up your subscriptions: OPML. Almost any reader can import and export OPML files, and you can get yours from Google Reader here.

As for me, I finally settled on The Old Reader, which was created as a labor of love the first time Google “killed’’ Reader, by moving all of its social features away from Google Chat and onto Google+.


What, if anything, have you moved to? Do you find yourself less and less interested in Google Reader-like options as more news and information moves to social networks, or, like me, is it an ordered respite away from the social stream? Let me know in the comments, on the Hive’s Facebook page, and on Twitter at @HiveBoston.

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