Google Reader - the alternatives

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Today we woke up to the shocking and somewhat unnecessary news that Google Reader is being extinguished. In what seems to be a rather strange move, Google have cut the lifeline to a niche but absolutely vital tool, which many were willing to pay for, including some of us at Ostmodern.

It’s a worrying, but not particularly new revelation that Software-as-a-Service has it’s limits. Ultimately, if someone doesn’t want to run their pride and joy anymore - because it’s not really their pride or joy - then tough.

Some people have mused that this doesn’t exactly make Google seem very trustworthy with our loved products such as Docs (which I am composing this in!) or Gmail. This especially seems pertinent after they recently removed ActiveSync on free accounts. In an era where Google are playing with augmented reality glasses, sentient cars, or even talking shoes, it does make you wonder if the Google some of us think still exists is changing faster than our will to migrate to new services.

So tell us, are you equally frustrated that your time-sink RSS Reader has gone down the pan? Wondering what you’ll do when you’re bored? Think Twitter is a slightly cumbersome way to replicate RSS? Here’s a few alternatives to Google Reader, ready for when the lights go out.


A cover-star of the design community, Flipboard focuses on quality over quantity. Not the kind of app for an RSS hoover-species, but certainly part of your Sunday morning app-arsenal if you’re a type who at least likes to pretend the internet is always a haven of beauty.


Unashamedly pretty RSS reader with enough gloss to convince you that you’re reading a magazine. It’s not far from Flipboard in terms of ethic, but has enough sensibilities to allow you to absorb a reasonable chunk of information if required. It’s properly cross-platform and you can migrate from Reader rather easily.

The Old Reader

Remember Google Reader before they added all that social stuff that just confused the life out of those of us with no social life? The Old Reader itches that scratch.


You don’t even have to pretend you use the internet for pretty pictures with NewsBlur. No beating around the bush, no showing off in coffee shops; NewsBlur is an RSS reader that shares more than a little bit of it’s heart with Usegroup applications of old. It’s powerful, has workflows and is the best solution for anyone with an insatiable appetite for words.


Sorry, this one’s for the Apple heads only. Reeder is a delicate balance of NewsBlur’s utility, elegant design, with the rarest attribute of all - it’s an actual desktop application. The positive of course, is that they can’t rip the application out of your cold, clinging hands if they decide they don’t like making Reeder anymore. OR CAN THEY?

Myself? I’m cryogenically frozen in the period where RSS was still cool and it was exciting when RSS icons appeared at the top of the browser. So, NewsBlur, Feedly and Reeder are going to fight it out in a cage whilst I patiently wait for the July 1st Google shutdown.

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