Google announced it will be shutting down Google Reader on July 1, 2013. Google is trying to consolidate its services. In 2011, Google rolled up Reader and Picasa under Google+. Then in 2012, Google shutdown a lot of services. Now, comes the shutdown of Google Reader. Google Search continues to be the leading revenue generator for Google, accounting for 90 percent of its revenue. However, Google would like to reduce the reliance on Search for its income. As such, Google is expected to put more support on key products: Android, Chrome, and Google+.
Everyone’s wondering if it’s time to find a new RSS reader. The great thing about Reader is that it has the ability to export your RSS subscriptions and feed groups in OPML format. This not only includes your feeds, but also shared items, friends, likes, and starred items. You can export your data from Reader and move it to an adequate replacement for Reader. To export your data, click the Clog button – Reader Settings- Import/Export and also make a backup of your OPML file. Eight good alternatives to Google Reader are: Netvibes, iGoogle, Feedly, Newsblur, FeedDemon, RSS Bandit, NetNewsWire, and Google Currents.
Netvibes has always been a second favorite for techs. Netvibes is similar to Reader when you change out the default “widgets mode.” Netvibes has more function capabilities than Reader. However, some of them cost money. To import your OPML file into Netvibes, click “add content” and then “import.”
iGoogle is a good option if you only have a few feeds. It doesn’t accept OPML files, so you have to do some hacking to make it accept your Reader feeds. Yet, this is only a temporary fix as it will be shut down November 2013.
Freedly comes in the form of a browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It also comes as an iOS and Android app. With Feedly your feeds are turned into a magazine-type view. Feedly has high-quality sharing features and social network integration.
Feedly uses Google Reader on the backend. It’s not certain whether Google will break the functional capabilities of third-party apps though. The good news is that you can login to Feedly and it will have all of your Google Reader feeds set up and ready.
Newsblur is fairly new, but it’s a great alternative. It’s fast paced and a very intelligent RSS reader. It combines RSS feeds and headers with websites. For example, you can surf through headlines of a website through NewsBlur. NewsBlur allows you to import your feeds from Google Reader, or you can import an OPML file.
There are a few apps that are faster and have better function capabilities such as FeedDemon, RSS Bandit, NewNewsWire, and Google Currents. If you’re running Windows, FeedDemon and RSS Bandit are the better options. NetNewsWire is the best option for macs, iPhones and iPads. And Google Currents turns sites into magazine-like formats on iOS and Android mobile devices.