Sorry news junkies, but Google has an update you won't like: the company's beloved Google Reader has fallen victim to Spring cleaning. As of July 1, 2013, the RSS feed aggregator, which has maintained a devoted following since 2005, will power down so that Google can "focus — otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact," the company said on its official blog.
A petition to keep the service has already collected over 50,000 signatures, but the truth of the matter is, Google has no plans to replace Reader.
Headline grazers, we've got your web browsing back. To find out how to export your Google Reader subscriptions and what the best RSS aggregating alternatives are, keep calm and read on.
Export Your Data
Google has suggested Google Takeout, a data liberation platform that supports exporting data from multiple Google products (not just Reader).
Your RSS subscriptions will be exported to an .xml file, along with a list of your bookmarked items and notes you have created. An .xml file is standard across most RSS readers, so you should be able to import the data into an alternative without a problem.
Turn to Alternatives
These feed aggregators will get you back to your information-collecting ways in no time:
- Feedly (free) — The aggregator for web, iOS, Android, and Kindle helps users discover new sites within an industry. Browse by different categories, such as business or cooking, and you'll find a curated list of websites to follow. Users can also search for websites (like, for example, ours) by name or URL. Feedly has even provided tips and tricks for users migrating to the site from Google Reader.
- Pulse (free) — If you've already got your favorite websites down, this visual RSS reader for iPad, iPhone, Android, and the web is a beautiful app that displays the news in a mosaic layout. Save stories to Pocket, Evernote, and other bookmarking apps.
- Flipboard (free) — People who don't have the need for speed, and like their content presented in a graphic, interactive way, will like "social magazine" Flipboard much better than Google Reader. The mobile app for iPad, iOS, and Android pulls images from the article and displays large thumbnails next to the headlines and summaries. You can also connect your social media accounts and Flipboard will show you what friends are sharing.
- The Old Reader (free) — This RSS reader is also socially focused, with the ability to find stories most shared by friends in your social media networks. If you want an alternative that has the same layout as Google Reader, The Old Reader is the news aggregator for you. The only downside: no mobile apps — the site is still in beta.
- Fever ($30) — This app comes with a price, but it's a must for power newsies. The app for web, desktop, and iOS takes the temperature of what's hot from your feeds, and ranks articles from the most buzzed about (hot) to the least shared (cold). As a "prosumer product" (professional-grade consumer software), Fever requires you to host the app on your own server, so that users can have granular control over their feed's security, and ensuring it'll never close up shop.
What Google Reader alternatives have you tried and tested? We want to hear where you're taking your subscriptions!