Goodbye Google Reader: Here are five RSS alternatives

Goodbye Google Reader: Here are five RSS alternatives

Summary: Google may be closing down its Reader RSS services from 1 July, but that isn't the end of the RSS party. Here are four cloud-based alternatives and one desktop option all waiting to keep you in touch with the news.

TOPICS: Cloud, Google

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  • When Google introduced its Reader RSS aggregator back in October 2005 it was a little rough around the edges, but following a redesign around a year later, users began to flock to the cloud-based RSS service.

    However, with the company announcing this week that it would be killing off Reader in a matter of months, we thought we'd put together five alternative RSS aggregators for you to try out.

    Surpassed to some extent by the rise of Facebook, Twitter and other socially-oriented sites, RSS still has strong support from users, although many services are now cloud rather than desktop-based.


    Feedly has been in the RSS reader market since 2008, but with Reader now out of the way we'd expect to see an influx of new users. It's also one of the easiest to switch to if you're migrating across from Google Reader.

    "We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a Feedly clone of the Google Reader API - running on Google App Engine. When Google Reader shuts down, Feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using Feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless," the company said in an announcement on its site.

    Like Reader, Feedly is cloud-based and freely available to use, but it looks less like Reader than some of the other alternatives on this list. Instead it has more of a blog or magazine layout look to it.

    In order to use Feedly on the desktop, you'll need to install a Chrome, Firefox or Safari extension. It's also available for a number of other platforms including iOS, Android and on Kindles.

  • NewsBlur

    NewsBlur is the newest of the cloud-based RSS aggregators in this line-up but, like its rivals, is accessible from the web or an iPad, iPhone or Android-based device.

    Like Reader it takes a traditional aggregator layout, but in addition to showing you your subscriptions and individual news items, it also lets you specify between 'original', 'feed', 'text' and 'story' to dictate what is displayed in the panel. The image above shows it with the 'Feed' option displayed.

    Unlike most others, NewsBlur can also be trained to help you discover new feeds and filter the content you're interested in.

Topics: Cloud, Google

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Thanks!

    I was surprised to see the notice this morning that Google Reader was being retired. I am not very tech savvy and didn't know what the other top Reader-type services were. Before I even had time to think about it your article was posted (and featured on Google News), I signed up for Feedly and I'm good to go. Everything transferred seamlessly. Thanks a lot!
    • feedly

      Ditto here.
  • Feedly seems to be best.

    Feedly seems to be the easiest to migrate to, and their format actually seems pretty good. It uses your existing account with Google, so you don't have to create a new account. And Feedly has announced they're transitioning to their own backend, so they'll continue even when Reader goes down.

    Basically, all you need is to get a Feedly reader (available as a plugin for Chrome/Firefox/Safari, or as an app on iOS/Android), login via your Google account (the one you use with Reader), and you're good to go :).
  • And Another Google Reader Alternative

    Rolio ( is another alternative to Google Reader which, in addition to RSS, also supports the integration of Facebook and Twitter into your timeline for real-time updates. Rolio also supports the importing of your Google Reader feeds.
  • There is also NextGen Reader...

    Available for Windows Phone and Windows 8.
  • Thank you!

    Ben, very happy you recommended Skimr!

    Petr, Skimr Co-founder
  • NewzSocial: The next step beyond Google Reader

    If Google wants to drop Google Reader then there are other alternatives with all the Google Reader functionality and more. I would suggest checking out NewzSocial ( which has better functionality than Google Reader and cool social news sharing features built in. NewzSocial also has a channel about the end of Google Reader:
  • Users need more than just reading

    web based readers that allow users to search and save sites as well as integrate social media feeds will be the wave of the future...

    You should add to the list of browser based readers, it's a new site that goes one step further by being able to do a comprehensive search of sites and automatically add not only RSS, but facebook and twitter feeds of your favorites sites as well.
  • Another Web-Based Option

    Another good option for web-based RSS reader is FeedBin

    I've made this one, would love to hear feedback about it
  • RSS readers alternative

    Frankly I've tried so many Google Reader alternatives among RSS readers or News aggregators like Flipboard or Pulse so at the end decided to develop my own vision how news reading service should look like :) And decided to make symbiosis of RSS readers and news aggregators. I'm gonna publish first closed beta within several weeks I'd very appreciate for your subscription and fair try of the product! it's called Newzmate (
    Alexei Chapko
  • RSS Aggregator

    A new standalone rss aggregator