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Google has announced they are shutting down Google Reader on 1st July, 2013. Google says the reason of retiring the service is the decline in its usage. Google Reader was introduced in 2005.
Apart from the decline in usage, Google said another reason is that they want to focus on other “fewer products” which will make for a “better user experience”. However, they don’t specify the products. The RSS reader may not be as popular as other Google services but, contrary to what Google says, it is actually used widely and does have many loyal users.
Google is providing users three months time to find an alternate RSS feed-reading application. It is also offering the users a way to export their subscriptions through Google Takeout. You can also export contents like people you follow and your followers, your notes, articles you have liked or shared.
You may want to consider the following options if you are looking for a suitable alternative to Google Reader.
NewsBlur is available for Web, iOS and Android. It offers a free and a premium account. It is quite similar to Google Reader and probably won’t take much time to get used to it. You can save, share stories, you can create folders for yourself. If you are using web version along with either iOS or Android (or Both), you can sync you feeds as well.
NetVibes is another Reader which not only targets casual news readers, but professionals and enterprise level users as well. They also offer services like Analytics, Access Control, Collaboration, Alerts, etc.
The dashboard offers a Widgets view where the you can see a tabbed layout, with multiple ways to arrange your tabs. Another is the Reader view; it is a straight – forward view where you can manage your feeds from the sidebar on the left and see the news in the right.
Feedly is also available for Web, iOS and Android. On the web, you can download its extension for Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Compared to the other two above, Feedly certainly has the most beautiful interface. You can also sync it with the Feedly mobile app for iOS and Android.
Feedly says it will provide a seamless transition from Google Reader once is shuts down. They say they were expecting it for some time and are also working on a project called “Normandy” which runs on Google App Engine. It is also offering some tips about how to personalize feedly to better match your existing workflows once you plan to migrate.
Feed Demon is a desktop application for Windows. It is very organized. You can either import your subscriptions directly from Google Reader or you can start afresh and add the selected websites you would like to follow. The application is freely available to download and you can also upgrade to its Pro version for some premium features.
Pulse is available for Web, iOS and Android. Pulse has seen amazing growth as an app which has reflected in its user base as well. You can create pages and add the sites or publishers you would like to read news from. And like the other readers mentioned above, it is equally easy to save the stories thanks to its integration with services like Readability, Instapaper and Pocket. And of course you can share them too.
You can also check RSS Bandit which can be used over web or you can download its application for Windows. If you are a Mac user, you may want to check out Reeder App, it is also available for iPhone and iPad.
It is possible that Google may now focus on Google Currents, which requires their attention and the app does need some work to be done on its functions. Although there are people who use it, it is still behind the likes of Pulse and Flipboard.