To the dismay of several thousands of users (myself included), the Google Reader service will be dead soon. In itself, the news aggregator service was already hugely popular among users, but the increasing popularity of social media services like Twitter has pushed people away from dedicated news reader services and applications.
Even worse, not only was Google Reader the most popular free news reader service, it also served as the backend for several important desktop and mobile applications like Reeder and others.
So, where to go after Google Reader closes at the end of June 2013? Which services are the most reliable? Which will support third party applications?
Well, we have done some work for you and selected a few online news reading services that we believe are the best out there.
Here they are.
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When we compared free iPhone RSS readers, Feedly was one of our favorite news reading iPhone apps out there. Well, it turns out this app is a small part of a larger service that allows you to access your feeds through different channels. These include mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well a a quite nice web app in the form of a Chrome extension.
The two great aspects that make Feedly perhaps the best choice among diehard users of news feed apps is that the service is both entirely free and that it plans to allow syncing with third party apps, so you will not be forced to use their apps in order to read your news.
Other than that, linking your Google Reader account to Feedly is a snap and works great, and is also a far better alternative than having to export and import your current news feeds.
If all you want is to follow a few news sites and blogs here and there via a reliable news reader service, then NewsBlur has you covered. This free news reading service has picked up a lot of momentum and is available through a wide selection of platforms.
Once you sign up for an account, you can start adding any website and news sources that support RSS to it and you will get your news as they are published on the web regardless of where you read them. NewsBlur allows you to read news both on its website (which serves as a very capable web application) and on your mobile device, with apps for both iOS and Android devices available for free.
One downside to this service though, is that it doesn’t work with third party applications, so if you are a fan of mobile apps like Reeder for example, you are out of luck. Additionally, if you want a few more features, like being able to subscribe to unlimited news sites (60 are allowed for free accounts) and more privacy, you will have to pay a $24 yearly fee for them.
Free, simple and open source. These are the premises upon which Commafeed is built. This emerging news reading service is completely free and offers a web-exclusive interface to read you news feeds.
Once you sign up for an account (no email required), you are able to import your Google Reader subscriptions quite easily and start reading them on your browser through the service’s web app. Syncing is seamless and navigation is really fast thanks mainly to the uncluttered nature of the web client.
On the downside, while Commafeed is completely free, it still has a lot of room for improvement, mainly on the support front, since it offers no mobile apps, neither it supports third party ones to sync with it. In fact, the only support it brings is in the form of browser extensions.
With the day Google Reader goes out of service looming closer, alternatives like these definitely make it easier for news reader users to breathe at ease. As you can see above, there are services that offer different features that will suit you depending on how heavy feed reader user you are. Thankfully all of these are free, so just try them out and choose at ease.