March 13, 2013
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There is big news today, which caused me to run around and shout, “the end is nigh”.
No, it was not about the first non-European pope.
No, it was not about a newly appointed China president.
It began as an ordinary day until I logged in my Google Reader and was greeted by a popup notifying me that Google Reader would be retired on July 1, 2013. Of course, I am talking about Google Reader, which has been my time saver. I am subscribing to 60+ websites, and before Google Reader I would spend hours each day to visit every single website.
Among services that Google offers, I only use three regularly – search, gmail, and reader. Google has been trying hard to evolve and expand in the past 4 years, and so far I feel they have not had anything worth noticing, but failure after failure. There are lots changes and movement, but very little progress. On google blog, it posts a list services that will end in its second spring of cleaning:
- Apps Script: Sept 16, 2013
- CalDAV API: Sept 16, 2013
- Google Building Maker: June 1, 2013
- Google Cloud Connect: April 30, 2013
- Google Reader: July 1, 2013
- Google Voice App for Blackberry: Next week
- Search API for Shopping: Sept 16, 2013
- Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows: Mar 13, 2013
So what are the alternatives? I have looked up a few alternatives. Interestingly, many of them are slow, and a few are down. It seems a massive exodus is on the way and people are looking for an alternative. As the result, those websites are flooded with Google Reader refugees. I feel retiring Google Reader could turn out to be a big mistake for Google. Now it may be too late for Google to do any damage control. I won’t go back even if Google Reader avoids the axe.
So far I have three alternatives that seems okay: Feedly, The Old Reader, NewsBlur
The search is still on. Features I look for my next RSS readers:
- Browser Add-on (adblocking ads in the RSS feeds)
- No Google/Facebook/Twitter login required (More secure and less trouble)
- Very user friendly (This one is given)
- Offline mode
- XML import (Use Google Takeout to export data from my Google Reader and import into the new reader. Quick, simple, painless)
- Simple and maybe similar to Google Reader (Clean, little or no clutter; simple, if not simpler.)
I am sure that more RSS feeds/readers will use this opportunity to update and expand, and many websites will also look for alternatives. If you know a great alternative that are not mentioned, feel free to tell me in comment.