Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives
Step One: Export Your
Google Reader Data
Before you do anything else, you should save all your Google Reader subscriptions now. According to Google, you won't be able to to this after Reader shuts down, so do it now while you still can!
- Head to Google Takeout's Reader page and click the Create Archive button. It'll start building a file with all your feeds, the people you follow, starred items, and more (though most of these won't be importable to other sites).
- Once it's finished building, click the Download button that appears to get your subscriptions.
- Open up the ZIP file you just downloaded and go through the folders inside. Inside the "Reader" folder, you should see a file called subscriptions.xml. Extract that to your desktop. This is the file that contains all your subscribed feeds.
Save this file in a safe place while you hunt for a new
Step Two: Find a New RSS Reader
Google Reader uses a tool called RSS to subscribe to web sites, and there are actually a ton of other RSS readers on the internet. After the shutdown announcement, a ton of awesome readers have come out of the woodwork and improved their offerings, so there's something for just about everyone. Here are some of our favorites.
For the App Lovers: Feedly
(iOS/Android/Web) is by far
the most popular Google Reader alternative
For the Desktop Reader Enthusiast: NewsBlur
NewsBlur (iOS/Android/Web) is a web-based feed reader that looks and feels a bit more like a desktop reader. You can see stories on the original site, create categories and tags that help highlight the stories you want most, and even create a "Blurblog" of all your favourite stories for others to read. NewsBlur is Free for up to 64 sites, but you can pay $24 (Rs. 1,450 approx) a year for a premium account that gets you unlimited sites, more frequent updates, and more. If you're worried about another free service shutting down like Reader did, ponying up a bit of cash could get you a bit of extra security in NewsBlur.
For the Social: The Old Reader
The Old Reader (Web) was built when Google Reader originally shut down its social features. It aims to be what Google Reader used to be: A simple, web-based RSS reader with lots of great sharing features. Its interface should look very familiar, so if you're a Google Reader purist - especially when it comes to the pre-Google+ Reader - The Old Reader might be for you.
For What the Crowd Is Reading: Digg Reader
(Web/Android) isn't available just yet, but social news site Digg has been working on a
much-anticipated RSS reader
for awhile. Like Feedly, Digg's reader takes the familiar Google Reader interface and cleans it up a bit, with a few added features like Instapaper sharing, Digg integration (duh), and a "Popular"
For the Minimalist: Newsvibe
Newsvibe (Web) is for those tired of RSS readers that try to do it all. If all you want is a simple, clean way to read your favorite sites - without all the social features, app integration, and other clutter - Newsvibe is a fast, free, and sparse alternative.
For the Visual Reader: Pulse
Pulse (iOS/Android/Web) takes a different approach to RSS reading. Instead of trying to imitate Google Reader or follow the traditional RSS paradigm, Pulse turns your feeds and articles into a visual, image-driven feed, and pushes the stories it thinks you'll like to the top. If you're a bit more visual, Pulse may be just your speed.
For the Do-It-Yourself Folks: Tiny Tiny RSS
Tiny Tiny RSS
For Everyone Else
These are far from the only readers out there, but they're the most popular ones, and the ones we'd recommend checking out first. Of course, if you want something different, there's surely something that'll satisfy you. iGoogle fans will love
. Skimmers should
Still haven't found something you like? Check out this huge list of Google Reader alternatives .
Step Three: Import Your Google Reader Feeds
When you've found a reader you want to try out, sign up for an account and import your feeds. This will vary from service to service-a few, like Feedly, might just let you sign in with your Google account to transfer your subscriptions. For most, though, you'll need to do something like this:
- Open up your new feed reader of choice and head into its settings.
- Find the Import option. This will be in a different spot for every reader, but most should have an option to import feeds using an "OPML" file - this is the file you downloaded from Google Reader earlier.
- Select the import option, and choose the subscriptions.xml you extracted from Google Takeout. All of your feeds should appear in your new reader.
This won't import your starred items or know which articles you've already read on Google Reader, but at least you'll still have all your subscriptions. Try out that reader for a few days and if you don't like it, sign up for a different one and re-import your feeds. As long as you keep that subscriptions.xml file saved in a safe place, you should be able to try as many readers as you want, even after Google Reader shuts down.
You've still got one week to figure out which RSS reader you want to move to, so by the time Google Reader shuts down, you should be ready to keep reading news without skipping a beat. In the meantime, join us in the discussions below and share your favorite non-Google RSS reader.