S***: Google Reader to Shut Down on 1 July – Can Someone Recommend a Replacement?

google-reader-logoGoogle is in the middle of their annual Spring-cleaning and unfortunately for me Google Reader is going out on the curb:

So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

I was hoping this wouldn’t happen. The last time Google updated Google Reader they stripped away its native social networking features and integrated the RSS feed reader into Google+, and before that Google uglified the layout to make it look more like Google+.  I thought that was a sign that Google Reader would be around for the long haul, but I guess that was overly optimistic.

Google is claiming that the shut down comes after  several years of declining use. That could well be true but Google is still going to leave a lot of users in the lurch.

I am a hard-core user of Google Reader, and I currently follow over 1,900 RSS feeds. While that is a little on the high side, the one time I ran a poll I learned that most gReader users use the app to follow an average of more than 100 RSS feeds.

Frankly I don’t know whether I will be able to find a feed reader that is as good, and for me this could be a serious problem. Google Reader was a vital tool for finding news stories for this blog, and I don’t know where I will find a good replacement.

I have head good things about NetNewsWire, but that is strictly an OSX and iOS product. And I have found this page, this page, and this page of feed readers which I plan to try.

But at this point I am freaking out.  Can someone recommend a newsreader app that works across Windows, Android, and the web browser?

Any 2 of those 3 would be good.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


    1. Nate Hoffelder13 March, 2013


      I tried it and I don’t think I’ll go back. Feedly is not designed for power users. It’s intended for the casual reader.

      Also, whoever is doing their usability is an idiot. Gray text on gray background? That’s just plain stupid.

  1. Rob Siders13 March, 2013

    I like Google Reader because of the widget for iGoogle… but that’s getting turfed, too. I’ve not found any good use at all for Google+, and few people I know use it much. Guy Kawasaki is the only person in my circles who seems to use it. I have no clue where Google’s getting all this feedback that Google+ is the product their customers are using.

    1. Brian13 March, 2013

      Rob, have you found an iGoogle replacement? I’ve been looking off and on for a while and found nothing that I’m happy with. Really hating that they’re killing it off.

      1. Dave13 March, 2013

        Try ighome.com…It’s a very capable replacement.

  2. Jeremy13 March, 2013

    Nate, it’s Google Reader, not Feedburner that’s shutting down right? Unless I’m missing something you aren’t going to lose any followers. Everyone will just use a different reader service to access your content.

    I’m the same way, I use Google Reader daily. I’ll just end up using one of the others that Feedburner lists which you can see here http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheDigitalReader under “Subscribe now”.

    Sad to see G-Reader go.

  3. Jean K13 March, 2013

    Nate – check out feedly. They have a project to pick up where google reader leaves off.

  4. Adrian13 March, 2013

    I am not a Google Reader user, but I am a very avid supporter of RSS in general and I am beginning to think this is just another nail in the coffin for RSS. Twitter is supposed to have killed off their feed already. Apple is killing it off. To me it seems that they can’t make money off it, so they are forcing it out. I doubt many sites will even bother offering RSS in the not too distant future. You’ll either need to follow them on Twitter, or hook into their API. A sad state of affairs!

  5. Trish13 March, 2013

    WTH!?!?! Oh man I am so buggered! I LOVE Google Reader and follow over a 150 feeds. It looks like Google is desperately trying to push everyone to Google+. I for one refuse to use Google+; there is just too much going on and I seriously don’t have time for it, that’s why I use Google Reader. I wish I had a suggestion, I’ll be anxious to see what others recommend.

  6. Lynne Connolly13 March, 2013

    it sucks for sure. I’ve configured Outlook (not Outlook Express, note) which will aggregate feeds. It’s not as good, but I can download the feeds with my mail every morning.

  7. Greg13 March, 2013

    Bleah, this totally sucks. Of course I think most of us have been anticipating this day with dread. Here’s Lifehacker’s list of recommendations: http://lifehacker.com/5990456/google-reader-is-getting-shut-down-here-are-the-best-alternatives?popular=true

  8. POed13 March, 2013

    But Google Currents survives, right? Oh that’s just rich.

    Goddammit, why does everything have to be dumbed down? I’m sure usage declined, no doubt helped by their complete neglect. But does it make any sense to kick so many power users, journalists, and bloggers in the head like this? Interns could probably maintain the damn thing.

    Fuck Google and the robot they rode in on.

    1. Nate Hoffelder13 March, 2013

      Yep. Somewhere around half of the blogosphere is screaming about this today.

      I hope for Google’s sake that they don’t hold any press events in the next few weeks. There could be mob violence.

  9. Clinton Wu13 March, 2013

    If you’re looking for an alternative to skim headlines please give Skim.Me a try (http://skim.me). We’re a startup releasing another version soon to help you keep up at a glance.

  10. S. Emerson14 March, 2013

    I never used Google Reader. I prefer a desktop applicaton.

    After trying a few I have been using FeedDemon desktop for a few years now. I’m following 500+ feeds with it. The feeds can be sorted into folders if you wish.

    You can synchronize with Google Reader:
    “Google Reader Synchronization
    Use FeedDemon at home, your office, or anywhere you go and keep your feeds, tags and shared items synched between locations.” http://www.feeddemon.com/

    BTW: this blog is one of the 500+ I follow with FeedDemon. (wink)

  11. d14 March, 2013

    Try Feed R. Good all around…similar to Google. easy to use…free and paid versions

  12. Peter17 March, 2013

    I just got myself a fitting domain and webspace and installed TinyRSS. I am not totally happy, but it’s a good opportunity to revive my mobile web development skills for some customization.

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