5 Google Reader alternatives

When Google Reader shuts down on July 1, which RSS reader can you use in its place? Here are five options.

Other options for managing your RSS feeds

Feedly tripled its user base to 12 million between Google's announcement and the end of May. (Feedly)

When Google Reader shuts down on July 1, which RSS reader can you use in its place?

Google announced the demise of its popular reader in March. The seven-year-old free service allows people to manage and read RSS feeds, keeping them updated about new content on sites such as blogs and news sites.

While Google doesn't know how many users the service has, its top feed had more than 24 million subscribers in March. Its demise creates a big opportunity for both existing RSS reader services and companies such as AOL and Digg, which launched their new RSS readers on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

Here are some options for managing your RSS feeds after Google Reader retires.

1. Feedly

This free service tripled its user base to 12 million between Google's announcement and the end of May, and has been listed by a number of technology sites and media outlets as one of the best Google Reader alternatives.

Feedly is openly courting former Google Reader users with new features such as one-click migration of their account and a Google Reader-like title-only view. (Feedly’s normal view is more magazine-like, with lots of images.) It has also launched a large number of apps that allow Feedly to be used on almost any web browser or device, both online and offline, and to connect to the cloud to keep a single account synched across different devices. Some features of Google Reader, such as search within your feeds, aren't yet available, but Feedly is promising them in the future.


2. Newsblur

This is another popular pick among tech blogs and sites, partly because of its ability to update feeds in real time. Newsblur updates faster than Google Reader, but it commands a fee. A $24-per-year subscription to a premium account also allows users to add an unlimited number of feeds. A slower, basic service with a maximum of 64 feeds, as well as some usage restrictions, is available for free.


The Old Reader 

This web-only free service, which has been running as a beta version since it launched a year ago, was started by some developers in their spare time after Google Reader made changes to its look and eliminated social features in 2011. Their goal was to re-create the old version of Google Reader for themselves and their friends, but they "like the way it turned out, so we are sharing it with everyone." The Old Reader's blog makes it sound as though it may be having trouble coping with the recent influx of ex-Google Reader users. This isn't completely surprising given its available resources — namely donations.


AOL Reader

A beta, web version of this brand new reader launched Monday. So far, reviewers seem to be impressed with its speed. Some sites, including AOL-owned TechCrunch, reported that the reader had some glitches at launch, but a day later, AOL said the reader was already at capacity, and was adding prospective users to a waiting list. Besides TechCrunch, AOL owns a number of other websites that produce popular RSS feeds, including The Huffington Post and Engadget. AOL is promising new features for its reader soon, including search and mobile apps.


5. Digg Reader

On Wednesday, social news website Digg rolled out the beta, web version of its new reader, which is "aimed first and foremost at Google Reader users looking for a new home." It features easy migration from Google and Google-like keyboard shortcuts, as well as social features similar to those on Digg itself, such as the ability to "digg" (publicly endorse), save and share posts you like. The iOS apps are to be released Thursday. New features, including search and an Android app, are expected in the next few months.