The Google Reader service was launched in 2005 and built up a faithful user base of millions over the years. This aggregator of content served by web feeds offered an undeniably intuitive way for users to access a stream of updates from selected websites, enabling them to easily keep tabs on their favourite websites. Following the announcement in March 2013 that Google was to close the doors to this service – it closed July 2013 – millions of users have had to seek an alternative feed-reading service. How many made the right choice?
A particular problem with the web is information overload. There is so much information available that it is all too easy to become bewildered and lost from an overabundance of incoming information. Inevitably, most web surfers stick to their favourite, trusted websites, if only to reduce the information noise. All web browsers have a bookmarking facility so that we can go back to these sites quickly. However, there is a more efficient way to keep on top of the new content published on these sites, where the reader does not need to keep making regular visits to a site, but instead waits for the publisher to provide a nudge when new content has been added.
There are a number of different file formats which information publishers use. The most frequent ones are RSS and Atom. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It is a defined standard based on XML with the specific purpose of delivering updates to web-based content. RSS readers enables users to quickly scan stories from many different websites. An RSS feed is essentially a file that contains a blog or website’s most recent entries. Using this standard, webmasters provide headlines and fresh content in a succinct manner. Meanwhile, consumers use RSS readers and news aggregators to collect and monitor their favorite feeds in one centralized program or location.
The focus of this article is to highlight the finest news aggregators for web browsers. Some of these services also have apps for mobile devices running Android and iOS.
Let’s explore the 5 Google Reader replacements at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|Life After Google Reader|
|Feedly||News reader for creative minds|
|Feedspot||Solid Google Reader replacement|
|InoReader||Built with simplicity and speed in mind. It is inspired by Google Reader|
|The Old Reader||Seeks to emulate the features of Google Reader|
|NewsBlur||Personal news reader bringing people together to talk about the world|
|Return to our complete collection of recommended free and open source software including our latest additions.|