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Posted on March 14th, 2013 by Dave Stevenson

Four alternatives to Google Reader

Google’s plans to shutter Google Reader will bite on 1 July, and anyone who hasn’t migrated their carefully-assembled collection of RSS feeds by then will have to start all over again.

The activist-minded can add their voices to a 30,000-strong petition, begging Google to keep Reader going, but the more pragmatic should accept defeat and start looking at ways to port their RSS feeds to different services.

Here are four go-to alternatives to Google Reader to consider:

1. Feedly


Feedly moved quickly in the wake of Google’s announcement; unfortunately the thing it did fastest was collapse under the sudden influx of users looking for somewhere new to keep their RSS feeds. Still, it’s recovered now, and offers perhaps the most straightforward transition from Google Reader of any service. Add its browser app to Chrome, Firefox or Safari (Internet Explorer users are left strangely in the lurch), allow it to access your Google account and it pulls in all of your feeds, including their read status as well as any folders you’ve sorted them into. Feedly’s interface is slick and minimalist, and its Titles view most closely approximates the Google Reader interface you know and love.

2. NewsBlur


Another popular choice currently weighed down by an influx of distraught Google Reader users –  you’ll want to leave NewsBlur for a few days before trying as its present performance is pretty woeful. Still, when it starts working properly you’ll find a nicely-featured RSS reader with plenty of customisation options and, for those joining the Google exodus, the ability to suck in your existing RSS feeds and folders en masse with nothing more than your Google login details.

3. Flipboard


Flipboard is no substitute for the pared-back, data-heavy mass of headlines and standfirsts we love Google Reader for, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It will still gather up your Google Reader feeds, but presents them as a glossy, animated faux-magazine, better designed for leisurely flipping than speed-reading. Free, but only available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and the Nook.

4. Netvibes


More than a little daunting to the newcomer, Netvibes bills itself as a kind of dashboard for the entire web, but there’s a capable RSS reader under there. The two-pane RSS reader – with folders on the left and content on the right – will be comforting to Google’s outcasts. Although it doesn’t offer as straightforward an import process as other services, once you’ve exported your Google Reader feeds with Google Takeout, importing them is the work of but a few clicks.

What have we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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9 Responses to “ Four alternatives to Google Reader ”

  1. Jonathan Little Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I have been using Feedly on my tablet for a while, I’m not sure if it stores the feed info or just hooks into google reader though. I’m sure they will sort it by July so that it does indeed store.

  2. Jonathan Little Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Never mind:

    “Google announced today that they will be shutting down Google Reader. We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine. When Google Reader shuts down, feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless.”

  3. Rolio Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Rolio ( is another alternative to Google Reader which, in addition to RSS, also supports the integration of Facebook and Twitter into your timeline for real-time updates. Rolio also supports the importing of your Google Reader feeds.

  4. Andrew Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I use intraVnews, an outlook addon, which grabs everything and splurges it into a seperate outlook pst. It’s not perfect and it doesn’t get updated much, but it’s been my working solution for a decade (I first bought it in 2003).

    Certainly does the job if you’re using outlook regularly anyway.

  5. Makro99 Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    RE: Google reader to netvibes – tried this morning, Google checkout only exports to XML, Netvibes only imports OPML?!

  6. MJ Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    @Makro99, if you look at the XML file generated by Google, it says it is an OPML format file. Should work therefore.

  7. Dave Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Afternoon all. In order:

    @J Little – Feedly imports your Google Reader feeds in their totality, as far as I can tell, and doesn’t rely on the Google service after that. This might be the same thing as Normandy but I’m not quite sure.

    @Makro99 & MJ – the files created by Google Takeaway do indeed work with Netvibes – we’ve tried it here.

  8. David Wright Says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Feedly looked good, until I looked at the requirements. I need cross platform, which include IE10, as it only seems to work with add-ins and not on any browser, unlike Google Reader, it counts itself out.

    I’ll be trying out Newsblur and NetVibes…

  9. Michal Says:
    May 10th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Try this one, it is very good Google Reader alternative (


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