Best Alternatives for Google Reader

The beginning of the end is almost here.

Beloved RSS feed Google Reader will cease to exist in about a month and a half and millions are scrambling to find alternatives to replace it. As an apparent Google fan-girl at this point, Reader was actually one of those Google services I hardly used until I found phone apps that would tap in to the service.

With Google’s announcement that they are pulling the plug on the RSS feed reader, a lot of apps and other services have ponied up to the bar to help us with this difficult time in our Internet enabled lives; certainly you may have heard about the surge of growth for Feedly, but there are other platforms out there that you can use with a better interface and faster service. Here are some of the best (that I’ve tried and liked) alternatives for Google Reader.

Feedly

Feedly of course goes straight to the top of the list. Released in 2008, the site had some app problems that I noticed when I first tried it on my Android phone a few years ago. Thankfully, the newest version of their Android/iPhone app is a huge improvement, both reading wise and content wise.

Feedly Titles view

The one good thing about Feedly is that it has both a mobile app and a website. While reading the news or whatever feeds I have while on the go is great, sometimes I like to catch up on things on my desktop or laptop and luckily, the service is great at syncing both.

The one downside I have with Feedly is their podcast player. It’s horrible and worse, can only be listened to on the website. That seriously sucks when I’m on the go and want to listen to a particular podcast that I’m following.

BeyondPod

Speaking of podcasts, if your Google Reader is full of them, BeyondPod is the app to go to. Offering both a free and paid version, this is great if you’re an Android users. BP has a great interface, with a huge amount of content and it syncs with Google Reader, so you can import all of your podcasts.

The free version is great, but I highly suggest you opt for the paid version. Paid gives you a lot more feature content, such as no limit on downloads or streams; I lucked out by getting it on sale, from the normal $6.99 to that of $2.99. You can create playlists, so you can listen to whatever episode in whatever order you want.

The only downside I currently have with BP is that for some strange reason, my playlist will reset itself. This of course sucks, as I might have a nice little playlist going, with 20 something episodes, and then it’s gone one night. That and I can only listen on my phone.

Google Currents

I suspect the reason Reader is falling by the wayside is because Google is pushing their own news aggregator, Currents. The last update to my phone showed that Currents was now a standard on all newer Android phones, instead of the download.

Google Currents

Currents isn’t too bad, but it’s not great either. I noticed it doesn’t do a very good job of getting updated news as fast as say Google News – ironically – and when it comes to trying to get my RSS feeds from Reader, they also never seem to get updated at all. While the layout is great, unfortunately, it has a habit of skipping past pages when you scroll.

Flipboard

Flipboard is another popular app and the only one that has a social network component to it. The latest update now allows you to better select which news sources that you want to add, promoting for better user customization.

flipboard-screenshot

I’m utilizing the new look now and I have to say, if it wasn’t for my RSS feeds in Feedly or podcasts on BeyondPod, I’d love to just have Flipboard on my phone. The social network integration is nice too, especially when you want to share news stories with friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

Downside to Flipboard is that it doesn’t seem to want to convert from portrait to landscape. I can’t say if it does this on tablets, but it’s certainly a hassle on my Nexus, especially when I’m very much a pull out keyboard type of smartphone user, so I like the landscape for typing.

Conclusion

This is just a small listing of the different alternatives for Google Reader. If you want an all shop stop, BeyondPod is probably your best bet, but this is definitely a huge plus for people with podcasts by the tens or hundreds; if you just want the news, Currents is still good, though you might be a few hours behind the rest of the world in terms of breaking news (which even that is about thirty minutes slow).

If you love sharing stories to your peeps on the book of Face, definitely go with Flipboard or Feedly (though I like Flipboard better). The good thing about these is that they’re free for you to try and only BP has a paid version, but free can get you pretty far.

Are you using one of these alternatives for Google Reader? Or are you using something different? Why not tell us what you’re using, and your thoughts about Google Reader closing down in the comments section below.

Best Alternatives for Google Reader
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