The Death of Google Reader

So, the net exploded yesterday with the news that Google Reader is shutting down. They say that usage has declined, but if other rss reader sites are being brought down by Google Reader refugees, how is “declining use” a justification for shutting down Google Reader? And then there’s this neat little bit of unintended consequences.

Here are my findings so far on my search for replacing Google Reader. My needs are simple: I want to be able to add rss feeds to my list as I find interesting ‘blogs and news sites; I want to organize my feeds as I see fit, and read them sequentially without having to fight the interface; I need to be able to read on my tablet and sync to the web.

Flipboard:
– image heavy “magazineish” layout
– cutesy glossy “flip” page conceit
+ reader feeds imported nicely
– have to drill down too far to get to rss feed folders
– scrolling long articles makes the text go wonky
– sometimes cuts off the end of articles
– don’t see any way to put a particular feed set (folder from reader) onto the main pages

Verdict: Yuck.

Currents:
– same image heavy magazine layout
– battery HOG
+ reader subscriptions are accessible
– – – – – but not in folders so I can’t find ANYTHING MY GOD WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY SUBSCRIPTIONS

Verdict: Yuck.

Taptu:
– ugh. Same weird image square layout; you can turn off the images but then you’ve got text cards that look just as stupid.
+/- Adding reader feeds isn’t hard, but there’s some extra steps that are a bit annoying.
– sometimes it’s difficult to tell what feed you’re looking at on the main page

Verdict: Yuck.

Feedly:
– all these apps are bleeding together, they look so alike
+ imported reader easily
– on the website you can change the views to titles only, NOT on the app.

Verdict: Meh.

NewsBlur:
+/- I have no idea; it’s getting pounded so hard I can’t do anything.
-/+ Pay service; I got in *right* before he yanked free trial accounts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to test with a few feeds, but not until he quits getting hammered. I’m willing to pay for an app if it actually works for me.

Verdict: Undetermined.

NetVibes:
+ intuitive web interface
+ imported reader effortlessly
+ able to rearrange and view reader folders easily
+ you can use it as a launch page with widgets (switch between reader & widget views)
– (*1000) No android app (ETA: Netvibes does have a mobile site, which is ok, I guess, though I’d much rather have an actual app.

Verdict: I like it, and may use it – but I read my feeds 98.3% of the time on my tablet.

Conclusion: Life is full of woe and sadness. Unless NewsBlur really wows me, or one of the ones I’ve missed turns out better, then NetVibes it is. Yay?

ETA 3/16 11:47pm: Well, NewsBlur did it. I’m satisfied. Android app does what I need, and the web interface is perfect with options I didn’t even know I was missing.


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