June 25, 2013

I’ve been keeping tabs on all the potential Google Reader replacements out there, hedging my bets. Here are my thoughts:

  • AOL Reader – It’s usable and seems pretty well-featured, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to hide the sidebar which is kind of a big deal to me. Plus, the fact it doesn’t have “Huff Post” in the name doesn’t bode well for its long-term prospects.
  • Digg Reader – Not out yet, but I’m hopeful it will be good. For the first time ever, Digg might serve a useful purpose. Will update this when I get access.
  • UPDATE (6/26/2013): It had a nice little loading animation as it imported my feeds. The design is sparse, maybe a little too sparse. There’s no way to hide the sidebar as of yet.
  • Feedly – Until recently it existed as a weird, awful browser plugin that stuck its dumb logo everywhere. They finally added a normal website version that is good but it appears to autoplay YouTube videos (what the hell?). The sidebar auto-hides which is fantastic but it also has a huge left margin that sorta defeats the purpose.
  • Feedspot – It’s good if a little clunkily designed. You have to specifically make your subscriptions private, which is weird. Sharing seems to be an “all or nothing” proposition.
  • Netvibes – A decent personalized portal I used to use a few years ago that also has a “Reader” view. It always seemed so bloated and slow compared to My Yahoo! and iGoogle. I’m putting it in the “maybe” pile.
  • NewsBlur – You have to pay an annual fee for it, no thanks
  • Skimr – Different from the typical Google Reader model in that it basically just lets you skim headlines. Nice and simple unlike River2, which I couldn’t get to work.
  • The Old Reader – It’s good and has old-style sharing features, but I sorta hate the design and it seems a little slow (I haven’t used it much but I’m already sick of the green Pac-Man icon). There doesn’t appear to be a way to hide the sidebar.