Now that Google is no longer choking innovation out of the market, promising alternatives are appearing or getting dusted off. Feed readers are interesting again.
Digg announced it’s going to build a replacement for Google Reader, so it asked 17,000 people what they’d like to see in such a product. Over 8,000 responded.
These are their stories. In pretty graphs.
Since Google’s taking Reader out back behind the barn in three months, Feedly is one of the alternatives I’m considering. Like every competitor, they’re scrambling to move their sync service away from Google, but to make things easy on yourself you can sign up with your Google Account now and import your feeds. That way you shouldn’t need to lift a finger when Feedly flips the switch away from Google.
Feedly is a different beast in a number of ways, though, so I’m finding articles like this very helpful. Thanks, Tom Reestman.
I started an experiment recently in replacing Google Reader with Twitter and lists. Because of the way I usually read and Twitter’s inherently social nature, I was pleasantly surprised.
Google is bringing its new web app interface, the one you saw debut with Google+, to Reader. I was previously mistaken in thinking that Google is removing all sharing features save for Google+ with this redesign, but have thankfully been set straight by Hunt Henning.
To clarify: Google Reader still allows you to share articles to Twitter, Facebook, Instapaper, and more. What Google is specifically removing is the friending mechanism where you could follow other Google Reader users and view their shared stories inside of Google Reader.
Google has effectively stripped Google Reader back down to its essence as a feed reader and given it a new, arguably better designed interface. I’m down with that, though I still wish there was room for competition.
When I say that the system is fragile, I don’t mean that Google Reader itself is fragile. I mean that using it as a syncing system for other apps is fragile. There are a couple things that RSS reader developers know, that the average RSS reader user probably doesn’t know, which will make this more apparent.
That Google Reader’s sync API was never documented has always bothered me, and now Simmons has made me even more concerned. Google has never seemed to know what to do with Reader, and now it’s making this big push for Google+. I’m not sure what it could mean, but I sure do wish there was some decent competition besides Shaun Inman’s never-updated and web-app-only Fever.
This is becoming a trend. The iPhone has no shortage of Google Reader clients. But now Google is debuting more of its native apps and new features first for Android, with no mention of the iPhone, Windows Phone 7, or BlackBerry.
I’ve never noticed this Options menu on links in Google’s iPhone search results before, but the Mobile Optimized feature is pretty handy to have around. If you know it’s going to be a big clunky site, just select this and you’ll get the uber-stripped down version.
This worked well for looking up Room & Board’s Sunday hours, since I didn’t need the full site.
It would be great to see this arrive as an optional feature for visiting links in Google Reader, instead of an always on/off toggle.