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I used to use Google Reader a lot to check blogs I follow daily. It was really good and user friendly. But Google closed Google Reader, and people who used it face a bit of a problem.

Is there an alternative that is as good as Google Reader was?

These are my main requirements:

  • Advertisements are ok but less annoying.
  • Manual categorization.
  • Instantly updating is a must.
  • Web-based, but we can see it using mobile also when need.
  • Unicode support (especially Sinhala).
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4  
What features do you want? Online/offline? Free? Advertisements OK? –  Nicolas Raoul Apr 3 at 6:01
    
advertisement like google is fine less annoying. categorization and instantly updating are must. Thanks. –  ambarox Apr 3 at 6:04
1  
@ambarox edit your question with that would be best. Also do you want automated categorization or only manual categorization? –  Nick Wilde Apr 3 at 6:51
1  
Online or offline? You should really specify, as it is a very distinctive characteristic. –  Nicolas Raoul Apr 3 at 10:08
2  

5 Answers 5

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Yes. In fact there is something better than "the original".

After Google Reader turned out the lights, I experimented with a long string or RSS readers and aggregation systems. I eventually settled on Feedly and tried to camp out there. While the interface is polished and it does most things well, after a couple weeks I was frustrated with how little customization could be done. Adding feeds from mobile was also a pain and there were other minor annoyances, so I went hunting again.

Eventually I dug up InoReader and have not looked back! I actually love the service. Not only does it sport feature parity with what Google Reader was, it allows a number of usage and interface customization out of the box that I used to turn to elaborate user-scripts for. It has a low key but highly functional interface that provides an efficient work flow for consuming feeds while staying out of your face both in browser and on mobile, integrates without being invasive and has never left me wishing "if only this did/had X".

As for the specifics you asked about:

  • Feeds can be organized using folders (actually work like tags because a feed can be in multiple categories) and you can also filter for finer tuned control.

  • Feeds are updates instantly in the interface as the crawler finds new posts, and the notification system either from inside the site or using a browser extension cat make you aware of the updates in a timely manner.

  • The service is free for most usage (although a paid version exists that allows you to do extras like search through ALL feeds they track, not just your subscribed ones) and you will not be bothered by any advertising.

desktopdark theme

androidpreferences

Their release blog is a good place to get a dime tour. It talks about new or revised features as they come out, but with a recent full makeover this will quickly give you an idea of what the whole system looks like.

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If you don't mind running your own (or can find a instance of it yourself ) tt-rss is a great RSS feed reader. After having google reader, and then another alternative I tried closed down, running my own seemed the best way to ensure I'd have a RSS feed reader I could rely on

  • ads? What ads, you're running it yourself
  • Categorization: as much as you'd like
  • has great third party app support
  • updates can be set per feed, but the minimum update time is 15 minutes.
  • price - free/open source, though you may need to pay for hosting. I used to run an instance on a VM at home, and I currently run it on a VPS

tt-rss



Digg reader is probably the one you should go with if you're looking to a nice, ad-free non self hosted alternative. I didn't use it originally cause it lacked a few key features I wanted (For example hiding empty feeds and folders). Its reached the point where if I wasn't running ttrss, I'd run it, since I could tweak it into working for me

  • no ads as far as I can tell
  • folders for categories

Its still in active development, and I do believe they intend to reach parity with google reader pre shutdown I've no idea how often it checks for new feeds

digg reader



I used to use the old reader in the past - Unfortunately, when I used to use it, they had less restrictions and my needs are significantly greater than what their free tier offers. They also had capacity issues, and ended up booting off most of their users. I'm not angry that I lost a free service (Quite more that I was a little broken hearted, its a great app, but the uncertainty meant I decided not to rely on third parties). Its the closest in terms of features and usage style to google reader IMO, though its not completely free.

If you have less than a hundred feeds its free, with added plans for more feeds.

tho old reader


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+1 for Digg. I use digg. I don't know how often it checks for updates. But I've subscribed to my blog for testing and digg always when I checked it (sometimes only about 5 minutes after publishing) Digg already got the article (maybe they check more often, maybe I had luck). –  moose Apr 3 at 14:40
    
The old reader was not much more than a one-man project that got overwhelmed by Google Reader refugees. They closed down, before it was revived by a completely new team after a few days. Made me flee to feedly, but this should not scare of new users. –  Bernhard Apr 12 at 20:01

Feedly should do perfectly. See also a (slightly outdated) tutorial and

  • Advertising: utterly minimal; recommended feed on some pages (don't actually know if those are algorithmic or algorithmic and paid advertising)
  • Categorization: yep to your heart's content (with custom views definable for each category).
  • Updating: Not instant in most cases; around 25% of feeds are connected to instant push but most are refreshed at minimum once per hour. (See details as of October 2013.)
  • Price: free version. Pro version with extra features as well - including more frequent updating for some feeds.
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My choice too, works even better for me than GReader –  danijelc Apr 12 at 20:46

Feedbin's homepage

Feedbin

  • Nice, minimal theme with good typography, with some options to change fonts and day/night themes. (Also has a nice mobile interface, if I do say so myself..)
  • Ability to tag feeds. You can also run searches, and save searches as new meta-tags.
  • The API is supported by the two big reading apps: Reeder (iOS) and Press (Android), along with various others.
  • It's open source (MIT license), and you can run it yourself if you want to.
  • Costs $3 per month or $30 per year to use the hosted version, but as a result there's no ads or other conflicts of interest. Apparently there's a 14-day free trial now.
  • There's a bunch of other features described on the blog, which shows the impressive rate of improvement, along with some interesting details of what happens behind the scenes.

I'm somewhat biased, since I've written code for Feedbin, but I have no financial interest in it. I think it's the best, but if you want a free product, Feedly is a close second.

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SwarmIQ

We have a free and a premium tier:

Free (no Ads):

  • Support for upto 200 RSS Feeds, Folders, Tags, Starring, Interests (bundles of related RSS feeds)
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter integrations for sharing
  • Social features to share with and follow other people using SwarmIQ
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • App dashboard to control what features you want to see in your reader e.g. turn off social if you're not into sharing or following people.

Premium ($5 / month)

  • Everything in the free tier. Unlimited RSS Feeds.
  • Full text search on your feeds or across the SwarmIQ universe of feeds.
  • Keyboard-based filters on Author, Body, Title or Category to monitor feeds on an ongoing basis.
  • Email alerts to get notified when new items show up. Alerts can be applied to any feed or folder.
  • Save-for-later integrations with 10+ popular services including Evernote and Google+
  • Access to all newly developed "apps". As described above, the first 4 apps are Search, Filters, Alerts and Save-for-Later.

Disclosure: Definitely biased, since I'm on the team that built SwarmIQ. Look for us to pull away from the competition in the coming months :-)

Screenshots:

Minimal List view

Article view

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