[via google images.]
As I'm certain that you well know, Google Reader is slowly, painfully fading away. As someone who routinely has over 3000 posts to catch up on at any given time, I'm a little bit jubilant and relieved, but mostly frustrated. I've been a big-time user of Reader since college and have appreciated that the service has endured few updates (therefore keeping it super streamlined and user-friendly), and virtually no glitches in my many years of use. But alas, fewer people are signing in to scroll through their carefully selected-and-collected blog content, thus the head haunchos at Google have elected to pull the plug.
In light of this news, I've tried digging around to find an alternative. After all, bookmarking your favorite sites is basically the least efficient or effective way to access them anymore (and who wants to be tied to anything related to the features of 1997's Internet Explorer, right?)... I've done a bit of research to discover what would be the best alternative to Reader, and the results are still fuzzy. The top three selections are:
One of my major complaints about Reader (and also, as relates to the "very few updates" praise earlier), was that it wasn't entirely pleasant to sift through posts on the iphone, or even the ipad. The layout and presentation was lackluster, at best, and it just really wasn't pleasant to use. It seems as though all of these shinier, newer versions of RSS feeders are user-friendly and much more visually appealing on the handheld devices. There's still an element of simplicity that I want in a feeder, and so I am wary of getting lost in an app that's too busy. (Bonus! There are instructions posted everywhere on how to import your Google Reader into your newly-selected feed service, so the transition should be pretty pain-free).
I've downloaded each of them, and my opinion is that Feedly is the most like Reader, and has a really clean interface. The greatest perk to Feedly is its customization options: you can change the formatting of the posts--tiles, headlines, full stories, etc--and the background color of the page as well. The iphone version is a little different than the desktop, but I really, really like that interface too. The "swiping" motion you use to skip from page to page is addictive too... the other feed sites have some of these features too, but I think Feedly is the most suitable for the Reader diehards.