the old reader
I have been dragging my feet when it comes to choosing an alternative to the soon to disappear Google Reader. In fact every time I see one of those pop up messages warning of Google Reader's approaching demise I start to panic. Google Reader has been part of my routine since I swapped across from Bloglines years ago. I use it most days and can't imagine using anything else.
Anyway over the last couple of months I have been seriously looking for a new Blog Reader, trying out the alternatives and seeing how they feel. Here's a rundown in case you're looking too. I think I've chosen one, though when I went back to take screen shots I saw that most of the readers have improved their useability and added new features, so I'm a bit torn now!
The good news is that there are lots of wonderful alternatives being developed. The end of Google Reader is no longer something to fear and there are some great choices to be had.
Here are the alternatives I've tried:
One of the first I tried bloglovin' is a nicely graphic reader but I'm not sure I like the difference between this and google reader, in that it sends you across to each blog in turn. I have lots of blogs in my reader and I like to see them listed in one place so I can see which ones are updated and if I'm in a hurry just read a chosen few. I do like seeing each blog on its page where its meant to be viewed though, hmmm. If you are a bloglovin convert you can subscribe to flowerpress here.
Feedly has the best graphic interface in my opinion. I found it a little more confusing to use, but to be fair I haven't spent much time exploring. I'm a bit stuck in my ways though and while I understand its very customisable I just want a new reader that's easy to use and comes in the form I'm used to.
the old reader
Looking for a simpler more familiar replacement led me to this no frills google reader clone. It took quite a few days to upload my subscriptions and I haven't used it much but it seems like a very basic and familiar way of reading blogs. I don't like how the text runs the full page though and centred pics default to range left, and I'm not keen on the green, but it seems serviceable.
Another reader that's similar to google reader is g2reader. It is prettier, more graphic and has more features than google reader or the old reader. I really liked this reader and it is one of two at the top of my list of alternatives. I like its looks and the way it displays the feed and centres pics. One drawback is that the line lengths are too long like the old reader, but this application is still in Beta so I'm going to keep an eye on where they go with it.
This is my current favourite. I love the functionality of this one, you can add other widgets to your feed like weather, google analytics and facebook. I've only recently discovered it so haven't had much time to play around with it but I found it quick to get used to and it has lots of features and ways of customising the views. Sadly the pics don't centre and the line length is longer than google reader but its a bit shorter than the old reader and g2.
Edited to add: Hmm, playing around with Bloglines and there are some glitches appearing. It wants to log me out every time I try to navigate around. And also my blogs are listed in two alphabetical lists, with no way of working out how to combine them in one. They don't seem to have any backup to help fix this, so while I'll keep watching, maybe G2 is a better alternative.
Its a relief to find such functional reader replacements. I'd be really interested in everyone's feedback and I'd love to know which one you're changing to or have already switched.
I probably won't truly change until the last minute, July 1st, but at least now I feel happy about where I'm going!