I’m not pleased. Google is discontinuing Google Reader as of July 1, 2013. I’ve happily used Reader for years now. Finding a replacement is not something I look forward to.
I’m looking at Feedly as an alternative, but I’m really not sure yet. They’re offering a nice import option, though. I suspect I’ll have to try a few alternatives before settling on one. The trick will be finding one with all the features I want, preferably free.
I prefer my feed reader to be web based rather than something I have to run on each machine. I mostly read from my laptop, but when I move to a desktop or iPad, I don’t want to get different results on each or have to keep individual things updated.
You can use Google Takeout to get all your data from Reader (or other Google products, but this is the relevant one now) if necessary. Download the ZIP file and import it into the new feed reader you’ve selected. Not all options will require you to export your data from Google Reader then import it; some allow you to sync your accounts or otherwise get the data for you.
This is of course the problem with any free service. Sometimes they vanish, even when backed by someone as big as Google. At least they’re giving warning so we can get away.
Google Reader Alternatives
I don’t have a favorite yet, as I’m still researching, but here are some alternatives to try before Google Reader shuts down.
Feedly - available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, phones, tablets, etc. as an app or browser extension. I don’t think it supports IE at this time. They’re trying to make it easy for Google Reader users to come over. They also allow you to share items on social networks, Evernote and so forth.
Pulse – Available for web use or as an app. Pulse allows you to save favorites to Evernote and other services to read later.
The Old Reader – The Old Reader’s focus is on being like the old version of Google Reader.
NewsBlur – Free up to 64 sites, after that $1 a month to feed poor Shiloh, and you get more features when you pay.
Bloglines – They’re baaack! There was a time when people switched from Bloglines to Google Reader, now some are going back to Bloglines’ Reader. They have a new system that existing users need to migrate to, but they aren’t currently planning on going anywhere.