Feedly, Your New Favorite Blog Reader
Posted on March 21, 2013
I was never a fan of Google Reader, to be honest. It was kind of clunky, didn’t have a native app and simply lacked the user experience that should have kept me coming back on a daily basis. I know my opinion is not the norm, and the service had a cult-like following in the tech-geek and blogger worlds.
Google Reader fans found out last week that the tech giant would be closing down the blog-reader service come July 1st of this year. Consolidation of services is apparent as Google takes a stab at any means possible of pushing users over to to Google+, which now boasts over 500 million users.
Upon learning this rather surprising news, alternative blog-reader services have stepped up to offer the next best thing. In my opinion, many of these alternative options are better than the original. The one I jumped on first (simply because it’s free) was Feedly.
Feedly is probably the closest reader option to Google’s, but way more attractive and user friendly. They have a free Android and iPhone app, browser extensions, simple and un-intrusive UI and great visual appeal. I can only speak for Feedly’s iPhone app, in that it is probably one of the best apps I’ve ever downloaded in terms of pure utility on a mobile platform. It’s everything you want from a mobile app, and nothing more. Quick, responsive, several filtering options like Today’s news only, built in “Save for Later” (similar to Instapaper or Pocket), Latest News, bit.ly, sharing and email integration, unlimited topic categories that display the number of unread posts, plus options like recently read posts, themes, the ability to add and remove blogs from categories, and many customization options.
The best thing could possibly be the fact that you can import your entire Google Reader list to Feedly with a simple click. (Seamless is the word that comes to mind, actually.) Here’s more on how Feedly will move forward once Google Reader is shut down.
Here’s a rundown of Feedly’s web version:
For the mobile app, the UX is just as awesome. One long press saves the article. One short swipe to the left on an article marks it as read, one to the right unmarks it. Similarly, one long swipe to the left marks all articles on that page as read, one swipe to the left undoes the mark as read swipe.
All in all, this blog reader stuff is fairly new to me, but I’m in love with Feedly. They’re adding hundreds of thousands of new subscribers every day, and my hope is that they stay on course and find a way to monetize the model. I rarely ever pay for an app, but Feedly could easily make me a subscriber with some pro features. I’m excited to see what’s coming from them, but highly recommend you check them out for yourself.Feedly, Your New Favorite Blog Reader by Zack Sylvan