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:

Feedly, Google Reader Alternative

Feedly homescreen

Feedly, Google Reader Alternative

Feedly category view

Feedly, Google Reader Alternative

Feedly makes it easy to add websites and blogs to your reader

Feedly, Google Reader Alternative

Open article or post in Feedly reader

Feedly, Google Reader Alternative

Full sharing to Twitter, Facebook, and many other networks. Plus, save for later, email or visit the website. You can also just click on the post to visit the site.

Feedly, Google Reader Alternative

Customization friendly. Arrange categories as you please. Tons of other preferences like themes, fonts, Twitter and Facebook integration and so much more.

Feedly mobile:

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.

Feedly mobile, Google Reader Alternative

Feedly mobile menu

Feedly mobile, Google Reader Alternative

Settings panel in Feedly’s mobile app

Feedly mobile, Google Reader Alternative

Category page in the Feedly mobile app

Feedly mobile, Google Reader Alternative

Categories expand into a list right from the menu in Feedly’s mobile app.

Feedly mobile, Google Reader Alternative

Read posts from within the Feedly app, or click to go to the site. Also, share bar drops down from the top (as shown) making it easy to tweet or post to your social channels.

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

8 Replies to "Feedly, Your New Favorite Blog Reader"

  • Tanya
    March 21, 2013 (7:31 pm)
    Reply

    Alright, you’ve convinced me to abandon my WordPress Reader and move everything to Feedly. Nicely done.

    I’m loving that my blog and second husband made cameos in this post. I mean, what? Want ice cream for dinner? Squirrel!

    • Zack
      March 21, 2013 (7:48 pm)
      Reply

      WP has a reader built into the app, no? It’s probably easier for you to just stay on WP.com where everything is in one place. You’d have to manually add your blogs from WP to Feedly since they only support Google for now.

      Extra ice cream for the plug. Booyah.

      • Tanya
        March 21, 2013 (7:54 pm)
        Reply

        True, but I can’t add websites or categorize or save blog posts. I can try both and see which I like better.

    • Zack
      March 21, 2013 (7:49 pm)
      Reply

      Second husband?!

  • Lora Lynn
    March 21, 2013 (3:01 pm)
    Reply

    Great details I hadn’t even noticed yet! I’ve got to download the mobile app, although all that swiping feels a bit intimidating! #ihatechange

    • Zack
      March 21, 2013 (3:05 pm)
      Reply

      It is intimidating! My initial thoughts were, “I’ll never remember which direction to swipe or for how long!” However, quite the contrary. Very easy learning curve, and simply intuitive. You’ll get it in no time, I’m sure. Thanks for stopping by, Lora!

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