The Big Comparison Of Google Reader RSS Feed Alternatives

rss-featuredGoogle Reader is turning off their feed on July 1st and by now many of you have already switched to a new RSS reader – but, for those of you who have yet to make the jump, keep reading. We wanted to give you a concise chart explaining the features, costs and functionality of some of the larger RSS feed readers on the market.

Since then, many new readers have been built or are in the development phase now. So, this comparison is a supplement to our 12 Google Reader alternatives story released shortly after the Google Reader news was announced.

A major consideration for some is free versus paid. Google Reader was free and they decided to shut down. Some feel that paid options are less likely to shut down. Truth is, just this morning, a paid subscription I had to an online faxing service shut down and did so immediately without warning. So paid versus free, in my opinion, means nothing.

In the chart below, I’ve documented how each of the 14 RSS readers I’ve evaluated line up. The top readers listed in the chart happen to be more popular, followed by other feed readers sorted by alphabetical order. The readers include Feedly, Digg Reader, Newsblur, AOL Reader, BazQux, Feedbin, Feeder, FeedReader, FeedWrangler, G2Reader, InoReader, NetNewsWire, Ridly and The Older Reader. All of these are Web based RSS readers with the exception of NetNewsWire.

Since Google Reader announced closure, many of the readers above are new and still either in beta or quickly adding features within the next few days to next few months.

The chart below details the cost of each app, if they work on the Web versus a desktop client application, if there is a mobile Web browser version, if they have native iOS or Android apps, if they have browser extensions and if they contain APIs for third-party developers.

rss-reader-comparison-chart

Personally, I went with Feedly because at the time, the alternatives didn’t quickly take my feeds from Google Reader. In addition, Feedly has been very quick to adapt and make Google Reader like interfaces for heavy RSS users like myself. That doesn’t mean I will stick with Feedly, I will try out Digg Reader — which launched yesterday, and some of the other readers myself. Switching RSS readers is fairly easy, so you should give these a fair shot yourself.

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Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Features & Analysis | Google: Google Reader | Marketing Tools: RSS | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Will Uffhounder

    Good work here, appreciate the roundup of the options for Google Reader Refugees like myself. Sincere question – why was RSSOwl not included in this comparison?

  • http://www.ornitorrincoenlinea.com Angel B

    Strange that you didn’t include Hive Reader http://hivereader.com It’s still on beta but it shows a lot of promise particularly where sharing and commenting is concerned. It would be a worthy addition to this list.

  • Bogdan Rancea

    Very useflul! I’ve been testing new RSS readers, so far Feedly and The Old Reader are cool. Waiting for a mobile version of Feedly, I don’t like switching between the app and Safari on my iPad all the time. Cheers!

  • christianpuricelli

    Have you tried out Reader.is?

  • Tom Howlett

    Do you know if any can sync across platforms/devices? This is a functionality I really liked with Google Reader and would like to retain this.

  • Mark Frost

    Using feedly (from the UK) at the moment for podcast downloads, but having problems with some US podcasts: when I right click on ‘save link as’ I only get the option of saving chrome html docs rather than mp3s. In other words, I can only save the blurb for the podcasts, rather than the podcasts themselves. I don’t know why this is, and want an rss reader that doesn’t have this glitch. The problem is with podcasts like ‘Wait Wait’, ‘History of Our World’, ‘Washington Week’, but not for other US podcasts (PBS news, for example, is fine). Anyone got any ideas or advice?

  • abigail_rocket_blast

    Feedly can. I’m using it right now on a PC, and it syncs with my iPhone and iPad seamlessly. I’m a heavy RSS user following hundreds of feeds, and I like it a lot, I can recommend it.

  • Tom Howlett

    Thanks Abigail.

    I have been using Feedly on mobile, but Feed Demon on the PC. I guess I just don’t like change and like how it syncs across the platforms at the moment. Maybe I will just have to get used to using Feedly on the PC as well.

  • Elle Sidell

    Hi, great roundup! You could also give http://flowreader.com/ (Disclaimer: I’m from the FlowReader team). FlowReader is a personal reader for RSS and social feeds from Facebook and Twitter. We just recently launched and are still working out a few kinks, but our team would love to hear any feedback people might have!

  • David S

    I think I’m settling on this one for the PC. http://theoldreader.com

    I tried Feedly for a week, it just doesn’t refresh as fast as Google Reader (none of them do btw) and found the interface overly complicated for reading through posts quickly. Their Android version is terrible IMO.

    For all of them, I ran Google Reader and the others side by side to see how fast each one finds the updated articles. Google Reader is the fastest, btw.

    I tried Commafeed and liked it the best, but it has abysmal update speed keeping up with feeds. It was down entirely this morning. It never seems to update some feed entries, then a day or two later, it will appear. Commafeed feels almost exactly like Google Reader, if only it was fast.

    I tried an old friend, Bloglines, but for some reason, I have to log in every time I want to use it. That’s just stupid. Plus slow updates.

    I tried Theoldreader and decided it is the best of the bunch.

    For my android phone, gReader is still there and will work like it always has. I got used to it a year ago thinking it was the android version of Google Reader. It’s decent, but then, I rarely read rss stuff on the phone.

  • David S

    Oh, forgot…as of today, the beta of gReader supports The Old Reader. So, when google reader is gone, it would still work on my android phone.

  • Mary Kay Lofurno

    I am converted over to newsblur.com and I like it, it works well, simple, easy to use and understand

  • Axiol

    Plus, the API is in beta (the post should be corrected on this point) and gReader include TOR support in its last beta (this could be corrected too).

  • http://renaissancechambara.jp/ gedcarroll

    I would recommend that you consider Newsblur for the list as well

  • John Saunders

    Hm how you didn’t include SilverReader http://silverreader.com It is 5x faster than Feedly or any other alternative and has a lot of cool features that others don’t have like full HTTPS support and custom accounts.

    I use it and it is blazing fast. I recommend that you go to SilverReader to test it yourself

  • http://feedspot.com/ Anuj Agarwal

    Hi Barry,

    We launched Feedspot in beta this week. Got reviewed by Lifehacker, gHacks, Pandodaily & PCMAG(mention)

    Model – Freemium ($24/year, Basic features free)
    Desktop – Web
    Mobile – Yes
    iOS, Android, Extension – NO
    API – Yes
    Search Feature – Yes

    I’d greatly appreciate if Feedspot is added to your awesome list of replacements.
    Thank you so much!
    Best,
    Anuj(founder)

  • Joachim Geeraert

    Could you add a collumn for search to the table? I feel like this is a major feature that’s missing from most options.

  • David S

    John, Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at this option and decided to try Silver Reader today, side by side with Google Reader and The Old Reader all active at the same time for about 4 hours. It’s hard to tell if it is any faster at capturing feed updates as Silver Reader periodically times me out. I keep my reader window open all day and don’t want to have to log in whenever I feel like checking feeds. Checking the Remember Me box won’t keep you signed in either.

    Secondly, I don’t see where I can change the order of my feeds. The way it imported my saved .xml subscriptions file is not the order I want the feeds in. With The Old Reader, you can simply drag them into a different order.

    Other than that, this one does look promising, these two weakness’s would prevent me from switching from The Old Reader.

  • David S

    I already did that within minutes of my original post…see below.

  • David S

    I figured out the ordering issue. You do it under Settings instead in the main feed window.

  • http://tommertron.com tommertron

    Would love to see a similar chart that compares the major RSS third party clients and what backend services they support.

  • John Saunders

    David. Interesting findings.
    I was talking also about speed of getting feeds into webpage when you scrolldown and login into page.
    It is much faster than any other reader. This is most important thing for me I don’t want to wait like on Feedly for 1 sec to get 30 feeds into page.
    Also it looks very finished. I am very satisfied with SilverReader.

    As I understand this auto logout is default behavior on all sites. It happens me also on Facebook.

    Maybe you should leave feedback on SilverReader Uservoice page David.

  • David S

    “As I understand this auto logout is default behavior on all sites. It happens me also on Facebook.”
    OK, that’s odd. Facebook has -never- logged me out. At least not during the day when that page is open in a tab for all day.

  • Chimel

    Glad you included InoReader, but this table is sorely missing a 5-star rating of the features offered by each reader (InoReader probably coming top in its category.)

    Since they are too perfectionist to advertize it yet, I’ll do it for them:
    Check out InoReader (https://inoreader.com), as clean and professional looking as Google Reader, yet without the austerity and with more features. AOL and Digg readers do not even have the basic set of GR features, although Digg has a team two or three times bigger.

    Thanks to years of Glasnot policy in its birth place, InoReader also offers full transparency on what’s going on in the background (change log, statistics on feed polling) and there’s even a very active discussion forum where things as tabboo as funding and monetization are being discussed.

    Their web reader is perfect feature-wise, but just as important to me, it is also already translated into several main languages, whereas NYC-based AOL and Digg don’t even mention or care about international users.

    Some features: RSS feeds to share your folders, “channels” to share/broadcast specific articles, search in feeds, “read later” publishing (InstaPaper, Pocket), folders and tags, favorites, comments, likes, share via email or 18 different providers (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Delicious, Evernote, Tumblr, Blogger, etc.), your own contacts (“connections”) to share your channel with, there are literally dozens of settings to customize your reader, you can mask the left pane for greater readability, you can sort your articles by date or popularity, you can force a refresh of your feeds.

    Issues: Still in beta but pretty stable, they are mostly fine-tuning performance and exterminating the last few tricky bugs remaining. The mobile web version lacks critical features such as a strawberry flavor but is pretty good otherwise. Android and iOS apps currently in alpha stage or just starting development.

  • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

    Check out Yoleoreader.com. Nice, simple interface.

  • John Saunders

    David you are right. Facebook does not do that – my mistake.
    Just one note. It seams like that guys from SilverReader have fixed your problem.
    I have accidentally leave open SilverReader for couple hours today and it didn’t log me out when I come back.

    Probably someone else had a same issue.

  • Luc Suy

    You should definitely look at Netvibes.
    http://www.netvibes.com/
    I’m surprised Netvibes is so often overlooked in this kind of lists.

  • tvf77

    You forgot Netvibes, which in its Reader view is a great Google Reader replacement.

  • tnzbdx

    why not netvibes

  • Victor ORear

    Pulse.me also syncs across platforms and devices. And is free and supports offline reading.

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