Ed Wellbrook and Preshit Deorukhkar have a nice new Safari/Chrome extension to prettify Feed Wrangler. You’ll definitely want to check it out if you spend any time in the web app. I’ve been spending most of my time in ReadKit, but it’s always nice to be able to use the web when I need to.
The incomparable Dr. Drang has an excellent article on transitioning off of Google Reader, and highlights my favorite new service, Feed Wrangler.
The issue raised by Google’s decision to drop Reader isn’t with reading, it’s with syncing. Most of us read our RSS feeds on more than one device and we want a syncing service that allows us to pick up on our iPhones where we left off on our laptops. There were a few non-Google syncing options before Google’s announcement in March and more have arisen to fill the void since then. How do you decide which one to go with?
The good Doctor rightly points out some of Feed Wrangler’s shortcomings, but I still prefer it despite those drawbacks, mostly because I know the service will continue to improve over time. It’ll be particularly interesting to see if, come July 1st, these pop-up services can stand tall.
ReadKit 2.1.0 is now available on the Mac App Store. While we made a lot of under-the-hood improvements, the most significant change since the last update is that we’ve added new RSS services that were requested by many of you: Feed Wrangler and Feedbin.
Both services can be a great alternative of the post Google Reader world and we hope you’ll enjoy using them within ReadKit.
Since its launch, ReadKit has been one of my favorite apps for reading on the Mac. Version 2.1 adds support for Feedbin and my RSS service of choice, Feed Wrangler. It’s rapidly becoming a one-stop-shop for reading services on the Mac.
Patrick Welker of RocketINK has a good piece on what he’s looking for pertaining to the future of RSS:
Overall I’d characterize my needs as very basic:
A decent minimal web interface (preferably close to the screen shot in this post = one preview line is enough for me) and shortcuts would also be most welcome.
Folders, folders, folders (preferably rearrangeable). iOS clients (preferably a superb API which makes it easy for existing apps to use the service – actually the API should be #1).
A non freemium business model. And, to repeat myself: although I think the list above is a simple one, I know that those small wishes add up and take time for developers to accomplish them.
For me, what it comes down to is this: I’m as wise as I was before. I (will) wait. Regarding developers I think their RSS service will rise and fall with their API. The mobile market with native RSS clients build around a service is too important to neglect it. The consumers like having a choice, some prefer simpler clients, others are in need of power tools. Making the transition as easy as it gets to the developers of these apps is crucial.
Gabe Weatherhead has a massive — and mega-detailed — review of Newsblur, the RSS aggregator:
Newsblur offers direct import from a Google account. The import preserves all of the folders (or tags). After the import, I ended up with all of the subscriptions I had in Google Reader.
Newsblur can also import from an OPML file. I exported my feed data from Fever and imported directly into Newsblur. This worked perfectly. Every feed came over organized just as I had it in Fever.
But here’s where Newsblur already starts to impress. Browsing through the feeds, I noticed several with a yellow exclamation mark. Clicking that icon shows that the feed is broken, but Newsblur offers up a couple of solutions. You can choose to either retry or use a new feed. If Newsblur already knows about another feed for the site it will suggest the alternative. This fixed several of the dead Feedburner feeds cluttering up my list as people flee Google.
If you’re still looking around for a Reader replacement, Newsblur looks like a nice option. I’ve got my heels dug pretty deep in Fever, and I think I’ll stick with it. But at least now I know that Newsblur is a legitimate alternative and crafted with a lot of care.