Google Reader and Feedly

Fear not, there is a comparable replacement to Google Reader out there

It's time to face the facts here, folks: Google Reader is shutting down on July 1. Many of us (myself included) have been in the "denial" phase assuming that Google would come up with a replacement for the service, but it's time to start thinking about alternatives. Of the handful of potential replacements, Feedly seems to be in the lead right now and offers a nearly painless transition over from Google Reader.

Let's break down the process of moving your beloved RSS feeds over from Google Reader to Feedly, and give a few tips and tricks along the way to make the process as smooth as possible.

Clean up your Google Reader lists first

Google Takeout

While Feedly now has a simple solution for importing Google Reader data to its own service, it's not quite fair to call it an "import." Feedly doesn't just do a one-time import or your Reader data, but rather links up with your Google Account to access your email address and Reader information. For this reason it is extremely important to have all of your Google Reader feeds and data just how you like them before moving over to Feedly.

Take some time -- set up your folders, delete old feeds, get things categorized how you want them. Once everything is exactly how you want it, go ahead and use the Google Reader settings to export an OPML/XML file of your feeds. You can do so by heading to the Google Reader settings, hitting the "import/export" tab and clicking "Download your data through Takeout". Feedly doesn't seem to currently support OPML import, but it's a good idea before making any big moves to back everything up in case you want to go somewhere else.

Sign up and import to Feedly

Feedly Authorization

With the introduction of its "Feedly Cloud" platform, bringing over Google Reader into Feedly is about as easy as it could possibly be. Simply visit www.feedly.com (redirecting to cloud.feedly.com now), and hit the big blue "Import your Google Reader" button on the screen. You'll then simply log in with your Google account (or proceed instantly if you're already logged into your browser), view the permissions and hit "Accept."

And that's it. After a brief wait, you'll be taken to the main Feedly interface where your RSS feeds will be populated in much the same way as they were previously in Google Reader. Your feeds and folder structure should be in-tact as well, although they will now be categorized alphabetically even if you had them in your own order before.

Get acquainted with the new service

Feedly Preferences

The new web interface for Feedly is very much laid out the same as Google Reader is, with a basic feed view taking up a majority of the screen and flanked by a content table on the left. The number of preferences available in the web client are pretty minimal, but there are probably a few things you'll want to change from their defaults to get something you're more familiar with. For example you may want to turn off things like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter integration as well as "confirm mark as read" to give the simplest experience. You can also use the "All" view from the left panel in conjunction with the list view choice in the top right of the interface to get the most data on screen. As with any new service it will take time to get used to things, but it shouldn't take long if you're willing to give it a try.

On the mobile side, Feedly also offers a capable Android app which is also free in the Play Store. After downloading and running through the brief tutorial start screen, swipe in from the left edge to reveal the sign-in options, where you can select either "Android" or "Google" if you've imported from Google Reader before installing the app -- just authenticate and you'll be off to the races. The app isn't the prettiest or smoothest thing out there, but it certainly gets the job done just as well as the original Google Reader app did before it was removed from the Play Store. There are a few tweaks available in the settings as well to get you set up the way you want.

Feedly App Feedly App

If you choose to make Feedly your Google Reader replacement, you should end up having a pretty painless transition period between the two services. Nothing is going to match up perfectly, but it should be clear by now that Feedly is trying hard to win over the disenfranchised Reader users with plenty of familiar features. Feedly has made serious improvements to its web client (where the power users will use the service) and while its own Android app isn't going to win any awards it has an aggressive plan to partner with other app makers to provide a variety of clients.

We've only got a week until Google Reader shuts down for good, so let's get those feeds exported and moved on to a new service -- be it Feedly or something else -- before it's too late.

 
There are 30 comments

dmedesha says:

So far, I'm sticking with Feed.ly. The other options, including the new AOL beta, are pretty weak performers and I have not found anything other than Feed.ly that has a usable Android client.

The only two fixes I hope to see:

1. Make the Chrome and Android client controls the same, or at least similar. Having to jump through different semantic hoops to see all posts and Gmail share complete posts is a seriously weak point for me. Show Updates vs Unread Only to find the posts that get skipped?

2. Allow inclusion of all attachments when sharing via Gmail. When I need to share a post, I need to share the whole thing. An option to send a link only is fine, but what's the point? Again, the Chrome client and the Android client behave totally differently.

I generally like Feed.ly, and if I'm just not finding options that will allow me to do the two items above, someone please point me in the right direction.

Keep up the good work.

bimsebasse says:

I don't even miss Google Reader anymore - well done, Feedly.

jsheehan223 says:

I feel the same. I didn't like the app at first, but after forcing myself to use it as a daily driver for a week, I got used to the controls and liked it more than Google Reader or GReader.

There are a few annoyances, but I'm sure that is typical with any app out there and they're not bad enough to make me want to look elsewhere.

ch_sncjfrk says:

feedly's design is ugly
feed updates is much slower
FUCK

dijit4l says:

If you're like me, you are wanting more of a Google Reader clone. Try out InoReader. They aren't trying to spin you a new interface or new way of viewing your RSS feeds. As of right now, they don't have an Android client, but they are working on one that will be released sometime next month. I only hope it is identical to Google Reader's Android client...

Why can I not just create a Feedly account? I don't like giving my Google account out.

Are you retarded? That's the point of having a google account, to sync everything across platforms and devices. If you want your Google Reader stuff in Feedly then you have to use your Google account..

hmmm says:

Why do you have to call him retarded? Pretty childish.

TechGuy21 says:

I still like gReader (by NOINNION), which has been updated to use the Feedly back end. Much cleaner interface, easy to read and navigate, and it syncs on a schedule so if I end up somewhere (like in a building) with no connection I have something to read.

lgoldstein83 says:

I too use the gReader app, works for me

icebike says:

Yup, gReader uses the Feedly engine now, and does a better job than Feedly.

mro72 says:

Currently I'm still caught between worlds - I tried a few of the more simpler web based alternatives but found them all having one or the other thing missing compared to the original web based Reader and the closest heir, Feedly.
On the Android side of things I have used GReader pro for a long time before I recently jumped to Press. Matter of taste I guess. Using Feedly for Android for a little over 3 weeks now and am impressed. It has a nice layout and the basic features I need are all available - I wouldn't mind paying for a "real" alternative, too (both Press and GReader are still on my watchlist for mobile use, as well as Feedbin webbased) - RSS feeds made me move away from traditional print media about 4 or 5 years ago.

MobileNick says:

Feedly has good potential. I wish there were more control options. For example - category organization doesn't seem to be available on Android app. And categories do not sync between android & cloud.

Also, I wish they'd realize that scroll mode should be continuous, not page-by-page!

I have not noticed any background refresh or notification (with number of new articles) like other readers. Hope they add this soon too.

Posted via Android Central App

mro72 says:

Scroll mode: you can choose between stack, swipe and scroll in settings - just have a 2nd look ;)

Can't say anything to notifications or background sync as these are options I usually switch off in any app offering them.

mro72 says:

scrolling: see what you mean now - sorry, didn't notice it before.

nighthawk700 says:

One thing I liked in Google's Reader is I could order the feeds in each category the way I wanted. Feedly seems to order them by how many unread posts there are. Is there a way I'm missing to specifically tell it the order of items in each category I want? (I use it to organize some comics I read, some I want at the top, others I don't care so much about so want them further down).

bem.atsma says:

In the webapp (cloud.feedly.com), in the left hand navigation panel, there is an Organize button. This brings up your all your feeds in their various categories. This lets you move feeds from category to category, but you're right, it doesn't seem to let me order my feeds. Anybody else got a tip?

icebike says:

Switch to gReader from the market. It uses the Feedly Engine, abut is much more configurable.

nighthawk700 says:

I read most of my feeds on the computer, not on the phone/tablet. But I'll keep in mind, thanks.

muziqaz says:

Am I the only one here who actually doesn't find any alternatives to G reader?
Feedly you say for android? Please!!! That app has all my feeds shown at random, no grouping. In Google Reader I have my subscriptions grouped like in folders(android central, failblog, yada yada). Feedly takes these feeds and just throws them at me at random, so in the list I have 2 feeds from android central, 5 from failblog, another 3 from android central 2 from another feed. What si worse is when you go to feedly webpage on android phone it automatically kicks you to Google Play. But this is beyond the point. What stops feedly devs implementing logical organised feed order? Who in the right mind would ever think that throwing all the feeds at random at you would be a great idea?. In their support page we have a ticket about it, and that ticket has been there open long long time ago.
Now we have AOL reader which looks like google reader clone(which is great for me), yet they offer it in the basic status without import feature, to get your g reader feeds imported easily. I have 50 rss feeds in my sub list, do they want me to add them one by one by hand? I know it is still early beta, but man, import feature should be 1st to be implemented if you advertise your new app as g reader replacement. I am absolutely disappointed in this situation, and cannot believe that no one managed to simple clone g-reader(unless google is being a dick, and is not letting doing it)

icebike says:

Completely Agree!.

Use gReader or gReader Pro from the market.

It fixes all the problems and poor design choices Feedly made. Your feeds, your way.

Just follow the article above, import your Google Reader feeds, then install gReader and tell it to use the Feedly service. Done.

muziqaz says:

Thanks, I will have to give it a try

muziqaz says:

Thanks for greader. When I thought there is nothing coming close to google reader... Very nice. Thanks again :)

OC Nut says:

[duplicate post removed]

OC Nut says:

Feedly's Android app seems pretty awful to me. I've tried it a dozen times (including just now), and it still doesn't meet my needs. E.g., Google Reader, very simple. Click on a feed, and the entire article shows up (unless it is cut at the source). With Feedly, I've tried all the different views (cards comes closest), but it still cuts off the article after 3 or 4 lines. Yes, I can click, read, back, swipe, click, read, swipe, back (or is that back, swipe)? Just a lot of extra movement for no gain at all.

Just tried gReader. This is actually pretty good, except for not maintaining the hierarchical structure. It's a lot closer to Google Reader than Feedly was.

pchain says:

Yes to gReader! I've tried every other app many times. I've tried Feedly about a dozen times hoping it would grow on me. It hasn't. Different strokes for different folks I guess, but gReader is my official replacement moving forward. Not even a question in my mind about it at all. I can get to the feeds I want to immediately, and navigate through 500 articles much quicker using gReader.

zzoinks says:

"You'll then simply log in with your Google account (or proceed instantly if you're already logged into your browser), view the permissions and hit "Accept."

And that's it. After a brief wait, you'll be taken to the main Feedly interface where your RSS feeds will be populated in much the same way as they were previously in Google Reader."

Or... in my case - hit "Accept" and then get "Unauthorized request. Error 400".

I'm hoping it's an issue with my work network and I'll have better luck from home, but if Feedly can't play nice here at work it's not much of an option for me.

muziqaz says:

That error is for everyone. I had it too. I guess there is some problem in feedly service or something else. Doubt it is our connections ;)

navi16 says:

I believe that it has potential, and the looks doesn't bother me enough to not use it. But all my subscriptions are mess up, the worse is that the unread counters and the starred items didn't match up with me Google Reader account..

Posted via Android Central App

physioprof says:

If you like the gReader android app, there is one called "Reader HD" that is somewhat similar, but even better and more customizable. The only possible wrinkle is that, while the developer claims it will be able to access the Feedly backend by the end of this week, it isn't there yet. But check it out: it's really nice.