After trying out some suggestions in similar questions, here are some feature must-haves*:

  • Import from Google Reader.
  • If it's web based, Firefox and Chrome compatible.
  • If it's an application, Linux, Windows, Android and iOS compatible.
  • Export to OPML for future migrations.
  • Automatically synced with no setup.
  • Show only heading and blurb. This is a must on a small screen.
  • Possibility to mark items as unread.
  • Stability and speed even in the face of millions of users. Sorry small operators, a 10 second loading time is just not acceptable ever.

Nice to haves*:

  • Native web interface, rather than browser extensions or full-fledged clients.
  • Free as in beer (or perhaps lunch). I'm willing to pay if a convincing demo is available.
  • Possibility to show all feeds as one list or separately.
  • Keyboard events always go to the feed items list. That is, once I click on a feed I shouldn't have to click somewhere else to focus the items list.
  • Mark read when scrolling past an item.
  • Option to show entire article. This can be nice on a big screen.


  • Self-hosting.
  • Manual syncing.
  • Ask for my Google password or other personal information to sync. Seriously?
  • Ask for access to my contacts. I'm trying to cut down on the spam, thank you very much.
  • Show the actual site. Feeds are the perfect way to get a uniform experience across vastly different web sites, cutting all the *bleep* to get to King Content, omniscient ruler of all the tubes.

Disqualified so far:

  • The Old Reader says "There are 31636 users in the import queue ahead of you" hours after starting the import, down from less than 35000 (don't remember the actual number). Clearly not able to handle the influx of users. Update: After more than 12 hours the number has actually gone up to 33333. Somebody at The Old Reader doesn't like me :)
  • Bloglovin seems to only provide some sort of alerts when sites are updated, rather than a feed reader. It also seems a bit unclear whether they support Android or not.

On probation:

  • NewsBlur:
    • Managed to import all sites, not from the exported OPML (simply failed) but on the third attempt when connecting to Google Reader (first it kept saying it was importing for over an hour, then it imported 0 feeds, then it imported what looks like all of them).
    • For some reason "merged" two feeds from the same site during import. They now have the the same name, but also refer to the same feed, so the second one was lost.
    • HTTPS by default.
    • $24 per year minimum.
    • Down once already after using it about two days, so I assume nowhere near as stable as Google Reader.
    • Can't set the last page of a feed as read by scrolling past it with the mouse, PageDown or Space - you have to click "Next unread" to dismiss those items.
  • feedly wants to know my "name, public profile URL, and photo" + "gender and birthdate" + "country, language and timezone" just to import from Google Reader. It seems this is simply a side effect of connecting to and administering the Google Reader account, so I'm giving it a try.
    • Nicely duplicates many Google Reader features.
    • Lots of duplicate entries, even from a single feed. Seems to be fixed
    • Seems to ignore the "save for later" button after the first use. Seems to be fixed.

Verdict: feedly seems to have the best combination of stability and usability. It's changing rapidly, but although each version seems to introduce new minor bugs there have been no major bugs so far, and the general trend seems to be towards more stability rather than feature creep. That's $24 out the window for a NewsBlur account I won't use, but I could always go back by exporting OPML from feedly.

* Google Reader does all of these, and most of them really well.

  • 2
    Check this list, it has almost every alternative way of achieving what Google Reader used to do - replacereader.com. If you can't find anything there, then this question doesn't belong here. You need to build the application yourself.
    – Bibhas
    Mar 16, 2013 at 14:59
  • It would probably take literally longer than until Google Reader is shut down to evaluate all of those alternatives, since there's virtually zero information about each of them. If they could at least list basic features...
    – l0b0
    Mar 16, 2013 at 15:15
  • From the vote count, there is only a handful you would have to check. You spent quite a lot of time typing all those requirements, spend some digging those alternatives. :)
    – Bibhas
    Mar 16, 2013 at 15:18
  • Maybe Google will open source Reader code. I think is the least they could do about it.
    – gzapico
    Mar 22, 2013 at 22:59
  • My most wanted feature is ability to email the rich HTML feed items with Gmail. Google Reader did that brilliantly. I tried using Microsoft Outlook's RSS feature, but it ends up downloading feed items. I will hang onto Google Reader until it dies. Apr 23, 2013 at 19:09

5 Answers 5


Feedly is still your best bet, imo. If you don't want to disclose the information you listed, you're out of luck.

I now use Feedly constantly, and I think it's the best replacement so far.

  • fast
  • mobile apps
  • browser plugins + native
  • still syncs with GReader
  • once Google Reader is killed, Feedly promises to take over with their own Normandy system
  • looks great
  • lots of options on how to view your feeds: magazine style, titles only, all feeds on one page, ...
  • very active development; feature requests by users with a voting system
  • integration with loads of social services (Pocket, Pinterest, Buffer, etc ...)

I tried The Old Reader, but it doesn't do mobile apps (for now). A much smaller team, so development will be slower. But this one does mark as unread when you scroll articles.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Feedly.

Update: Since I wrote my answer, Feedly has completed the switch-over to their own 'Feedly Cloud', and have published a list of third party apps that can now sync with Feedly, like the excellent NextGen Reader if you're on Windows Phone for example.


If you export your Google Reader feeds as OPML, when feedly finishes moving away from Google Reader as the backend you should be able to import that without having to share all that info.


@tsbarnes: Apparently there is no back end to import directly OPML from GReader to Feedly from my initial research. You can check the blog and comments here: http://blog.feedly.com/feedlimport/.

They only want to import from a Google account not directly the OPML file.

The thing you could do is to create a new fake Google account, import your GReader data from your current account into the new one and finally link this new account, which does not contain personal data, with Feedly. Feedly will import feeds automatically in a matter of seconds. Then you are done and you can enjoy Feedly service for free without Feedly having your personal data.

  • +101 for the privacy assistance, although Feedly now reports "Reader not ready within 45s limit" and displays nothing. Google Reader works fine.
    – l0b0
    Apr 30, 2013 at 16:15

FWIW, I switched to The Old Reader without going through the import queue, and without using my Google account as my TOR account: I just exported by subscriptions from Google Reader, and imported them into TOR - no delays.


There's also www.hinto.co

It's a free web app that allows you to select which websites contents to keep up with.

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