I love Google Reader. I return to it many times a day on my MacBook Pro. So it was more than a little disconcerting to learn that Google Reader is in its death throes. On July 1, it makes a final exit.
Rest in peace. I'll miss you, my friend. I really liked how simple you were to use, and how you appeared as a web page. I've never used another RSS reader. Heck, I barely know what RSS means.
Unduly panicky, given that I have more than three months to find a replacement way of easily keeping track of the 20+ blogs I follow regularly (Daily Kos, FiveThirtyEight, Climate Progress, Salem Breakfast on Bikes... many others), I wanted to immediately jump into the arms of a Google Reader alternative.
I checked out some of the alternatives. I wanted something that played well with Safari. And looked a lot like Google Reader. Us old bloggers don't like new tricks when it comes to reading posts in a fashion that has worked well.
I signed up for Pulse but almost instantly got turned off by it. I was able to add my feeds fairly easily, but couldn't figure out how to get the crisp clean look of Google Reader. Seemed like Pulse was more interested in suggesting new content than giving me content from my tried and true blogs.
Googling "Google Reader alternatives," which was sort of weird, given that Google was responsible for killing what I was trying to replace, I was drawn to a Mac app: Reeder.
"Syncs with Google Reader," I read. Customer ratings were in the 4.5 star territory. Screen shot of Reeder looked a lot like Google Reader. Done. One click and the Mac App Store had $4.99 of my money and I had the Reeder app.
After signing in with my Google Reader password, all of my blog feeds were synced to Reeder.
Yes, I was in an app rather than in Safari, but it didn't take me long to learn how to add a post to the Safari Reading List --one of my favorite Safari features. I use it a lot to temporarily save content that I want to peruse for later reading or use as blog post material.
Only after I'd bought Reeder for the Mac did a little voice speak inside my head: Isn't that the same name as the iOS app you use for reading Google Reader stuff on your iPhone? Checking, I found that it was. No wonder I was attracted to Reeder: it already was an old friend.
So if you like how Google Reader looks and works, consider Reeder for your Google Reader reincarnation after the July 1 D(death)-day. I'm assuming that Reeder will carry on just fine without Google Reader, since the only connection between the two seems to be the syncing of subscriptions.
I've been accustomed to using Google Reader within Safari. However, I can see (literally) some advantages to the Reeder app.
The content within Reeder seems cleaner and less cluttered. Plus, the type is larger and easier for my senior citizen eyes to read. One click opens up the actual web page in case content isn't being properly displayed in Reeder.