Google Reader Replacements

As has been known for a few months, Google is shutting down Google Reader on July 1. Sadly, no clear alternative has come out for me … or at least, not a complete solution to replace my reliance on Google Reader + Reeder.

Google Reader Death

As such, I am just going to outline, briefly, what I have tried and what I am holding out for at the moment. Luckily, I have moved off of Google Reader (and have for the past month or so), but now I am starting to think about how I might mitigate this issue from happening again in the future.

This is my story.


I give them credit, they have a very pretty-looking site and pretty apps as well. No app on the Mac is a bit of a problem, but it works pretty well. They just switched everyone over to their own backend, so it is definitely an alternative.

One issue I have had is that it is just so DESIGNED. I’m not quite sure what doesn’t sit well with me, but their entire experience is so full of whiz-bang effects that it doesn’t quite work as just a simple, easy, feed reader … which is what I am looking for. Reader + Reeder was able to cut out most or all of the cruft that Google kept bolting on, so it worked really well.

So it might work for you but it really didn’t work for me. It also invited me to get into categorizing my feeds more, which is a time-sink and the cost-to-benefit ration quickly dissipated over time. I don’t need additional stuff.

Oh, it is also free, which is not going to turn into a theme for the rest of this.

Feed Wrangler

From David Smith comes a pay-to-play RSS reader. For a subscription fee of $19/year you get access to the Feed Wrangler backend, the online reader, and (currently) the two iOS apps made specifically for Feed Wrangler.

While the feed scraping isn’t as fast as Google Reader, being able to pay for the backend myself (or help to do it) makes me feel better about the service as a while.  While currently there is not a Mac app available, Silvio Rizzi, the developer of Reeder, has announced that he is currently working on adding Feed Wrangler support for future versions of Reeder on both Mac and iOS.

That’s awesome.

The current iOS apps work well, and I’m sure David will continue to update them, but I’m hoping those mythical Reeder updates come out soon so that I can hook up my Feed Wrangler subscription and be a happy person.

It is a simple service and that allows it not to annoy me as much as Feedly did/does. Right now this is where I house my RSS feeds until such a time as something better shows up.


The grandfather of RSS applications on the Mac.

Black Pixel just released the first public beta of NetNewsWire 4 for OS X and it is fast. It is pretty. It is an OS X app through-and-through.

Those are all things in its favor currently. Sadly, it is also incomplete and lacks one of the basic things missing from any solution replacing Google Reader: syncing.

They have announced that they are working on a sync solution and also have stated that their iOS apps are currently in-flux due to the imminent release (this fall) of iOS 7. Those are not exactly good things …

… but the current beta is so good that I am trying it out as a secondary feed reader on just OS X. My hope is that their sync solution will maybe allow me to host it myself on my own server, but I will just need to wait and see.

Just go and try out the beta and see if you like it. So far I’m extremely happy, but I need to see how they are going to handle sync and also when they are going to get their iOS apps out before I can choose this as a complete solution.


Right now, there is no complete solution for me. Reeder doesn’t support Feed Wrangler yet, Feed Wrangler doesn’t have an OS X app yet, and NetNewsWire is the least-ready of them all … with an OS X application.

So, I keep my stuff in Feed Wrangler for now and hope that I will have a better picture by the time my subscription is due next year.