Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery

Replacing Reader


Tons of words have been written about the impending shutdown of Google Reader 1. Mutliple upstarts are out there to fill the RSS void. Tidbits has a great overview. Rather than belabor the point, here is where things stand for me.

First, a bit about about my “requirements”:

  1. Easily star/flag/save articles.
  2. Quickly send to Instapaper and Pinboard
  3. Relatively fast (and accurate sync) across all platforms
  4. Keyboard shortcuts for pretty much everything.

I have purchased accounts at most of the major alternatives and used them for the last couple of weeks to varying degrees.

Right Now

Newsblur is getting the most use. Macdrifter is a fan. I like both the web app and the iOS versions. There are some issues, though:

  1. I have had multiple instances of the app(s) losing saved articles. I’ll save an article and refresh all devices and see that it is there. Then the next day they disappear. Frustrating. 2
  2. Sending to Instapaper is kind of a wonky affair. Lots of button clicks. Same goes for Pinboard.

The Future

Reeder app, for Mac and iOS, is one of my favorite and most used apps of all time. The developer has a plan to implement multiple new RSS syncing services across all versions of the app, and which service works the best with it will be a significant driver in my decision.

FeedWrangler has gotten a fair amount of good reviews, and is on the roadmap for Reeder. My folder organization disappeared when importing from Google, but I see that as an opportunity for a RSS reboot. I agree with Dr. Drang that having to choose between Instapaper and Pinboard as a send-to destination is kind of a drag. However, Reeder app does both seamlessly, and once it is implemented, I only need Feed Wrangler as a sync engine.

I’m also paying attention to ReadKit, an app that I use to manage my Instapaper articles and unread Pinboard links that has recently added support for multiple new RSS services. It has a long way to go to be my primary RSS reader (keyboard shortcuts for one), but I like the appeal of one app that accesses all the services I use.

Random Notes

I’ve had Fever installed for years on my server, but have rarely used it. The Sunstroke iOS app is excellent, but syncs take a long time–which is Fever’s (or my server’s) fault, not the app. Also, supporting the app is not the developer’s priority right now.

The iPad app Mr Reader shows a lot of promise, and the developer has an interesting post about why it won’t sync with Newsblur.

  1. By far, my favorite post of the Google Reader Apocalypse is this one.

  2. Update: I checked NewsBlur immediately after posting this…happened again. Grrrr.