Top 5 alternatives to Google Reader

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With Google announcing the retirement of its popular news reader service, Google Reader, users of the service have been anxiously looking for alternatives, after the initial burst of outrage. Fortunately, there are a number of other services and apps that let users of the popular news reader service migrate seamlessly. In fact, three Stanford University students have created a website ReplaceReader.com, that aims at finding the best Google Reader alternative via a Twitter hashtag poll. We take a look at 5 of the most trending Reader alternatives.

1) Feedly
The RSS reader app that allowed users to sync their Google reader feed and read it in a magazine-like format, appears to be the biggest contender when it comes to acquiring the news reader of choice throne, with more than 500,000 new users flocking to it within two days of Google announcing the retirement of Google reader. Feedly is working on a project called Normandy, which is a Feedly clone of the Google Reader API - running on Google App Engine. This means that Feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end when Google Reader shuts down, allowing people to transition without any impediments.
 
Feedly Android and iOS apps for mobile syncing, and works in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on the desktop.

2) NewsBlur
The web and mobile service is similar to Google Reader and allows users to subscribe to RSS feeds in addition to offering customisation and sharing capabilities. However, the service is based on a freemium model, with the free version allowing users to subscribe to a maximum of 12 sites, update once, and share only publicly. The paid version costs $24/year but removes these limitations.

3) Bloglovin
Bloglovin allows users to follow their favourite blogs and each time there's a new post, it updates their feed. The service also offers an iPhone app. It also lets users explore new blogs in categories of their interest.

4) The Old Reader
It's a social RSS reader based on the old version of Google reader. The service allows users to import their Google reader feed through their Google reader account or via OPML file import. The service is web only at this point in time but allows the same level of sharing and organisation as that of the old version of Google Reader.

5) Bloglines
Bloglines allows users to find and track their favorite websites and blogs in real-time, customize the user interface with multiple view options, drag and drop organization, and widgets. The service claims to have 2 million users, and is available via a web interface on both desktop and mobile apps.

Update: Now that we've finally bid goodbye to Google Reader, here are some more Reader alternatives some of which have been recently launched:

6) Digg Reader
The popular news-sharing website has launched its own reader service with a web app and a mobile app for iOS. It's also promising the launch of an Android app in the next few weeks. 

Digg Reader's interface offers a clean reading experience that puts the focus squarely on the articles, posts, images, and videos themselves. Digg will also integrate useful mobile apps that sync with Reader's web experience. The company's CTO had confirmed that Pocket and Instapaper integration will be in there for launch and Digg will integrate more services post launch. It offers support for key actions like subscribing, sharing, saving and organising.

It's still a work in progress and the company plans to add "View Unread Items Only" option for feeds and folders, "Mark As Unread" button, and a fix to deliver accurate unread counts for feeds and folders, in the near future. The service claims to  crawl 4.5 million feeds at the time of its launch on June 26.
 
7) AOL Reader
AOL has also launched its own RSS reader, AOL Reader. Currently available only as a web app, it allows users to signup using their AOL, Facebook, Twitter or Google credentials and import their Google Reader feed.

It allows users to browse news feeds in different layouts namely List View, Card View , Full View, and Pane View. It's big on customisation and allows users to personalise the entire user interface including font size, choice between light and dark layout themes, and listing of unread stories.

8) BazQux Reader
The web based feed reader focuses on comments in posts and shows blog posts and comments in one seamless stream, tracks what was read and displays only new discussions next time. It supports comments from Reddit, Livejournal, blogs with comment feeds, Disqus and Facebook widgets. It also offers a mosaic or magazine view mode to quickly skim through picture rich blogs.  The service allows users to share posts or comments via E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or bookmark to Pinboard, Pocket, Evernote or Instapaper. It also lets them organize articles using multiple tagging and starring.

9) FeedReader
Another RSS reader that allows you to import your Google Reader feeds, FeedReader offers a standalone desktop client for Windows and Linux, in addition to a web interface. It's one of the oldest RSS readers and offers features like Feedreader Lookup, a search engine for Internet feeds, and Feedreader Browser, that lets you find news and feeds related to any topic. The web client offers search, different layout views including a Flat view, Snippet view and List view, and filters for unread posts.

10) Flipboard, Zite and Pulse
Apps like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse also allow you to add feeds from website and browse web stories in a magazine-like format complete with pictures. The added advantage is that they also pull stories from your social feed and allow you to personalise topics. These apps are available on iOS and Android.

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