Following Up on RSS

With Google Reader's shutdown imminent, I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the post I wrote on RSS readers a few weeks ago. In that time, there's been some interesting movement that might affect your decision about how best to move forward from here.

APIs

One of the most popular Google Reader replacements out there is Feedly. In my first post, I criticized Feedly for a number of reasons, including its business model and its app support. Well, the business model remains, but I'm pleased to say that the app situation has changed dramatically. I still find Feedly's native iOS apps and its web app offputting - the font choices in particular just kill me - but the folks behind the service have had the good sense to offer other developers the option of using it as their backend. As a result, there are a number of really great apps out there, including Mr. Reader and Newsify, that treat Feedly exactly as they treated Google Reader. While I still have concerns about how the company will continue to operate going forward (if Google couldn't operate this kind of service for free, who can?), I do think that Feedly has achieved sufficient app support to recommend it as a great free alternative.

Feed Wrangler and Feedbin are also seeing the same kind of integration, so if you prefer to pay for your RSS service, you're not going to find yourself without the apps you need. ReadKit, a Read-It-Later app for OS X, has just added support for both, making it the first desktop client compatible with either service.

Digg Reader Has Launched

Well, it's launched on iOS, anyway. Built into the standard Digg app, Digg Reader is another free option, albeit one in its infancy. Truthfully, it's not much to look at right now, and it's feature set is lacking. I'd recommend playing around with it, but I'd hold off on committing yourself to it fully for the moment. Still, it's servicable, especially if you're a Digg user, and I'm very interested to see what Betaworks does with it over the coming months. One intriguing possibility is deep integration with another Betaworks property, Instapaper. Watch this one.

The Also-Rans

AOL has launched a reader. Yay? Facebook is launching a Flipboard-like reader. Yay?

Final Thoughts

I'm still happy with my decision to switch to Feed Wrangler, but if you're averse to paying for RSS - and I completely understand if you are - Feedly's newly-opened APIs and increasingly robust app support make it a legitimate alternative.