When Google announced that it was eliminating Google Reader from its product slate, I was a little dismayed. I’ve been using Reader for years to collect my RSS feeds. I rarely used Reader to read my feeds, however. I left that mostly to the Reeder App. I used the Reeder App extensively on the iPad, and a little less extensively on my iMac.
Many people pointed to Feedly as the only viable alternative and I have now been using Feedly for a month or two (I haven’t kept close track of precisely how long). Long enough to be able to say a few things about it.
Among the things I like about Feedly is that it runs right within my Chrome browser. That’s pretty convenient. There is an app for the iPad, but I’m not nearly as fond of that app as I am Reeder. I do like using Feedly in the browser however, and lately this has been the main way I’ve gotten my RSS. Feedly has made a number of changes recently to make it feel more like Google Reader, for folks used to using Reader, and I’ve appreciated many of those changes.
There are two things that–as far as I can tell–Feedly still lacks to make it something I would use exclusively on all of my devices:
- Readability integration — or similar functionality. One thing I really like about Reeder is that it integrates seamlessly with Readability to allow me to read an entire article from right within the application. I don’t have to open the article in a separate browser window and I get a nice clean reading-ready display of the article. I use this feature endlessly in Reeder and if Feedly came up with some similar functionality, I could be persuaded to give up Reeder entirely.
- Offline caching — As far as I can tell, neither the Chrome version nor the iPad app caches your feeds for offline browsing the way that Reeder does. This has been an incredibly useful feature for me because I most often do my feed reading when I don’t have any connection–say when I am in the waiting room at a doctor’s office, or when in the car while Kelly is driving. I like having the ability to automatically cache the articles offline.
So I will keep an eye both on Feedly and Reeder to see what improvements are made over the next few months. Reeder has plans for further improvements that unbind the product from Google Reader and I think that is promising. But I have also grown used to Feedly. It will be interesting to see how things play out.