Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Poll: Which RSS reader have you switched to?
87 points by porker on June 18, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 135 comments
July 1 is fast approaching and I'd like to see which alternatives are most popular.
239 points
120 points
The Old Reader
70 points
50 points
25 points
Yoleo Reader
25 points
Tiny Tiny RSS
12 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
7 points
4 points
4 points
3 points
3 points
3 points
2 points
2 points
1 point
0 points

I started with Feedly, but realized there is no OPML export, which locks me in. This Reader situation taught me to not be locked in ever again. Plus, I'm not entirely convinced the transition from the Google backend is going to be smooth, and I don't care for the interface. The Chrome extension also runs in the background and keeps my LastPass authentications open, a huge, huge security risk. I have since switched to The Old Reader, which has thus far been perfect for my needs. I like that it's once again a centralized website I can access anywhere.

The web interface also requires you to install their browser plugin, which is less than ideal if you're using multiple computers.

I still don't understand why it requires a browser plugin at all. I find it very suspicious and it put me off Feedly.

This, totally. They basically have to make a custom app for every platform/browser, when a single responsive website would have done the trick. I really don't understand the rationale here. What does a plugin platform give them that a simple website does not, if not additional tracking behavior? Does their monetization strategy involve selling data?

Actually creating an add-on allowed a lot more than offering a simple web-site. Remember Feedly is not new, it's been out there for years. Back then, offering an add-on allowed them to lower the stress on their platform by allowing most of the network trafic to be directly between your browser and google's servers. Now they have migrated on their own Cloud platform, they will probably very soon offer a plain site version without the need for add-ons.

"They basically have to make a custom app for every platform/browser, when a single responsive website would have done the trick" ... well their are 2 things there: packaging add-ons for multiple platforms is not difficult. You create some kind of packaging wrapper code around a common codebase. It's building a codebase which works on many javascript and DOM engines that takes time and effort. So building a "responsive website" (that works on most browsers) is not much "easier" than packaging custom app for each browser.

That's a really good point. I would recommend upvoting the suggestions at their uservoice site. They're actively listening, although I'm sure they're busy. In fact, I believe the uservoice voting is one of the primary reasons Feedly is headed to Windows Phone 8.

Vote: https://feedly.uservoice.com/forums/192636-suggestions/sugge... Suggest: https://feedly.uservoice.com/forums/192636-suggestions

+1 I just switched due to your tip! I was a bit frustrated at Feedly's interface, because it was not seemless for my reading style (read by feed).

I was just about to set up my own RSS server, but that seems unnecessary now.

I really like the Feedly iOS interface for reading, but the app needs some work before it's any good as a primary feed aggregator. The main issue is that it forgets the Google authentication after a few days, even after an update which claimed to fix that issue. That doesn't fill me with confidence that the transition to their backend will be as smooth as they claimed.

I don't like that the web version of Feedly takes over Google Chrome and seems to make it crash occasionally.

In the end I have moved to Yoleo, as it is a standalone web app and has a nicer interface.

Agreed, the extension was very invasive and broke Chrome in many frustrating ways. Memory usage was also off the charts, and that's not something I usually pay much attention to in a browser. I'll try Yoleo, I had not heard of that.

I've basically done the same thing, going through Feedly to The Old Reader (TOR). The only downside to TOR at the moment is it seems to take a while to update the feeds, forcing me to manually hit the refresh button on the feeds I read more frequently.

Like many, I've found myself using RSS less and less over the years, but it's still a handy way to keep up with sites that don't update frequently (whereas TechCrunch, say, is more easily followed on Twitter or e-mail due to the heavy flow).

But after trying a ton, I've switched to NewsBlur. Why? It's basically Google Reader done right. So many of the others try to be rather different to Reader or go overboard with 'social' features and that's not what I want, so as a near facsimile of the Reader model, NewsBlur gets my vote.

I tried NewsBlur. It seems a little bit heavy and over-designed to me. But my main problem with it is that any news items more than 2 weeks old are automatically marked as "read".

Given that the source is available (https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur), I sincerely hope that some kind soul will patch this and let us config the "mark as read" aging function, either by days or ability to just turn it off.

I haven't switched yet. What I would like to have is the reader that is basically the same as the old good Google Reader:

  - be web based
  - be cross platform (so I can use it on phone and desktop)
  - be light on network and fast to load
  - have simple design
  - should have folders
  - sort by oldest
  - mark all as read (in the folder)
  - be optimized for text, not pictures
and that's pretty much all. What it shouldn't have is:

  - fancy design
  - too much pictures
  - ads
  - unused empty space
  - feed discovery and any "social" features
Of course, it should also be free.

In the end, I might just as well backup my feed list for the reference, but try to live without RSS reader for a month or two, just to check do I really want to switch to another one.

In the end, I might even consider some lightweight self hosted variant.

EDIT: Thanks for the suggestions.

"What it shouldn't have is: ... - ads ... Of course, it should also be free."

Those two things are mutually exclusive though, unless it's being run by someone with enough money not to care or it's self hosted.

"Of course, it should be free."

Alternatively, "Of course, I should pay a small amount of money so I have to worry considerably less about the possibility of someone pulling the plug on it leaving me in the same situation again."

Your mileage might vary but once a service is established as important to me I'm almost keen to pay money to support it.

I agree with you on this, but I said in the comment that one of the alternatives I consider is not using any reader, so it should be pretty obvious that I don't consider out critical enough to warrant even a small payment.

You're describing The Old Reader. It's literally based on "the old good Google Reader".

I was hoping that was the case for me, but their mobile version is nearly useless to me. I want a compact view of titles that I can expand to read what I want, since I really only want to read about 50% of the posts in my feeds.

With The Old Reader, I get to either choose between having everything expended or a list view that only shows the first 3 or 4 words of the title on my phone.

No offense meant to The Old Reader folks, they're not obliged to please me... I'm just venting... and hoping what I want actually exists :)

There are some weird behaviour differences unfortunately. The most annoying one for me is that scrolling past an unread story marks it as read automatically... but overall, yes. It's basically closer to the original GR than anything else I've seen.

You can disable that in the settings. Besides, it's default GR behaviour nowadays.

Interesting. It seems they keep the old behaviour for people with older accounts. I never had to turn it off in the original GR and never got the behaviour either.

What is their monetization strategy ?

Donation. It's not a business, so much as a group of geeks who wanted to bring back the heyday of GR. You can Flattr or bitcoin I think, and they've managed to keep a steady influx of donations thus far. By definition, it's easy to maintain since the goal of the project is "no additional features". So, the main cost is server load, which these days is easy enough to manage.

I've tried quite a few and am now on NewsBlur. It's not perfect but it's the closest I've seen to your list (which was also my list of priorities too).

I've been working on this solution and am currently in a closed beta. Will be opening up this/next week over time. http://hivereader.com I meet all your requirements but the cross platform. Once the web API's are locked (aka near the 1st) I am going to start cranking on the mobile app ASAP as well as a public facing api. I also have social but you don't need to use it. (no really, it's barely there).

Check out InoReader. I'm quite satisfied and I think it meets the majority of your preferences.

check out http://nuesbyte.com/ as web/light/fast as you can, free, and all the features you want.

Why do you want it to be web-based?

I was a heavy GReader user and I settled on Newsblur. It was the closest experience to how I used GReader (uncluttered full screen view, j/k/spacebar to navigate through the list, acceptable and improving android app).

"o" to open the full article in a background tab is pretty useful.

If there was a keyboard shortcut to send to pinboard it would be nearly perfect (for me).

I was initially resistant to paying for something until I realized how much value I get from a hosted RSS reader, $24 a year was a no-brainer.

I've been happy with NewsBlur, which is worth the small fee. Most importantly, they support pubsubhubbub, which many readers do not: http://lee-phillips.org/newsblurred/

It's interesting that a lot of these seem to be hosted solutions. I'm surprised people aren't switching to self-hosted webapps or standalone desktop applications. Why aren't people more worried about these services shutting down, even with memories of Reader painfully current?

I can sit back and watch people panic with smug superiority, since I never used Google Reader. I'm currently catching all of the blogosphere's latest and greatest in Mozilla Thunderbird.

Reading the comments, there are a few people who have seen the light, and are switching to (or building) desktop apps or self-hosted web apps.

Self-hosted? I have just migrated back to third-party hosting for much of my stuff because I was bored of maintaining my dedicated host. It was fine 99.5% of the time, but having someone else worry about availability just makes my life better. Consolidation, scale of economy and management. All for much the same reason I don't make my own electricity (although I am on the edge with that as well!).

Dedicated apps have been around forever, heck they owe their heritage to News Readers (before the binaries took over usenet). I have two laptops and a phone, so I couldn't use a stand-alone application for the 200 items I get a day.

As for "panic"? I didn't panic, I grieved and then found a replacement. It wasn't that hard and frankly it beats patching and maintaining myself, I have better things to do. I think that Google's decision was wrong because Reader was a good service, but I also think it has benefited many people because several companies and individuals have benefited from the fallout.

How do you read feeds on 4 different devices without some type of synchronization with what you've read?

I only read my news on one device, partly to avoid this issue.


It sends you an email for every post. Combined with Gmail filters I open my Gmail RSS folder instead of a reader website/app.

It sounds bad, but I tried everything, and every single service fails at something, which makes it useless. Sometimes the android app doesnt work or can't be installed in my ancient phone, sometimes the website is unusable, sometimes the reader doesn't have enough crawling power and they completely ignore whole posts or don't update in days. So, until I find a reader with an app that is actually usable, emails are the way.

I hadn't thought of that. Email + accessing the mailbox folder over RSS is a pretty clever solution.

A flow like that could also allow you to include updates from sites that don't have RSS feeds, by using a service like http://www.changedetection.com/ that watches websites and sends an email when the site changes.

I'm actually using more RSS now that there are better than Google Reader alternatives and I forced to migrate. Thanks newsblur!

I actually switched to NewsBlur the second I first saw it, a few months before they announced they were killing Reader. I just find the interface much nicer to look at and less distracting.

I was really hoping that someone would come up with a Go language "all-in-one" executable, including resources, etc, that could be started and bound to a port and would "just work" after Sameer Ajmani's video at GoogleIO about advances Go concurrency patterns, he implemented the collector side of a feed reader, and open sourced the code under a liberal licence. That together with a resource bundler such as https://github.com/jteeuwen/go-bindata to avoid even having to take care of the HTML/CSS assets seems like a potential big win for these middle-of-the-road complexity web apps.

I have been programming my own replacement:


It's fun to hack, and works well enough for me now. Come check it out.

Still waiting and watching here. My setup is a desktop reader (Feed Demon) synced with Google reader. I have found no viable alternatives yet. Most seem to be concentrating only on web-based alternatives and desktop aggregators are left in the dust. I am not online all the time. Personally I'm waiting to see which provider RSSOwl will end up using for sync, although the prospect of using a Java GUI app is never appealing.

None as of yet, though Feedly is the only contender at this point for me. But the big deal breaker is the lack of search (which was present when I initially loaded up my Google Reader subscribed feeds, but the Feedly overlords deactivated when the flood of new users made it a performance issue). It is on the !todo! list so I hope it is restored. Without search, an RSS reader is just not as useful, at least with my volume of subscribed feeds.

Also, skeptical that Feedly will be able to thrive on their own without the Google backend. Hope I am proven dead wrong on this though!

Tried some of the others but they either choked on my subscription import (>3K feeds) or there are serious performance issues. The Old Reader truncated my Google Reader import at the letter 'H'. Yoleo UX locks up on me constantly and every click seems to enact a multi-second delay in response.

Another reader alternative tried was feedwalk.com -- again, like Yoleo, it imported all my feeds, but is plagued by performance issues.

In sum, Feedly is the only viable alternative, but the lack of search limits its value for me.

You'd be a great user to have when doing stress testing :)

Would you mind sharing your opml (if there's nothing sensitive or that you wouldn't want to share in there)? I'm one of the developers of lector, and I'm having trouble finding people with enough feeds to put some real load on our servers.

GR flaking out when I try to access settings today. Will export and share (nothing private) tonight.

Or alternately, give me an account and I shall attempt importing and using…

Sure, I can get you an account. Please just email me, the address is in the profile.

Hey there, Yoleo's dev here :)

I've put in some performance improvements to the back-end. The multi-second delay you're mentioning? I know exactly what's causing that and I just have to put the fix in place. It should be insanely snappy within the next week or so.

Will give it another whirl :)

More than 3k feeds... wow! I get swamped keeping up with < 100 feeds, as nothing predicts (well enough|at all) which articles I want to read, so I have to skim them all.

A lot of those feeds update infrequently. And there are a number of duplicates (a pain in Google Reader to administer) or the same site that migrated from blog platform to blog platform, but I declined to remove the old feed (primarily for search, though in the past few years, Google Reader search got nerfed to only retrieve from current year and a smattering of older items by an algorithm I ascertain could only be random or happenstance).

But the main gist is that I only read a small percentage of links. It is mostly a river I wade in, though, if I have the time, will go in-depth. It's why search is so important -- it's a "google custom search" method (yes, I know there is a CSE product in Google Labs, but it's even more flawed) that limits my queries to those sites I have pre-declared an interest in.

> or the same site that migrated from blog platform to blog platform, but I declined to remove the old feed (primarily for search

Ah yes, I used to have this, but deleted it when there appeared to be no use for them - hadn't realised search had changed, but looking back that must be what it was.

I'm guessing Feedly is only servicing your 3k feeds because it's still using GReaders back end.

It's a good question. I guess we shall discover if this is true come July 1. But Feedly is actually snappier than Google Reader in many respects -- i.e., popping into individual feed lists, UX responsiveness, etc.

Please, add "Tiny Tiny RSS".

When ever I get around to it, that is what I'm going to try. I've heard good things about it. and if it works, I'll never have to worry about switching again.

It is... OK. Works pretty well if you don't have a large number of feeds. If you do, can require some decent hardware to run well. Probably not a big deal for most people here, but I got tired of administering it and switched to NewsBlur.

Some of my performance issues could have been MySQL tuning issues, but I just got tired of tinkering with it.

Performance is much better on PostgreSQL than on MySQL, and gets another big boost with absolutely minimal tuning of pg.

Definitely could be. I installed on MySQL because that's what my Linode is running.

Other. mutt. Feed by rss2email. Running on a server I can connect to via ssh.

I'm also using rss2email run on a remote server, feeding to a self hosted email account. I use mail.app, but if I wanted to use Thunderbird or mutt, all I have to do is set up the imap account. Easy peasy.

None. I'm still stubbornly using GReader. ;)

I've tried several alternatives, but so far nothing has been lightweight and fast enough for me.

so far from the ones that I've tried the most google-reader like option seems to be Commafeed.

I switched to following Twitter accounts from the websites I subscribed to. It isn't as nice since I'm not incentivized into clicking the whole story (as I would oftentimes read the body anyway in Google Reader), but it fits into my "procrastination flow" and allows me to get related comments from Twitter at the same time as the story.

Probably aught to add an option for "None".

I bet there are plenty of folks like myself who had Reader set up for a bunch of feeds, but don't feel strongly enough about RSS to bother setting it up again someplace else.

I just quit using RSS (though I doubt I'd been into Reader in the last year anyway) when they took it away.

My personal reader : Leselys https://github.com/socketubs/leselys

Demo at : http://leselys.herokuapp.com (demo/demo)

So, its "Other" for me.

Also leselys. There are a few areas that still need work, but it does the job and I can run it on my own VPS.

Yoleo works well for me. I had to try importing my subscriptions twice because the first time, even after a day, didn't take. The second time worked instantly, though, and the service has been fine since. I do wish there were a full-width listing of articles in summary mode, like Reader had.

"Headline mode" is on its way, give me about 10 days :)

Good to hear, I do miss that from Google Reader. But mind if I ask you something?

I accidentally unsubscribed from one of my feeds. (Because the "Unsubscribe" button is next to the "Mark Read" button, and doesn't ask for confirmation...)

I went to the website and re-subscribed, adding it as a new subscription. But it stuck itself in the "Uncategorized" section, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to move it back into its proper folder (drag/drop doesn't seem to work, there's no shortcuts that can rearrange stuff from what I can tell, the "My Account" page doesn't have any options for it...). For that matter, I can't figure out how to rearrange my folders and feeds either. Is there a way to do this? It's my biggest UI gripe in an overall solid project.

Feedly devs, injecting HTML into every other browser page is a complete turn off. I paid for Newsblur instead.

Switched to Feedbin, totally happy, no issues, simple clean interface. Works great with Reeder.

I'm still on Google Reader. To the bitter end.

I am very happy with Netvibes. It has a widget interface as well as a sidebar (google reader like) interface - I use the latter. It works very well, in fact the interface is better than google reader which had a lot of unnecessary whitespace. Also has multiple dashboards so my wife and I can use the same login (effectively what we did on google reader with multiple sign-in, but this is a better, more local way to do it). It has keyboard shortcuts too. In short it has everything good that google reader did and it does the interface better. What's not to like?

Try Protopage, which has Twitter support and email support as well as RSS - http://www.protopage.com

Upvote for Protopage, I'm using that as well....

Settled on Bazqux ( https://bazqux.com ). Good clean GR-like UI, and there appears to be a fork of the gReader Android app called News+ ( https://github.com/noinnion/newsplus ) that can use Bazqux as a syncing backend. Neither's perfect, but they're looking reasonable so far.

Did anyone try pressforward* yet?



*"the Google Reader replacement that runs inside your WordPress install"

I started to switch everything (cloud stuff, Android) to open source that I can host myself in case I need to in the future.

I've switched to Owncloud, hosted at Hetzner. It was really easy to install and does pretty much everything I want (RSS reader, Dropbox clone, contacts, calender, Google Music clone).

I tried Newsblur, but the interface was too complicated for my taste and the Android app was not very stable.

fever is missing from this list http://feedafever.com/

I see Lector [1] mentioned on this poll. That's nice! We haven't launched yet (our schedule says we should launch this week), but I can give free accounts (until we launch) for people interested in trying it out. Just let me know!

[1] http://bealector.com

I'd add Newsbeuter as an option.

I switched to Feedly, though I had actually been using it long before I had to switch (it was basically just a frontend to google reader). It isn't missing any features I need so I can't complain. The android app works and syncs as expected. No complaints.

Other: Thunderbird. I tried newsblur (indeed, I paid for it) but the UI annoyed me too much.

Simple needs here, so newsbeuter.

I wrote my own. I never really used Google for reading feeds anyway. None of the open source solutions looked very interesting and it was a nice exercise for me. I would have open sourced it but the code is too bad, maybe a 2.0.

I've tried a lot of them, I liked newsblur but the limits, no river of news and the dashboard that comes up everytime frustrated me. So now I just use netvibes, if they add youtube embed capability, it will be awesome.

I tried feedly, but I'm not very used to it. I also tried newsblur, the website is very slow, the iphone app seems to be buggy. I'm waiting for digg now. Otherwise, I will build something myself.

Newsblur has gotten much faster in the last month or so and there was a major iOS app release. It's now actually pretty snappy.

Was going to say the same. Has been steadily improving over the last month or two. Still not perfect, but the best alternative I have found yet, and I love that it's under active development by someone who is invested in its success (and paid for it!).

Also, they used to offer only 12 RSS feeds for free. Now, they give you 64.

And they've also been improving their user interface.

For a trial, this is important but after picking one if you're at all concerned about being Reader-ed in the future you really should chip in a couple dollars a month to ensure that the business is viable.

http://blogtrottr.com/ combined with discipline about what I subscribe to. Now I just want a better email client.

None. I've stopped using RSS completely. It was an awful time sink.

> It was an awful time sink.

That's because you were doing it wrong; you probably subscribed to spammy high-volume feeds.

Protip: Don't do that.

But if there are some high-volume feeds you absolutely must subscribe to, try only reading the headlines and then marking the entire folder as read.

I did exactly what you describe for years: skimming the headlines of my few high-volume subscriptions and marking everything as read. Even doing that was a waste of time because of those feed's very low signal-to-noise ratio. Besides those few high-volume feeds, I subscribed to dozens of low-volume feeds which all added to the chore/bore.

Skimming and picking my daily feeds usually took close to 2 freaking hours to which I added the time required to read and act upon the very few interesting items (following a couchdb tutorial takes time).

Back in 2007, IIRC, I even started work on my own feed reader (progrss.net, never went live) designed around a cool algorhythm that would filter items according to keyword frequency and manual tagging. It looked good and was an interesting change of direction UX-wise (it was less "app-y" and more "publish-y", whatever that means) but I burned out on RSS in the middle of my project's 3rd iteration.

Seriously, opening my reader (even my own prototype) in the morning and being greated by 1200 or so items was just incredibly tiring. Even with working filters.

Really, following RSS feeds was a colossal time-sink for me and switching back to the old way (consulting a few key sites daily) allowed me to focus a lot more on both my work and my familly.

There was a poll at http://www.replacereader.com/

Site is down now but it's still in Google's cache....

That's nice. But I click on one (Wavii) and find that it has been discontinued due to acquisition by Google.

I switched to newsbeuter




I've switched to Feedly. I was using NewsBlur before, but NewsBlur has a cluttered interface and makes it difficult to concentrate on the content.

Vienna - desktop app for Mac http://www.vienna-rss.org/

Fever -- http://www.feedafever.com/

but also giving Feedly a try.

Fever is very nice. There's even some code on GitHub to import your starred google reader items into Fever.


I needed a way to bring my starred items in. I had too much great stuff starred to not retain access to it.

Flipboard and Prismatic are more visually appealing and intelligent options correspondingly. For mobile news readers category.

I'm still using Google Reader, have tried Feedly and would move to it once they finally kill Google Reader.

I'm using Feedly for now. Digg's Reader is the obvious choice for me if it turns out like I expect.

Tiny RSS should be on there.

Works very well, and the best part it's self hosted. You can control the polling schedule.

I haven't switched. I'm still using the same software that gave me my first RSS feed. Firefox.

Any way to reorder poll options, so ones added after the poll starts can appear in alphabetical order?

I swear by Stringer. Now that it integrates with Reeder it's even sweeter!

I moved to Newblur and have no regrets. I use the web site and the Android app.

Feedly for me: keyboard navigation very close and display is nice and compact

I will change to feedheap.com beacause of very GReader like interface.

Happy newsblur user here.

I have a feeling that Feedly will run away with this...

btw, the old reader ignored many posts for me, and only showed them when I clicked refresh on the feed. I don't know if they fixed that by now.

Feedbin.me and Press as a Feedbin android client.

You should a "self made" option.

Newsblur for me

Wrote my own RSS to email gateway.

Tiny Tiny Rss, over a year ago

other — shrook. But not switched. Never trusted google in the first place.

Tiny Tiny RSS for me

Bloglovin rocks.

went to dave winer's river of news



I changed to Liferea too and it surprised me how little took me to get used to it. Also, on Ubuntu 12.04 you get the unread posts count in the launcher (61 items in this screenshot): http://imgur.com/YHDWrIC

Liferea has few issues but they are very minor (ocassional freeze) but it's fairly stable.

This is an alternative that duprisimgly never came up. But my.yahoo.com is a very simple and functional RSS aggregator. I moved to that.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact