A Google Reader Replacement

blogging, open source 0 comments suggest edit

Google is shuttering Google Reader in a little over a day (on July 1st, 2013) as I write this. If you use Google Reader to read my blog, this means you might miss out on my posts and I KNOW YOU DON’T WANT THIS!

Then again, maybe this is finally your chance to make a break, get some fresh air, stop reading blogs and start creating! I won’t hold it against you.

But for the rest of you, it’s a good time to find a replacement. Or at the very least follow me on Twitter since I do tweet when I blog.

There’s a lot of Google Reader replacements out there, but only two that I like so far.



Feedly is gorgeous. There are apps for many platforms, but the browser works pretty well. Also, you can use Google to log into it and import your Google Reader feeds. I hope Google allows exporting to Feedly and other aggregators after July 1st even as they close down the Google Reader site.

The problem I have with Feedly is that it doesn’t work like Google Reader. It wouldn’t be so bad if it had a better flow for reading items, but I find its interface to be quirky and in some cases, unintuitive. For example, it seems I have to mark items as read by clicking “mark above articles as read” rather than having it do it automatically like Reader does after you scroll past it.

This leads me to…

Go Read


Go Read is a late entry into the list, but there are three important things I really like about it:

  1. It is intended to be a clean and simple clone of Google Reader.
  2. It supports Google Reader’s keyboard shortcuts.
  3. It is open source and up on GitHub!

For some more details, check out the announcement blog post by the author, Matt Jibson, a developer at Stack Exchange:

I would like to announce the release of Go Read. It as a Google Reader clone, and designed to be close to its simplicity and cleanliness. I wanted to build something as close to Google Reader as made sense for one person to build in a few months.

It’s basically Google Reader, but without all the cruft and where you can send pull requests to improve things!

In fact, there’s already a few pull requests with some nice user interface polish that should hopefully make it into the site soon.

Despite some false starts, I have it up and running on my machine. I sent a few pull requests to update the README to help other clueless folks like me get it set up for hacking on.

So check it out, import your Google Reader feeds, and never miss out on another Haacked.com post EVER!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention what is perhaps the most important reason for me to prefer Go Read. I don’t want to end up in another Google Reader situation again and rely on an RSS Aggregator that isn’t a solid business and might not stick around. At least with an open source option, I have the code running on my own machine as a backup in a pinch.

Found a typo or error? Suggest an edit! If accepted, your contribution is listed automatically here.



30 responses

  1. Avatar for bob
    bob June 30th, 2013

    I like https://silverreader.com too. It's simple and has https support.

  2. Avatar for Mathiasv
    Mathiasv June 30th, 2013

    Of all those I've tried, I prefer www.newsblur.com

    It costs $24 a year, but it's worth it in my opinion if you want an experience most resembling google reader.

  3. Avatar for vldo
    vldo June 30th, 2013

    nothing about digg's new reader? I know there's nothing open-source about it but still it's worth mentioning

  4. Avatar for Radenko Zec
    Radenko Zec June 30th, 2013

    Hi Phil.

    You can also try http://www.silverreader.com. It is created on ASP.NET Web API with Knockout and Durandal.

    NOTE: I am one of the creators.

  5. Avatar for Christopher Loggins
    Christopher Loggins June 30th, 2013

    I've switched to Feedly. Once you take the time to set it up, it's pretty good.

  6. Avatar for Tim
    Tim June 30th, 2013

    In Feedly, look down near the bottom of the menu at Preferences. There's an option for "Auto-Mark As Read On Scroll" that you might find interesting. I've switched to Feedly from Google Reader. I was a little uncertain at first but once I adjusted to the differences I've been very happy with it. Android app is pretty good too.

  7. Avatar for fschwiet
    fschwiet June 30th, 2013

    Feedly wanted me to install a chrome plugin that had access to all browser tabs. Nice try, NSA.

  8. Avatar for Fábio Gomes
    Fábio Gomes June 30th, 2013

    You don't need the extension anymore, try: cloud.feedly.com

  9. Avatar for SenseiBanzai
    SenseiBanzai June 30th, 2013

    Digg and AOL have good Google reader alternatives as well

  10. Avatar for Giuseppe
    Giuseppe June 30th, 2013

    I'm using http://theoldreader.com since 2 months. works magic for me.

  11. Avatar for Grant Palin
    Grant Palin June 30th, 2013

    While Feedly has better app support and more service integration (e.g. IFTTT), I prefer the NewsBlur web UI. Since I use the web-based view on my laptop most of the time, and mobile capability is a bonus, I went with NewsBlur.

  12. Avatar for Michael Paterson
    Michael Paterson June 30th, 2013

    I've been using Feedly since the day it was announced that G-Reader was being shut down. It supports j, k, and v keyboard shortcuts. It is pretty killer.

  13. Avatar for looselycoupled
    looselycoupled June 30th, 2013

    NewsBlur ftw

  14. Avatar for Guillaume J.
    Guillaume J. June 30th, 2013

    Bazqux.Com (google api compatible, compact interface) has the unique ability to display comments after posts.

  15. Avatar for Marie Janssen
    Marie Janssen June 30th, 2013

    NewsBlur also has the advantage that Go Read is mentioned for - it's also open source - https://github.com/samuelcl...

  16. Avatar for Steven Suwatanapongched
    Steven Suwatanapongched July 1st, 2013

    I've switched to Feedly now. To avoid having to click with the mouse to mark items as read, just use the keyboard shortcut: Shift+m. Once that happens, then the next section of unread items is loaded automatically, which certainly fits into my reading workflow.

  17. Avatar for Daniel15
    Daniel15 July 1st, 2013

    +1 - I'm using Newsblur and it's pretty good. The UI is very nice :)

  18. Avatar for Aaron Alexander
    Aaron Alexander July 1st, 2013

    Another option is Stringer [https://github.com/swanson/...]. It's also an open source reader that supports Google Reader keyboard shortcuts. It can be run self-hosted or as a Heroku application.

  19. Avatar for Byron Sanchez
    Byron Sanchez July 1st, 2013

    Oh wow. You bring up a point I haven't even considered - the open source software will at the very least ensure that I can run it myself and always have an aggregator I can rely on. I'm gonna give a few of these a try and see what sticks.

  20. Avatar for josh
    josh July 2nd, 2013

    Go reader definitely isn't updating like Google Reader updates. Normally in the morning I would have 300 or so new entries. Go Reader is telling me I have less than 100. I wish I could like it, because it's the most responsive, but this is not going to work

  21. Avatar for Stephen Hammond
    Stephen Hammond July 2nd, 2013

    I seriously think this is signs of software to come! #YouHaveEnteredTheTwilightCode mwaahhh!

  22. Avatar for Yonatan
    Yonatan July 2nd, 2013

    I agree with you that Feedly is not easy and clean as Google Reader. But I am using often my galaxy to read RSS feeds, and for this I am using gReader which is the best reader app I know. Very recommended. And it is using the feedly a pi. I think it can be integrated also with Old Reader.

    If you use your smartphone as reader often, have a look.

  23. Avatar for Saber S
    Saber S July 3rd, 2013

    I also prefer http://goread.io because it is open source, minimal and benefiting edge of technology features.

  24. Avatar for binaryphile
    binaryphile July 10th, 2013

    While it's nice to see some suggestions for alternatives, it doesn't seem fair to offer a review critical of feedly without having at least opened the preferences. There you will find options to format the feed in a variety of ways (I prefer the regular way, so I can't offer any criticism either), as well as the option to auto-mark articles as read when you scroll past them.

  25. Avatar for omdesign
    omdesign July 24th, 2013

    If anyone is interested, I would like to discuss reinvigorating the Particls project ca. 2005-6 from SJK software. These folks were way ahead of their time and the platform actually worked really well to bring you random but highly relevant RSS stories. APML and Data Portability died on the vine IMO because it is a very threatening paradigm for people to have information sovereignty, but history has proven out the need for it.

  26. Avatar for Web design company NSW
    Web design company NSW July 26th, 2013

    I think feedly is great!

  27. Avatar for orcmid
    orcmid August 6th, 2013

    Hi Phil. The desktop reader I was thinking of at the nerd dinner last night was "NewsGator." What was great about that, along with it sitting in an Outlook PST, was that it provided both Outlook and Windows Desktop Search integration. After NewsGator wasn't available, I used RSS Bandit for a while but I switched to FeedDemon as soon as that became freely available. I lost my machine with FeedDemon on it, although I have salvaged its database. Now I need to find out if I can reinstall FeedDemon and get it to read my immense collection of feed items without Google Reader available. (I found its OPML file, but the existing database matters to me too.)
    I've got over 600 feeds and that doesn't work in Feedly at all. I really don't want a browser based reader. I'll take a look at Go Read.

  28. Avatar for haacked
    haacked August 6th, 2013

    Cool. Thanks for following up.

  29. Avatar for Rush
    Rush October 24th, 2013

    Can you setup goread on IIS/SQL?

  30. Avatar for greymarch
    greymarch November 13th, 2013

    How come no one has mentioned inoreader? Has practically all the features of Google Reader, works fast, updates fast, uses https, and is completely free. https://inoreader.com/