Google recently shut down Google Reader, their RSS syncing service. Here’s a quick look at three replacements:
Feedly is the most popular Google Reader replacement because it’s free and fast. But a few key problems prevented me from choosing it.
Feedly has a closed API. I have custom scripts and hacks I use for my RSS, and they require an open API.
Feedly also has no clear business model. Free is great, but after Google Reader’s epic flameout, it’s hard to trust a service that doesn’t ask for money.
And finally, Feedly’s website and apps are over-designed and confusing. Feedly seems desperate to become Flipboard, so their default layout is a magazine-style look at your RSS. You can switch to a “titles only” view that looks more like Google Reader, but you still have to deal with bizarre gestures and interactions in their iOS apps.
Despite these criticisms, Feedly is a strong service. If they open up their API, I’ll consider switching to them and just using third-party apps to access the service.
Several writers and programmers in the tech community sing the praises of this service, but I couldn’t get over two things: No free trial and an ugly, ugly, ugly website.
Feedbin is my new RSS reader. For now. The RSS market is changing fast, and I expect to revisit my choice a year from now when it’s time to renew my subscription.