Considering Feedly as a Google Reader replacement? Here’s our opinion.

Feedly

I was finally able to register with Feedly last night to give it a try. Most of the day they’d been down, but they added server capacity and were running well later in the evening.

So far, I think it’ll work for me. Setting up the account was easy. I signed in with my Google account, and they imported all my feeds. They have assured users that the transition will be seamless in July. If they achieve seamless, I’ll be impressed. Tech doesn’t always work that way. If they manage “not too painful” for the first day or two, I’ll be satisfied.

It’s not Google Reader. I’m not crazy about the color scheme, but the Title view is just about as clean as Google Reader.

Feedly

One thing I do like is the number of shares (the little green number to the left of the title). That gives me an idea of the popularity of a post, which is sometimes useful information that Google Reader didn’t give me (or I didn’t notice).

Nate over at The Digital Reader says it’s not a good solution for the power news reader, but I have less than 20 feeds right now (I did a major clean-up before I transitioned), and so far I think I can live with it. I’m not sure he discovered the Title view. If he’d only been using Card view, I’d completely agree with him. If anyone else with triple digit feeds has tried it, I’d appreciate you sharing your experience in the comments. I’ll be adding feeds as I use it, but I don’t think I’ll ever have more than 50 or so.

It is easy to categorize your feeds. I’m sure Google Reader did that as well, but I never bothered. Feedly actually prompted me to do it and made it easy.

Pocket and Instapaper integration is sub-standard. I’ve gotten an error message every time I’ve tried to share to Pocket, and the Instapaper link works but isn’t seamless. If you rely on either of those services, you’ll need to click through to the complete article and share from there. Annoying.

I’ve tried both the Android and iOS apps, and I kind of like them. There’s no Title view, so you’re stuck with a Flipboard-style view, which is terrible for scanning lots of articles at once. However, I generally scan on my computer and read on the tablet, so I can live with it. I was never crazy about Google Reader on my tablet, so for my tastes, I think Feedly is an improvement. Pocket integration on the Android version is excellent, and, as far as I can tell, non-existent on the iOS version. Be warned.

Any questions? Anything you’d like me to try and report back on? Happy to oblige!

6 Comments on Considering Feedly as a Google Reader replacement? Here’s our opinion.

  1. Hi Julie,

    I found the title view. It didn’t do me much good because I could only set the view of one folder or feed at a time. I couldn’t set the entire app to title view. And since I have more than 20 active folders he thought of having to switch each one over is more than a little frustrating.

    And I understand why you don’t like Google Reader on the tablet. The GR Android app is not a very good app for reading; its forte is skimming titles. I liked that app, but that’s because I only used it to skim titles quickly.

  2. Nate, I can set Title view for all my feeds in the desktop Firefox version, but I can’t find any Title views in either of the apps. To which are you referring?

    And have you had a chance to try out the other options? I agree that you and Feedly aren’t going to get along well, but right now it’s okay for me. Holding out hope that Digg gets it right later this year. I can’t imagine Zite moving away from a magazine-style view.

  3. Julie, I can set title view on the latest and today pages, but when I click on one of my folder I see the default magazine view. If I want a folder to show the title view then I have to change that specific folder.

    I just tried Feedly in Firefox on windows 7 again to confirm this.

    And I did also try Opera; my notes are in a later comment on that post. It gave me a headache.

  4. Hi Julie,
    I’m trying Newsblur, the free app. They say they aren’t accepting free subscribers right now, but anyway I’ve been able to open an account with them and I’m giving them a try before paying, I have much more the 12 feeds you’re allowed with a free account, but if they work for me I’m willing to pay, although I think that 24 a year it’s perhaps a little too much, I’m still shopping around.

  5. Nate, thanks. I see what you mean. I hadn’t noticed that yet, and I just checked, and it works the same for me. I’m not sure grouping feeds is a must-have feature for me, so I think I’ll be able to live with it. I’ll check your comments on Opera, but headaches are not leaving me with a warm fuzzy. :)

    @Ana, please keep us posted on Newsblur or anything else you find.

  6. A few weeks ago I tried an app called Press (http://twentyfivesquares.com/press/) which syncs with Google Reader and in some ways I prefer it. It has the clean view of GR with added features. While it is currently dependent on GR, the latest app update says “Press will migrate over to a new backend syncing solution before that [July 1] date.” It does not currently have a desktop/laptop version.

    I tried Feedly a couple times in the past and tried it again this week. The desktop version has improved but some of the desktop options (like title view) are not available for the apps. It does not appear to properly sync back to GR to mark items as read.

    My hope is that Press will be able to make the transition and later offer a desktop version. For me it is just closer to the GR experience than other RSS readers with enhancements that Google should have incorporated into GR long ago.

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