Google is closing Google Reader’s doors on July 1, which means you’ll need to find a new way to get your news fix. Here are the services you should check out, and how to export all your feeds and put them into a new reader.
Step 1: Export Your Google Reader Data
- Head to Google Takeout’s Reader page and click the Create Archive button. It will start building a file with all your feeds, the people you follow, starred items and more (although you won’t be able to import most of these to other sites).
- Once it’s finished building, click the Download button that appears to get your subscriptions.
- Open up the ZIP file you just downloaded and go through the folders inside. Inside the “Reader” folder, you should see a file called subscriptions.xml. Extract that to your desktop. This is the file that contains all your subscribed feeds.
Save this file in a safe place while you hunt for a new RSS reader, since you may need it more than once!
Step 2: Find a New RSS Reader
Google Reader uses a tool called RSS to subscribe to websites. While Google Reader has been the dominant choice, there are lots of other RSS readers out there. After the shutdown announcement, a bunch of awesome readers have come out of the woodwork and improved their offerings, both by adding new features and (in many cases) by removing their own reliance on the Google Reader backend, so there’s something for just about everyone. Here are some of our favourites.
For the App Lovers: Feedly
Feedly (iOS/Android/Web) is by far the most popular Google Reader alternative, and with good reason. It has a clean, beautiful interface that you can tweak to work almost exactly like Google Reader. It also lets you choose been a newspaper-like interface or an image-centric view.
Feedly has been adding new features like crazy since Google Reader’s death announcement, including a new syncing service (that syncs with popular apps like Reeder and gReader), an extension-free web app, and recommendations and keyboard shortcuts. If you want to use the service that everyone else will be using — and that will sync with the most apps — Feedly is the service you want.
For the Desktop Reader Enthusiast: NewsBlur
For the Social: The Old Reader
The Old Reader
For What the Crowd Is Reading: Digg Reader
Digg Readermuch-anticipated RSS readerlooks pretty solid
For the Minimalist: Newsvibe
For the Visual Reader: Pulse
For the Do-It-Yourself Folks: Tiny Tiny RSS
Tiny Tiny RSSyourtakes a bit of work to set up
For Everyone Else
These are far from the only readers out there, but they’re the most popular ones and the ones we’d recommend checking out first. Of course, if you want something different, there’s likely to be something that’ll satisfy you. iGoogle fans will love NetVibes. Skimmers should check out Skimr, and picky readers can filter content with Curata. AOL even has a stylish new RSS reader. Desktop users can try something like FeedDemon, Reeder, or even Outlook. Whatever your needs, you’re sure to find something out there that works for you.
Still haven’t found something you like? Check out this huge list of Google Reader alternatives.
Step 3: Import Your Google Reader Feeds
- Open up your new feed reader of choice and head into its settings.
- Find the Import option. This will be in a different spot for every reader, but most should have an option to import feeds using an “OPML” file — this is the file you downloaded from Google Reader earlier.
- Select the import option, and choose the subscriptions.xml you extracted from Google Takeout. All of your feeds should appear in your new reader.
This won’t import your starred items or know which articles you’ve already read on Google Reader, but at least you’ll still have all your subscriptions. Try out that reader for a few days. If you don’t like it, sign up for a different one and re-import your feeds. As long as you keep that subscriptions.xml file saved in a safe place, you should be able to try as many readers as you want, even after Google Reader shuts down.
You still have one week to figure out which RSS reader you want to move to, so by the time Google Reader shuts down, you should be ready to keep reading news without skipping a beat. In the meantime, join us in the comments below and share your favourite non-Google RSS reader.