In the last few months, Feedly has been working tirelessly to please the Google Reader crowd. If you haven’t looked at Feedly in a while, there are some changes you might have missed.
To be clear, Feedly probably won’t entirely replace Google Reader for everyone. In fact, nothing will. Google Reader was a special app, and it occupied a unique place for each person. However, the internet has exploded recently with attempts to fill the RSS void. We’ve already covered the best alternatives, but as Feedly starts to occupy the centre of the playing field, it’s worth a closer look. Here’s what you might have missed in just the last few months.
The Feedly Cloud Syncs with Other Apps
This is the big one. The one concern that trumped all the others when it came to Google Reader’s closing was that while other RSS apps existed, nothing provided the backbone that an entire ecosystem of apps could plug in to. Very recently, Feedly announced the Feedly Cloud. So far, apps like gReader, Press and Reeder have already built on top of it. If it works well, we can likely expect to see more developers adopt this before too long if they want syncing features to continue after Google Reader shuts down.
The New Web Interface Ditches Extensions
Previously, if you wanted to try out Feedly, you had to do so in an app or by downloading a browser extension. That works for some, but if you want to pull up your feeds on someone else’s machine or if you don’t like installing things, it’s problematic. Now, you can head straight to cloud.feedly.com and go over your feeds on any computer with internet access.
A Title-Only View (and Other Tweaks) Provide for Fast Reading
One of the biggest advantages of Google Reader is its ability to manage hundreds of articles easily. In what was referred to as a gift to Google Reader users, Feedly introduced a title-only view to make scanning feeds easier. One of the biggest problems with all the replacement apps has been that they aren’t always great at professional-level reading. This doesn’t fix it entirely, but it helps. There are also a bunch of viewing preferences that you can adjust here that can allow the power user to tweak the interface as they see fit.
Shortcuts and Other Tools Make Users Feel More at Home
Not everything is a huge headlining feature, but the little things matter too. Over the course of the last few months, Feedly has added a new hardware to make sure its syncing service is fast, keyboard shortcuts that should be familiar to Google users, and even IFTTT support.
All With More to Come
The loss of Google Reader has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. However, as of right now, the Feedly team has already expressed plans to improve in-app search, group sharing and Windows Phone/Windows 8 apps. Given that this list of planned features written at the beginning of the month includes at least one that has already come to fruition (“pure web access”) it seems reasonable to think that the company can deliver on the others. When Google closes the doors on Reader next week, RSS aficionados will probably still be able to look forward to green pastures. In fact, it might be better than ever.
Feedly has positioned itself as the new centrepiece of the RSS world. While there are plenty of other great apps out there that are worth looking into (again, you can check those out here), Feedly has taken an early lead in the ecosystem competition, which has much bigger stakes. Chances are that as we look at any new apps coming down the pipe some form of cloud sync will be expected. Whether you end up using Feedly as your daily driver app, you’ll probably still be affected by these changes in some way. All eyes are on Feedly to see if it can handle its predecessor’s mantle.