Tomorrow, Google Reader will be shut down. When the announcement was made back in March, I mentioned I couldn't think of a good alternative. Since then, several developers have stepped up to the challenge and today we have a handful of options. Unfortunately, I still haven't found the ideal replacement.
My RSS reading setup up, until yesterday, consisted of the following:
- Sync via Google Reader (I never used the website).
- Reeder for iPhone, iPad, and Mac to read shorter articles and/or send elsewhere.
- Longer articles got sent to Instapaper.
- Articles I wanted to "action" got starred and an ifttt recipe emailed them to me. Then a mail rule in iCloud dropped them into an Action folder so they never appeared in my Inbox. These were articles I wanted to blog about or research further, for example.
It was perfect. In fact, it was so good that I didn't even think about it. It was just part of my every day.
Sadly, I haven't found a setup that works as well for me. Either it's a free service (I don't like free services), or the apps are ugly, or it's too much work to set up, or it doesn't have an ifttt channel.
I'm sure in a few months we'll have much better RSS reading options, but for now they all seem to be almost there, but not quite there yet.
After a lot of research and trials of several services, I've settled with the following RSS reading setup:
- Sync via Feed Wrangler. It's the closest to my ideal. It's $19 a year (so has a real business model), offers a 3rd party API for developers to integrate their apps, and the smart streams feature is innovative.
- For apps I'm using the Feed Wrangler ones for now. They're not even close to Reeder and there's no Mac version, but they'll have to do for now. I do like the Instapaper button though, only one tap and done.
Reeder is adding Feed Wrangler support to Reeder for iPhone, albeit without smart streams. As soon as it's available I'll give it a go and will likely switch back. Reeder for iPad and Mac will get it too, but it seems it won't be any time soon. Not perfect, but getting there.
What I'm still missing is a way to quickly flag articles I want to action. ifttt doesn't work with Feed Wrangler, so I'm not sure what to do with that one.
It's still a work in progress. In an ideal world, Reeder will add full support for Feed Wrangler to all their apps and Feed Wrangler becomes a channel in ifttt. With the smart streams this will be even better than before. Hopefully it won't be long.