Have you heard? Google Reader is on its way out. Google's Reader was used by so many people as a reliable RSS feed source. But, Google is pulling the plug. Why would Google eliminate a product that millions of people worldwide use? Google Reader might not be the prettiest Google product, but it sure was useful.
Now what can you do? Are there any good alternatives to Google Reader? Where will your news come from now? The good news is that there are lots of great alternatives. In fact, some of them are even better than what Google was offering. Relax; another great RSS feed option is on its way!
Taptu (a free service)
Taptu isn't as widely known as Google Reader is (was). But, Taptu definitely has some perks. First of all, Taptu is free. Secondly, it's easy to use. Taptu goes the visual route by providing users with a completely visual view of current news topics.
This site (and iOS and Android app) comes with pre-loaded feeds, but it's simple enough to eliminate the ones you don't want and add the ones you do. If you're used to sites like Pinterest and like to view news in picture form, Taptu is for you.
Feedly (free as well)
Feedly is slightly more popular than Taptu. As with Taptu, Feedly comes pre-loaded with popular news feeds. You can go through these feeds and choose the ones you wan to subscribe to. Or, you can search for any URL. The one advantage that Feedly has over Taptu and other readers is that you can save an item to read at a later time. You can also record your search history with Feedly. These are both extremely convenient features. Feedly works as a web program and also with iOS and Android as an app.
Flipboard is my personal favourite. I've been using this app for some time now, and it proves to be a quick and effective way to gain all the news I want. The disadvantage to Flipboard is that you can only use this service with iOS or Android.
A web version of Flipboard does not exist. As the name of this program suggests, to scroll through various feeds, all you have to do is use your index finger to "flip" through each news item. Not only is this fun to do, but it also makes reading headlines super fast. Flipboard is fully customizable as well.
Now's The Time to Find an Alternative
Go through your Google Reader account right now, and write down all of those feeds that you subscribe to. This way, you won't be at a loss to find those URLs of interest when you lose Google Reader altogether. Google plans to shut the doors on Google Reader July 1st.
It may seem like you still have a lot of time, but, trust me, that date is fast approaching. It will also pay to become familiar with a new service as soon as you can. Google's decision can't be reversed, but you can learn to love another reader in the meantime.