End of Google Reader and gReader combo: Feedly Cloud and gReader

In my previous post End of Google Reader and gReader combo: offline reading Android alternatives I started to look out for alternatives to the gReader Android application. Well, my quest is over, and I’m still using gReader.

So what happened?

I searched Google Play for “RSS” and I got more than 1000 results. A plethora of apps which all are “simple”, “fast” and “intuitive” – basically each and every one of them the IS the best RSS reader out there 🙂 I scanned them for having an ‘offline reading’ feature, compiled a shortlist and installed a few on my Sony Xperia. I exported all my subscriptions through Google Takeout to see my RSS candicates hopefully were able to import them without any pain if they couldn’t connect to my Google Reader account directly.

Why mobilizing at all?

Pretty much all RSS reader apps – those with atleast some effort put into – are able to cache an article after having downloaded it. Without any 3G or wifi connection it’s still able to serve the article from the cache. This only helps if you can actually read the entire article, which is often not the case with RSS feeds which only serve a summary or excerpt of its items. Better RSS readers should be able to follow the link to an article and download the entire content after feed-synchronization and mobilize the content e.g. create a mobile-friendly version of the article. External mobilizing services such as Instapaper Mobilizer, Google Mobilizer or Readability are usually used. Mobilized content is stripped from all kinds of “mobile-unfriendly” elements, such as e.g. Javascript or images, which results in perfect caching and viewing inside an RSS reader app on your phone or tablet.

Replacing gReader backed by Google Reader

So here’s my chronological journey of 5 alternative candidates, with a short summary of my experience.

logo feedr5. FeedR News Reader (2.1.13)

Pros: Import from Google Reader, so I was up in no time.  Cons: Display & presentation not my cup of tea: not a clear general view of feeds, list view or detail view. Articles can be set to ‘expand one at a time’ inside the list view – so you’re actually in the list view instead of detail view. Or you can, by selecting a feed, inmediately jump to the first article – so skipping the listview. Collapsing and expanding. Nice feature: Integration with Pocket. Offline reading & mobilizing: per article you have the option to ‘mobilize’ the content using Google Mobilizer, but there’s no option to have items automatically downloaded, mobilized and saved in the cache for offline reading. Continue reading “End of Google Reader and gReader combo: Feedly Cloud and gReader”

End of Google Reader and gReader combo: offline reading Android alternatives

Google Reader users have seen the end nearing of their favorite RSS aggregator and for a while now the webinterface makes it perfectly clear:

Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013. Please be sure to back up your data.

Yes, it stops in 1 month! As a long-time fan I’ve been using Google Reader for aggregating my news and blogs I’m interested in, and used the gReader Android app to synchronize with my account, download updates for offline use so I could browse and read through them while travelling to work. In the train that is. I’ve come to rely heavily on the offline reading feature, since there are many 3G network black spots on the route from and to work – and the wifi inside the train is sometimes far from performing. gReader and my Google Reader account work perfect together: at home gReader updates all feeds, and immediately downloads all article content (incl. images) and transforms them into a simplified format.

As soon as Readers’ retirement got out, the future of gReader also became unsure and a group has been opened to discuss alternatives. Apart from the suggested alternative RSS readers, gReader itself needs to find an alternative API which mimics the Google Reader API to stay useful. Sofar I have seen promises and possibilities of compatible API’s popping up, but even if one was out there and 100% compatible Google urls are still hardcoded in the gReader app.

Continue reading “End of Google Reader and gReader combo: offline reading Android alternatives”