Google has announced that Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013. Software Engineer Alan Green wrote on the Official Google Reader Blog, “There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”
The impending end of Google Reader has left some asking what they will use to read their newsfeeds. The New York Times commented, “The service has been the leading RSS reader for some time, and users seem to be upset that there are few RSS competitors, although there are newer types of news-aggregating products like Flipboard and Pulse. One theory is that Google is trying to push customers to Google Plus, its social-networking site, where users can track product pages for different news outlets.”
Some replacement options for Google Reader are listed at http://www.rss-readers.org/list-of-rs-feed-reader/. Feedly has shown up on a few lists as being a good substitute for Google Reader. Feedly, in fact, uses Google Reader as a backend for feeds. Feedly writes on their blog: “We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine. When Google Reader shuts down, feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless.”
Google is also shutting down iGoogle as of November 1, 2013. The company states “All of your personal data stored in other Google products will continue to be available via those products, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Finance, Google Docs (now Google Drive), Google Bookmarks and Google Tasks.” Google also notes that users’ habits have changed.
Tablet sales are on the rise, while PC sales are declining. Tablets are out-selling notebook PCs in North America and China. People are interacting with electronics differently and may prefer to get their newsfeeds through a phone or tablet app, rather than a browser based system. For those using Android, the top two RSS readers on Google Play are gReader and feedly. Both are free.