- Import from Google Reader.
- If it’s web based, Firefox and Chrome compatible.
- If it’s an application, Linux, Windows, Android and iOS compatible.
- Export to OPML for future migrations.
- Automatically synced with no setup.
- Show only heading and blurb. This is a must on a small screen.
- Possibility to mark items as unread.
- Stability and speed even in the face of millions of users. Sorry small operators, a 10 second loading time is just not acceptable ever.
Nice to haves*:
- Native web interface, rather than browser extensions or full-fledged clients.
- Free as in beer (or perhaps lunch). I’m willing to pay if a convincing demo is available.
- Possibility to show all feeds as one list or separately.
- Keyboard events always go to the feed items list. That is, once I click on a feed I shouldn’t have to click somewhere else to focus the items list.
- Mark read when scrolling past an item.
- Option to show entire article. This can be nice on a big screen.
- Manual syncing.
- Ask for my Google password or other personal information to sync. Seriously?
- Ask for access to my contacts. I’m trying to cut down on the spam, thank you very much.
- Show the actual site. Feeds are the perfect way to get a uniform experience across vastly different web sites, cutting all the *bleep* to get to King Content, omniscient ruler of all the tubes.
Disqualified so far:
- The Old Reader says “There are 31636 users in the import queue ahead of you” hours after starting the import, down from less than 35000 (don’t remember the actual number). Clearly not able to handle the influx of users. Update: After more than 12 hours the number has actually gone up to 33333. Somebody at The Old Reader doesn’t like me 🙂
- Bloglovin seems to only provide some sort of alerts when sites are updated, rather than a feed reader. It also seems a bit unclear whether they support Android or not.
- Managed to import all sites, not from the exported OPML (simply failed) but on the third attempt when connecting to Google Reader (first it kept saying it was importing for over an hour, then it imported 0 feeds, then it imported what looks like all of them).
- For some reason “merged” two feeds from the same site during import. They now have the the same name, but also refer to the same feed, so the second one was lost.
- HTTPS by default.
- $24 per year minimum.
- Down once already after using it about two days, so I assume nowhere near as stable as Google Reader.
- Can’t set the last page of a feed as read by scrolling past it with the mouse, PageDown or Space – you have to click “Next unread” to dismiss those items.
- feedly wants to know my “name, public profile URL, and photo” + “gender and birthdate” + “country, language and timezone” just to import from Google Reader. It seems this is simply a side effect of connecting to and administering the Google Reader account, so I’m giving it a try.
- Nicely duplicates many Google Reader features.
Lots of duplicate entries, even from a single feed.Seems to be fixed
Seems to ignore the “save for later” button after the first use.Seems to be fixed.
Verdict: feedly seems to have the best combination of stability and usability. It’s changing rapidly, but although each version seems to introduce new minor bugs there have been no major bugs so far, and the general trend seems to be towards more stability rather than feature creep. That’s $24 out the window for a NewsBlur account I won’t use, but I could always go back by exporting OPML from feedly.
* Google Reader does all of these, and most of them really well.
Feedly is still your best bet, imo. If you don’t want to disclose the information you listed, you’re out of luck.
I now use Feedly constantly, and I think it’s the best replacement so far.
- mobile apps
- browser plugins + native
- still syncs with GReader
- once Google Reader is killed, Feedly promises to take over with their own Normandy system
- looks great
- lots of options on how to view your feeds: magazine style, titles only, all feeds on one page, …
- very active development; feature requests by users with a voting system
- integration with loads of social services (Pocket, Pinterest, Buffer, etc …)
I tried The Old Reader, but it doesn’t do mobile apps (for now). A much smaller team, so development will be slower. But this one does mark as unread when you scroll articles.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Feedly.
Update: Since I wrote my answer, Feedly has completed the switch-over to their own ‘Feedly Cloud’, and have published a list of third party apps that can now sync with Feedly, like the excellent NextGen Reader if you’re on Windows Phone for example.