The end of the month is fast approaching, and for web addicts, that means we’re nearing the end. July 1 is the day Google shuts down its beloved Reader service. Though RSS now compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter to deliver you news, it remains an incredibly useful tool for keeping up to date with news from all the sources that matter to you. Worried it’ll be going away next month? Don’t fret, we’ve worked up this handy guide to show you how to back-up the masses of RSS feeds you’ve curated over the years, as well as to help you find the best Google Reader replacements for you.
How to back up your feeds
Google’s made it super easy for you to download all your feeds into one handy file, one you can import into a myriad of other RSS readers to keep your reading going. All it takes is a few clicks, and here’s how you do it.
Head over to the Google Reader page, hit the settings cogwheel and click on Reader Settings. You’ll find yourself with a few different tabs, but the one you want is ‘Import/Export’. Click on that, and under the ‘Export your information’ header is a hyperlink that will let you download your data through Takeout.
Hitting that will whisk you away to Google’s Takeaway service, and all you have to do is hit the ‘Create Archive’ button which will then zip up your files into a handy archive which you can then download. Once you’ve unzipped the archive, you’ll find a file titled ‘subscriptions.xml’ which will have all your feeds tucked into it, which you can use to import into some other readers that don’t have Google account access. Easy as pie.
One of the main Google Reader replacement frontrunners, Feedly is a slick reader that looks simple, yet packs a powerful back-end that’s not so different from Google Reader, and there are even iOS and Android versions to take with you on the go. Head on over to the website and you can even import all your feeds from Google Reader without having to download them first, making the transition seamless, easy and simple.
NetVibes is a little different to Google Reader. With its ‘Dashboard Everything’ motto, the online app aims to pull in everything you could ever want from the internet into one handy place. It’s made up of a bunch of different modules, but the one you’ll be interested in is the RSS reader that’s slick-looking, responsive and powerful.
While not strictly a conventional RSS reader, Flipboard is still a great way to digest your favourite news sources, and you can even make your own curated magazine to share with friends. The only catch is that the magazine-esque app is only available on iOS and Android devices, but if you want to kick back on the couch to read your news, then Flipboard is a great tool for doing just that. It’s perfect if a visual layout, rather than a long list of blog posts in reverse chronological order, is what you’re after.
The Reeder suite of apps on iPhone, iPad and Mac are all powerful RSS digesting tools which until recently ran on a Google Reader back-end (don’t worry, they’ve moved to their own servers in time for shutdown), but they also support other services like Feedbin. If you’re after a dedicated application for your news reading, there’s not much better than Reeder: it’s also set to support Feedly soon too, meaning you’ll still be plugged right into your news when Google Reader goes down.
Social news website Digg may have had its ups and downs over the past few years, but its resurgence has been nothing but spectacular, and now the site is aiming to fill the void of Google Reader with its own solution that’s due in just 10 days’ time. Just like the site it’s named after, Digg Reader also features a whole host of sharing options, a simple, understated look and we’re promised there will be mobile apps launched to go hand in hand with it. We look forward to getting stuck into Digg Reader before Google pulls the plug on its beloved application.
What RSS service will use in place of Google Reader? Tell us in the comments below!