It was only six months ago that Google closed the doors on Google Reader, angering those of us RSS lovers. Sure, Google Reader wasn’t making Google any money, but I think they got plenty of revenue streams over there. Like many RSS devotees, I was in a panic, making sure to use Google Take Out to backup all of my feeds and favorites. There were a ton of RSS replacements mentioned all over the web, but of course my number one concern was how many of these replacements would be accessible?
Lets just say I tried a ton of them, and a lion’s share of them either didn’t work with VoiceOver, didn’t have the functions I had come to love, or had other issues.
Like many VoiceOver users, I found my options fairly limited. Fearing the July 1, 2013 RSS Apocalypse quickly approaching, I made the jump to Lire. Thanks to an interview I heard with the developer of Lire, I at least knew that he was committed to the app being accessible with VoiceOver. Lire also seemed to have a lot of the functions I wanted in an RSS reader. Was Lire perfect? No, as Lire didn’t offer the cross platform functionality I had become accustomed to. Additionally, being someone who is subscribed to way too many feeds, I found that Lire and its 5000 article limit was quite annoying if I hadn’t checked my feeds in a few days. One good thing this 5000 article limit did cause me to do, was get rid of some of the feeds I had subscribed to and never read. Still, I found the 5000 article limit to be quite irksome. What I did love about Lire, was all of its sounds and the ability to quickly delete an item using the VoiceOver rotor and just flicking down. Unfortunately though for me, the cons with Lire outweighed the pros, so the search continued.
I started playing around with an old RSS reader I still had installed on my iPhone, Newsify. In playing around with Newsify, my biggest gripe about it was that it didn’t have the delete functionality of Lire. Considering I am someone who is constantly reading my feeds for a minute here and there, I wanted to delete what I had looked at immediately and not be bothered by it the next time I returned to my feeds. Having never played around with Newsify a ton, I really hadn’t checked out all of the apps settings, and decided to do so one day. I was really impressed with all of the settings Newsify offered, as I guess at first glance I never scrolled all the way through the settings (including the advanced settings). I learned that Newsify did offer several of the options I had become accustomed to.
Since I am someone who likes to group all of my feeds in folders for common topics. I liked that I could go in to a folder, start reading that folder, and if I wanted to delete all of the articles I had flipped through I just had to go in to the additional actions, click mark previous as read, and Newsify would delete all of the articles I had scrolled through. This delete function was my biggest selling point. Also, when I go in to a folder, I can use the headings navigation on the VoiceOver rotor to quickly jump from one day to the next with a simple flick up or down and then mark all the articles before then as read.
And what about cross platform synchronization? It’s easy, as with a free Feedly account and Read Kit on the Mac, I have been able to sync up my feeds just like the old days with Google Reader. It’s funny though, as I spent so much time searching for a accessible RSS reader for the Mac to replace Newsstand, but have grown so accustomed to quickly flicking through my feeds in Newsify that I rarely even view my RSS feeds in Read Kit on my Mac anymore.
So, in a post Google Reader world where are you reading your RSS feeds, and on what platform?