Replacing Google Reader

At one point, Google Reader was one of my favorite products. It was great at giving me the ability to quickly cut through a large amount of content while never missing anything important from a blog that published less frequently. Before the Plusification of Google’s product line, Reader was so much more than that; the killer app was being able to share and comment on stories with a small group of friends.

Reader’s gone now, but I still want to keep up with the 116 feeds I’m subscribed to. For now, I’ve picked David Smith’s FeedWrangler as my RSS syncing backend. The web interface is kind of sparse and doesn’t get all of the keyboard shortcuts right (I’m looking at you, v), and I don’t use its companion iOS app. With selling points like that, why am I paying $19 a year for it?

First, $19 a year is nothing.1 Second, the client situation for FeedWrangler is decent right now and getting better. On iPhone, I’m using Reeder and I love it. On OS X, I’m using ReadKit, which has quickly become a really nifty RSS and Read Later client. My iPad setup is the roughest right now. There, I’m using Mr. Reader and desperately waiting for Reeder for iPad to be updated. Although it’s completely functional, Mr. Reader’s aesthetic rubs me the wrong way.2

I like paying for things. Like leaving great tips at a restaurant, I think paying for web services is one of the delightful privileges that comes with being a self-sufficient adult in the modern age. I enjoy supporting independent developers like David Smith, and paying him annually will hopefully ensure the continued development and maintenance of FeedWrangler.3

I’m pretty excited about how the demise of Google Reader has shaken this space up a bit. That said, I’ll be way more excited when Reeder for iPad is updated.

  1. Anyone in the tech world who tells you that $19 a year is too much to pay for a service you use nearly every day is a crackpot. 

  2. Twiglike textures and odd floating pallets and bicycle bell sound effects, oh my! 

  3. David has a great podcast, too. It’s called Developing Perspective, and it’s a quick, thoughtful listen. I’d recommend it to any developer.