Google Reader is shutting down next week, and the RSS reader replacements are coming out of the woodwork. AOL has one, Digg has one, nevermind everything that’s already out there. I had rounded up a bunch of great news apps just as the Google Reader announcement was made, but now that the shut-down looms large, it seems prudent to take another pass at BlackBerry World to see what specifically will do a good job of handling our daily reading.
gNewsReader was my favorite Google Reader app for BlackBerry 10 from the get-go, and now that they’re supporting Feedly, I’m seeing little reason to switch. You can swipe from one story to the next, view individual feeds as well as whole tag groups, star items, and have all of the read and unread statuses sync up. There’s full integration with Pocket, Readability, and Instapaper, so you’ve got alternatives for catching up on stories later. Offline caching support is on the way. Sharing stories is easy through the system menu, plus there’s a dedicated option for sharing to Google+. Overall, I’m really happy with gNewsReader’s snappy responsiveness and easy use.
Alright cheapskate, don’t want to spend a buck? RSS Savvy is one of the top apps in the news category and provides a fine feed reading experience for the low, low price of free. Feeds can be added manually or through keyword search, stories are marked as read and unread as you go, plus you can search through your existing feeds for certain words.The really nice thing about RSS Savvy is the ability to set up customizable categories of content that are accessible through either the bottom bar or navigation sidebar. Excerpts show up in-line, but you’ll have to tap through on a browser link to read the full text. You also won’t be able to easily import your Google Reader feeds here. RSS Savy has a lot of really smooth transitions, and fits the standard Cascades style without being too plain.
Taptu is an Android port of a popular feed reader that earns big points for its user interface. If you’ve ever used Pulse News, you’ll know the drill; Content channels appear as strips which can be scrolled through horizontally while the other feeds stay static. Every feed also has a search option handy so you can quickly find specific stories. Pocket and Instapaper are both supported, as well as Taptu’s own bookmarking service. Users can add new content channels from the curated catalog or manually punch in RSS feeds By plugging into your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, Taptu can also haul in links that are making the rounds in your social networks.
If you’re willing to sideload, Flipboard has proven to be a great experience for me, from the get-go. The sharp, gesture-based user interface is truly unique, and you’ll experience significantly less lag than you might expect from an Android port. Users can browse an extensive catalog of content, subscribe to various social channels, and view everything with big, bold visuals. Full text is presented in-app with the same flippy UI, and stories can be marked as favorites for future reference I was able to get Flipboard on my Z10 using the old DDPB technique, but you may be able to snag a more recent version using the more involved Android SDK method. That said, there are plenty of great Android feed readers to explore through sideloading, it’s just tricky finding ones that work reliably. Let us know below what you’ve found works well!
For those that spend a lot of time combing through feeds on the desktop, there are also a few RSS readers that look great in the BlackBerry 10 browser. The Old Reader prides itself on sticking to the features and interface that diehard Google Reader users are used to. On mobile, you’ll get a high-res icon when the page is saved to your home screen, stories are automatically marked as read as you scroll down, and you can easily flip between compact and full text views. Share buttons are all finger friendly, and there’s a liking mechanism so every post has a fair bit of sociability baked in.
So, that’s a sampling of the Google Reader alternatives out there that will keep you informed while moving forward. What’s your go-to stop on BlackBerry for news and information? Do you have a curated list of RSS feeds, or are there a few select stops you rely on? How many of you are irked about Google Reader shutting down?