I knew that I was going to miss Google Reader. I didn’t know just how much I was going to miss it.
My RSS feed has replaced newspapers in my monring commute. It’s a small thing, but I still find the pull model very appealing. It works for me so well that I hadn’t given it much thought until Google announced that they were shuttering Reader.
I tried out a few of the other RSS readers out there, but I didn’t really put a lot of time into them. That was a mistake. Once Google Reader shut down, I was way more screwed than I expected.
My requirements for the reader are fairly simple:
– It has to have a web-based reader and a mobile app. A mobile site ain’t good enough.
– It has to sync between the two, so when I read an item on my phone, it shows as “read” on the web.
– The mobile app has to be easily navigated with one hand (I seldom get to sit down on the train).
– It needs to work with a single login, and preferably, with my Google login.
That’s about it. There are some other interface elements that are important, but not necessarily required. The trick is that it should be easy and intuitive to navigate. Exactly how they go about that isn’t terribly important.
Google Reader ticked off all the boxes so easily that I wasn’t aware of just how unique it was. I’ve tried several other readers and they all fall well short of these simple requirements.
Feedly was the best-reviewed reader and it does have a clean, pretty interface and a nice mobile app. Where it falls down is that the interface is annoying as hell and the sync is inconsistent.
I’m on the beta for AOLReader and Digg Reader. Neither of them have a mobile app yet.
I signed up for a couple of more obscure betas, but they don’t have mobile apps that work on my phone (an ancient Evo).
The best I’ve found so far is The Old Reader. There are some quirky interface decisions (why the non-standard scroll bars?), and the mobile app is a 3rd party piece that struggles with some embedded media. Come to think of it, their web interface has that problem too. But…it does the important stuff. It syncs, it’s easy to navigate, and it doesn’t make me want to throw my phone at things.
I still haven’t found “the” answer, but this’ll do for now. Anyone have any suggestions?