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Monday, 1 July 2013

Google Reader to be shut down today

Google Reader, one of the world's most popular RSS readers, will retire today and will not be available anymore. Google announced in March that it would close down Google Reader, a handy tool for bringing headlines and articles from your favourite websites into a single place, on July 1 as part of its spring cleaning ritual. Google says usage has declined since Reader made its debut in 2005.

The service is still accessible (while writing this story), but Google will close down its Reader service anytime today. But as you won't be able to access Google's news aggregator service, there is an afterlife. Google has made it easy to move your list of sites you follow, known as feeds, to another service. And many of those rival services have made it easy to accept those feeds.

The service that is believed to be the best alternative to Reader is Feedly. The service is available on major Web browsers and through apps on the iPhone, the iPad and Android devices.

Transferring your feeds from Reader is easy. Most other services require you to create a data file of those feeds using a Google tool called Takeout. It's fairly straightforward, but you then have to save the file to your computer and import that to the service. In one case, only one of the more than 150 feeds survived the transfer because of some glitch.

With Feedly, you can skip that step. Simply log in with your Google account, and all that gets done automatically. There's also no need to create and remember a separate Feedly account. You use your Google credentials each time you're back. Feedly excels in highlighting the most popular items from all your feeds, based on sharing and other interactions on Feedly and elsewhere.

With the announcement of the Google Reader shutdown in March, Google allowed users to download a copy of all their Reader data before July 1. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives could export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout.


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