For those of you who are still figuring out how to get your RSS feeds from the cloud now that Google Reader is shutting down, Feedly is your answer! I have been using it for several weeks now to access the Google Reader backend, and over the last few days after transitioning to Feedly’s own backend.
There is Web-based access that works very nicely and can import your Google Reader feeds, tags, and starred items. Also, there are mobile apps for Windows Mobile, iOS, and Android, which sync seamlessly with the Feedly backend and substantively replicate what you see from the Web.
While it works fine, the visual design is too “pretty” for me, and not very functional. For example, the unread counts for each of your feeds in your feed list is rendered in a stupidly tiny typeface and in dark gray on a light gray background, making it very hard to see which feeds have unread items. And the rendering of the text of articles also makes use of gray text to indicate blockquotes and other stuff. Also, Feedly’s app does not yet have offline reading capacity (meaning to download all your feed content to your device so you can read it even on a plane or otherwise without network access).
None of that matters, however, at least on Android, where there are also other third-party apps that can (or will) access the Feedly cloud backend. One that is already functional is gReader, and it works really well. The only downside to gReader is that its offline support is mediocre: it does download content, but it fucks up formatting and other aspects of the articles.
The best Android app that I have used is Reader HD, which I am still using with the Google backend, but which is going to transition to the Feedly (or Ridly, your choice) backend before July 1, which is when Google Reader is supposed to close down.
Reader HD is visually awesome, highly configurable typefaces and sizes (including both the feed and article lists and the article text content), and has outstanding offline support that is completely seamless and shows *exactly* what you’d see if you were online. The other great thing about Reader HD is that you can set it to automatically “mobilize” articles, which importantly means downloading all of the “beneath the fold” content and combining it into a single readable clean article to view while online or offline. This is fantastic, and means you don’t have to leave your RSS reader or be online to read entire articles on blogges that purposely only feed a teaser fragment via RSS.
Finally, there are other apps for Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and even Windows Desktop that are already accessing the Feedly backend. So don’t give up on RSS! Embrace Feedly!