BreakingModern — Some claim Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is dead, and in July 2013 when Google closed the book on Reader, I may have believed it. If you’re like me, you still have a wealth of well-organized and highly-curated RSS feeds from the days of Google Reader, and that’s why my app pick for today is Feedly. I’ve been a diehard RSS fan since 2006, because of my hankering for podcasts. But with the advent of the so-called hyperpersonal news feed, RSS use has been in decline. So much that Google Reader ended up on the chopping block with 69 other features and services during Google’s spring cleaning initiative in 2011.
One Stop Shop for RSS
Out of all those choices offered by Google, the first and last one I ever tried was Feedly. Feedly used to be a web extension called Feeddo, and before that a DevHD project called Streets. Streets basically grabbed updates from a bunch of online sources, and became the basis for what Feedly is today.
Feedly stepped up and made it super easy to take your Google Reader RSS feeds and continue using them. This was really good news for people like me who had been using Google Reader to power a couple of other aggregator apps. One was BeyondPod, a great podcast app I still use. One thing led to another and all the great apps simply changed their Google Reader connections to Feedly connections.
RSS is alive, alive I tell You!
I want to share some numbers with everyone before we get into the cool features of Feedly for Android. These numbers show you exactly how not-dead RSS is. Back when Google Reader shut down on March 15, 2013, Feedly announced 500,000 new users had signed up in 48 hours, all because people were desperate to find a Google Reader alternative. Because, like it or not, Really Simple Syndication is really super sweet. It’s still one of the best ways to aggregate new content from multiple sources in a nice and timely manner.
Sure, Feedly had some ups and downs as far as its servers were concerned. But taking on all the previous Google Reader users was no trivial task. The aggregate was quick to figure everything out. And here we are today with a full-featured, magazine-like, cloud-based reader.
The most recent update to Feedly brings us to 25.0.2. It now features support for higher resolution images, better Twitter integration, personalized fonts, updated settings, holo-light and material-light themes and, of course, the regular bug fixes and optimizations we’ve come to expect with Android app updates.
Simply open it up. If you don’t already have your own feeds to import, you can go to the website and explore the featured collections, pick something in the editor’s choice or paste your favorite site’s RSS feeds right into the search bar.
Set up your categories to keep everything nice and organized, and you’re ready to go.
Feedly lets you switch between a few different views. I personally prefer the magazine view, unless I’m solely looking for information, then title view or list view is the way to go. You can switch between the different views pretty easily. There’s also a card view that, when enabled, basically makes Feedly act just like Flipboard, which is definitely something better left for tablets.
Download Feedly at no cost for Android on Google Play and Apple iOS. Feedly holds a solid 4.5-out-of-5 rating on each store. This app has definitely come a long way, and we’re glad the developers have stuck with it. It’s my go-to app for planning show content and reading articles. What do you use Feedly for? Hit me up in the comments.
Note about RSS: If you want a history lesson about Really Simple Syndication (RSS), you can check out Wikipedia. There is a link on the Google homepage that goes to Alternativeto.net, which recommends other Google Reader alternatives. It’s a cool site, if you’re looking for alternatives.
All screenshots: Mat Lee
Featured/Header image credit: “Newspapers B&W (5)” by Jon S via Flickr Creative Commons