As July approaches, an increasing number of Google fans get worried about how they are going to continue getting the updates from their favorite RSS feeds. Why? Because not too long ago, Google announced its nonsensical decision to shut down one of its most popular services – Google Reader – once and for all. The date is set for July 1st and users of the service are looking to find a competent alternative.
Fortunately for internet users, the web provides a wide variety of feeds subscribing services to choose from. With Google Reader shutting down, people might be looking for something that is not only a replacement but a ‘fresh’ replacement, to be more precise i.e. that is new, has an appealing interface, and is just as functional as Google Reader. Here to be that very replacement is a service that offers all that and much more called InoReader.
What is InoReader?
InoReader is a simple and easy to use RSS reader that allows users to subscribe to their favorite RSS feeds. It even allows users to import feeds from any other RSS reader, including Google Reader. If you start using this web service, then InoReader just might become your favorite feeds subscriber in no time at all. This web application provides its users with all the best of RSS feeds and functions that can be performed on them. From a simple yet appealing interface to social integration and sharing, the service comes equipped with an impressive array of features.
In order to begin using this web application you must first create an account on it. This can be done either via your Google account or by connecting your Facebook account. When you sign in for the first time, you will be shown a screen that reminds you of the fact that subscriptions are yet to be added. As with nearly all other feeds subscribers nowadays, InoReader also provides you with the option to directly import your feeds from Google Reader.
Importing feeds from Google Reader or any other RSS reader is pretty simple and straightforward. To do so, just click on the wheel icon in the top right corner and select Import/Export from the dropdown menu.
The application provides users with a wide range of options to import/export your RSS feeds. You can either upload the subscriptions file or connect InoReader to your Google Reader account. Let’s just use the Upload feature, browse the location of the OPML files and wait for the InoReader magic to happen.
Usage and Features
With your feeds added (in any way that you opted for), you can choose the controls present in the leftmost pane to navigate the application’s feed entries. You can easily access all articles that appear in your subscribed feeds, you can access your favorites, you can check out the entries that you have broadcasted on your channel, or you can filter the feeds according to each website RSS that you have subscribed to.
The center pane of the application is where you will the list of article entries populated. Images are shown wherever available and the article titles are accompanied by a short summary of what the entry is about. You have the option to choose from the expanded view or the list view.
The view seen in the image above is the default one. With each entry, you get options to add tags, vote it up, mark it as read, add it to your own channel, add a comment to it, email it to a friend, or share it on your favorite social network. To view the maximum number of article titles in the visible region of the webpage, you can opt for the list view by clicking on the list view button from the toolbar.
In addition to the controls that appear on the left pane, you can filter articles using the built-in search feature provided to its users by the website. The Search bar can be accessed from the top row of buttons on the website’s interface.
From the mini window that houses the Search bar, you can also enable features to directly have all entries in a particular web feed emailed to you. The top buttons let users mark entries as read too – either all entries can be selected or that of a particular time period. Coming back to the interface options, there are certain themes offered by this feeds subscriber. These themes can be accessed from the bottom right corner of the webpage. You simply click on the dropdown menu and pick the theme that you want to switch to.
For further control over the reader’s interface and how things function, you can access the preferences menus and control various aspects of the app’s behavior from the Reading tab. These modifiable options include whether or not to automatically mark items as Read, whether to show extended article content, whether to embed attachments, and a lot more.
The extension also offers users with a wide range of extra tools to play with. If you want, you can just drag and use the InoReader bookmarklet to easily subscribe to any website you want. The service also has an extension for Google Chrome that helps users find out about unread articles in InoReader. You can even use the RSS reader extension by Google with InoReader.
Keep a Track of Things
If you scroll back up to the filter controls screenshot that appear in the app’s left most pane, you will notice an entry title “Statistics” that we did not cover there. This excellent feature of the website helps you keep a track of your readings. More specifically, you can get a breakdown of the articles you have read alongside the ones that you have not yet read. A bar graph is displayed according to the various time periods e.g. last month, weekdays, and time of the day. Against each feed you will find the percentage of read articles and various other pieces of information. Eventually, these stats can help you analyze which feeds you do not pay attention to or are not interested in. You can then remove those feeds from your subscribed ones and reduce the clutter in your reader, if there is any.
Is it Worth Using?
So should you or should you not start using InoReader to subscribe to your feeds? I would say you definitely should. From a sleek interface that does not get in the way to social media integration and sharing, InoReader has covered a lot of ground. The fact that you can directly import your feeds from the Reader will make the transition even easier. And the statistics record that is kept by this web app will definitely help people in analyzing their online readings. Take InoReader out for a spin and see for yourself all the amazing stuff that it has to offer!
If you tried InoReader, we’d love to hear about your thoughts in the comments below.