Yes, this is another post on another type of Google Reader replacement, but this one takes a little different strategy than some of the others that are out there. As you know, we at Web.AppStorm have been scouring the internet for replacements for our Reader fix. A little while back, I did a review on Taptu, which I actually do like and think it can be a solid replacement. But, as always the tech nerd in me is always searching for something better, something that can really meet all my needs for a replacement.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I will honestly find something on the web that will satisfy me unless it syncs with my iOS devices. But, the one that I am about to review today definitely got my attention, enough so that I actually decided to pay for the app. Yes, we have been spoiled with a free service like Google Reader, but in my opinion that is what led to its demise; Google just didn’t want to bother with a product that wasn’t going to make money. But I digress, time to switch gears and talk about Feedbin, a possible RSS reader replacement that you might actually want to pay for as well. Let’s take a look.
Getting Set Up
When you first get set up with Feedbin, you are going to want to add your feeds. You can do this in one of two ways, either importing or manually adding them to the site. The nice part about the importing feature is that you can download your feeds from Google Reader, then upload them to Feedbin and you are good to go. If you want to start fresh, or you just want to add your sites manually you can just enter in the url and the app will pull in articles from that site. I was very impressed with how quickly Feedbin was able to pull in all of my articles from Google Reader.
Reading your articles in Feedbin is a very intuitive experience and easy to navigate to what you want to get to. There is basically three columns in the standard view, where you have all of your feeds on the left, article title and summaries next to that, and then you have the actual stories that cover most of the page to the right. The nice part is that you can actually adjust the column width to suit your needs.
When viewing your feeds, you can choose to look at all of them or you can go into each individual one and read articles from that specific site. You will notice when you are reading something that the view is a stripped down view of what you would see on the actual website. Basically, you just get the text and images of the article and if you want to go to the site where it came from you can click on the title and it will take you there. When you are reading something, you can star it, which can act as a “save it for later” feature or bookmarking an article.
Work In Progress
Outside of what I just mentioned above, Feedbin doesn’t really have any more features that are worth mentioning. So, why would I pay $2/month or $20/year for this when it is a stripped down version of Google Reader? Well, I wholeheartedly believe that if you want a product or service that will improve and stay around for a long time, you have to be willing to support someone or a group of people to make this happen. At the moment, there is nothing fancy that makes Feedbin stand out, nor are there features that make it better than some of the free apps out there. But, the one thing that it does have that many other Google Reader replacements don’t have is a financial plan. They have made it affordable enough at the moment where you can feel like you are not taking a big hit in the wallet, and at the same time you are supporting an app that can continually be built and improved upon.
As Feedbin progresses, I would love to see more sharing and saving features added to Feedbin. It would be nice to be able to share an article with my social networks on Twitter and Facebook and I would love to be able to save articles to Pocket and Evernote. I would also love to see an iOS app that syncs with the web app, and I would be more than happy to pay for it as well.
Will Feedbin be the killer Google Reader replacement? I don’t know if it will or not, and I personally believe we should wait as I believe there will be other apps out there that could be great also. One other cool thing is that it was announced the other day on Twitter by the developer of the famous Google Reader app, Reeder, that he plans to integrate Feedbin into his app in the coming months. That in and of itself, could be a game changer as that really takes care of not having to worry about making a iOS or Mac app as Reeder already has apps for those platforms.
If nothing else, Google killing off its RSS reading app has been good for the tech world in that there are developers out there that are taking this as a challenge to create something to replace it. Like Twitter clients, people will have their favorites and there will be a variety to choose from. You are just going to have to find what works for you. I know for me, no matter what the app, I want to be able to pay a reasonable price for something that I plan to use. What about you? Would you pay for Feedbin? What do you want to see in a Google Reader replacement?
Subscribe to your favorite RSS feeds and read them in Feedbin8