One of my favorite rituals is to wake up early in the morning, while the rest of the family is sleeping, make a nice pot of coffee and sit down and read the tech news of the last 24 hours. This is something that I have been doing for the past three years or so, and it is my time to just sit and be. I love using Google Reader to collect all of the tech news that I am interested in reading and over time, I feel like I have crafted a pretty solid list of blogs and news outlets to stay on top of the latest and greatest.
But, how I consume all of this information is a little more difficult than putting together a list of great tech blogs to read. For me, Google Reader on the web just doesn’t cut it. I tend to do most of my reading on my iPad Mini and I have been faithful to The Early Edition because I liked their newspaper layout and the settings. The other day, I was introduced to Feedly – the web app – by my editor, and I was instantly hooked. It’s a nice, iPad style news reading app for the web, one you should be sure to try out.
Getting Your Feeds
If you are a Google Reader user like I am, then getting your feeds into Feedly is going to be very easy. All you have to do is connect your Google account and you are off and reading. But, let’s say you don’t have an account, or you want to start fresh. You are also given the option to manually add different sites to Feedly. What is great is that when you want to add a website, they give you a wide variety of sites to select from if you are not sure what exactly you want to put on your reading list. There are different subjects that you can look into, like “Do It Yourself” and you can subscribe to all the different sites that are a part of that subject.
Reading Your Feeds
When it comes to reading articles on Feedly, there are many different ways that this can be done and for some, I can see it being a little overwhelming. There are three major views to choose from called Today, Latest, and you can also look at feeds individually. In the Today view, it is basically what the word states, an overview of the current news in your feed for today. There is a Featured section where there are a few articles to read as well as a Today section where you can see more of the articles that are current. Then on the right hand side you will see a variety of other things that are optional like stocks and your Twitter and Facebook feeds.
The Latest View is somewhat similar to Today, but you get more articles and they are shown to you in descending order from the most recent one. The nice thing about this view is that you can see your articles in many different layouts so you can find one that suits you best. Again, you have the optional sidebar features like you do on the Today view.
Then finally, you can read your news more specifically by going into different categories that you have set up through Google Reader or within Feedly. This is my favorite view as I tend to like to read categories separately and not have them all bunched together. For example, I have a folder that is dedicated to anything and everything tech and I can click on it and I can just focus on reading articles from there.
Lots of Features
One of the first things that I noticed about Feedly as I started to play around with it was the abundance of features that it had to offer the user. Not only do they have all the different views and layouts that I mentioned above, but they have a handful of other features that you can take advantage of to customize your experience. For one, when it comes to saving or sharing articles, there is no shortage of ways to do this. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Buffer, LinkedIn, and it can even be emailed to someone. When it comes to saving articles for later reading, you have Instapaper, Pocket, Evernote, Delicious, and even Feedly’s own “save for later” function where you can save an article and it goes into a folder within the app.
When it comes to customizing your reading experience, Feedly doesn’t hold back here either. There are a variety of preferences that you can tweak so that you can enjoy the app more. You can change the background color, the fonts and their color, as well as a few other things. I honestly didn’t tweak everything, but I do like that they give you this option to be able to do this.
After putting Feedly through its paces, I have to say that I truly enjoyed using it and will continue to use it as my go to app for consuming my news. It is definitely, in my opinion a power user type of app for those that want a quality experience to read. I am not saying that the casual person can’t use Feedly, but I think they may get a little overwhelmed by all the features it has to offer.
Not only can you use Feedly on the web, but they have an iPhone as well as an iPad version, both of which were reviewed on the AppStorm network. All of them are free to use and have many of the same features that the web version has. In fact I have been playing around with the iPad app and I think it may replace my current reader app. So, if you are looking for a quality newsreader experience, you have to go and check out Feedly and see for yourself if it can work for you. It’s nice to see such a nice app on the web.
Consume your news in an elegant reading experience and many features with Feedly.9
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