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I woke up this morning, grabbed my iPhone to check the news in Reeder — which is powered by my Google Reader account — only to find at the very top that Google is shutting down Google Reader, for good, on July 1, 2013. They said it’s because too few people use it, which is rather ironic since most of us heard the news via articles synced in Google Reader.

Of course, it’s been a rumor for some time that Google Reader might be the next Google service to hit the chopping block, but it’s not just a rumor this time. Rather, is the first thing the Google Reader team has posted on their blog since 2011. That should, in itself, tell part of the story. And rather than beating around the bush about it being shut down, Google Reader will now warn you itself, rather starkly, that it’s going away. It’s really, really real this time.

That’s terrible news, since most RSS apps for desktops and phones are powered by Google Reader, and Google’s service was so popular that it practically pushed all alternatives out of the market. FeedDemon has already announced that it’s being killed as well, since it’s powered by Google Reader sync, even though years back it had its own sync engine. Google pushed most other RSS readers out of the market, and is now killing their own RSS reader app. It’s not a good day for RSS, a service that’s already been tough enough to convince people to use, and Google+ isn’t a good alternate unlike what Google apparently thinks according to a former Google Reader product manager.

So what do you do? Quit subscribing to RSS feeds? Nope. I sure won’t, and we sure hope all of our RSS subscribers here won’t, either. The good news is, there’s a ton of other great RSS services out there today, ones that have come online in the past few years or held on even though Google Reader remained dominant.Here’s all the info you’ll need to find a new service and get your feeds moved to it, pronto, before your Google Reader subscriptions are lost.

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It’s pretty much considered common knowledge that most people just don’t get RSS, and that people would rather follow your site on Twitter or Facebook, add you to an app like Flipboard, or just visit your homepage for updates. Email newsletters, people get, but not RSS. Now, RSS can’t be too complicated, seeing as thousands of you follow this site via RSS, but most RSS readers – even Google Reader – make it too complicated.

If Skimr had always been around, though, perhaps complicated and confusing wouldn’t be the first thing people think of when they hear of RSS. Skimr is a beautifully simple new online RSS reader that makes it simple to browse the headlines from your favorite sites without feeling like you’ve got an overloaded inbox to clear out. If you’ve never found the perfect RSS reader for you, it’s the one you should try. (more…)

Pulse always stood out from the crowd – if it was a baby I bet it would have came out feet first. Just to be different. For the past couple of years it has been the primary news app on many of our phones. And unlike others it has never had a website – preferring instead to live on the screens of our mobile devices.

I guess this is why it developed such a good following. That, and its incredible design, functionality and user-friendly nature. Pulse has always been there when you need it. Looking hot and dishing out all the gossip it can find like a chatty girlfriend.

Today the developers have launched what they’re calling ‘Pulse for the Web’. A fully-loaded web version of the mobile application. “It wasn’t long until our users let us know that the problem we solved wasn’t confined to mobile devices”. They’re taking the great user experience we’ve all had on our handsets and blowing it up to desktop size. But does Pulse work on the ‘big screen’?
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The internet is a great resource for news and updates, and no matter what you’re looking to keep track of, you’re sure to be able to find countless sites that will be able to keep you up to date with the latest information. To help make it easier to keep track of new developments, you might make use of an RSS feed to save you having to look things up manually. You might already be used to using RSS in apps like Google Reader, but there’s so much more you can do with RSS feeds.

Pipes is a tool from Yahoo that enables you to take things a step further so you can, amongst other things, create your own custom RSS feeds that pull in content from a variety of sources and filter it so that you only see the most relevant news stories. It’s a venerable web app, starting off life in a rather Google-ish way of being in a lengthy period of beta but then living on for years, long enough that many of us have likely forgotten about it. But it’s still a great tool, even in 2012, so let’s dig in and see what you can do with it.

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If you are a regular reader you should probably know about a major gripe of mine – lack of quality feed reader apps on the web like the ones available for iOS. While remaining loyal to Google Reader for the time being, I am constantly looking out for that one awesome web app that will make me jump a creaking ship.

As and when I find some hopefuls, I never miss a chance to take them for a spin and share the results with our community. Subpug brings all your favourite websites, blogs and news sources into one convenient place. It’s totally free and there’s no need to sign up. You don’t even need to give us your email address. So, is it the feed reader that’s gonna make me ditch the good old Reader?

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Most of us have many favorite sites, but there’s just not enough time each day to check all of them. The good thing is, you don’t have to directly visit your favorite sites to keep up with their latest content. Here at AppStorm, we already have 6 unique sites with new content daily, not to mention all of our sister sites from Envato. Plus, who would want to miss out on the latest the John Gruber has to say on the Daring Fireball?

That’s where RSS comes in. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it’s a simple XML format that lets you subscribe to sites using apps such as Google Reader or Fever. However, if you subscirbe to too many sites, it can quickly become a chore to keep up with everything.

Social networks are great for keeping up with sites, but if you’re not online when an update is posted, you might end up missing it. And if you’ve got 100 email newsletters coming in every day, it’s going to be very hard to achieve Inbox Zero.

That’s why we’re curious: How do you prefer to keep up with your favorite sites? I use a combination of Google Reader (for the most important sites), Twitter (for popular topics from news and more), and then visit some sites such as A List Apart just because they’re so nice to read on. What’s the perfect mix for you?

Instead of the standard introduction with a potential scenario that the application can save, I’m going to jump right in because today’s app, Flowdock, has a lot of features. Flowdock combines a group collaboration tool alongside a social media tracking stream to help develop your products and your business. Think of Flowdock as your development dashboard, where you can chat and collaborate, whilst monitoring your criticisms and praises on social networks.

The space for collaboration tools is very much crowded, but Flowdock seems to stand out with it’s Mac-like sex appeal and awesome set of features. As you’ll come to see, Flowdock organises, aggregates and collaborates. (more…)

In a world where news breaks every minute, some can find it hard to catch up on all the sources they want to follow. Good Noows is another app that takes your favorite feeds and organizes them into a special layout (although this time you get a choice of what layout!).

Good Noows is a personal news reader that pulls in your favorite news feeds to a layout of your choice. Some critics have touted the service as being a viable alternative to Google News whilst others say that Good Noows is a fresh face to your news.

Good Noows is a web app that can also be integrated into Chrome especially via the Chrome web store. But do you want to use it over the many other RSS readers available?

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Are you overwhelmed with all the feeds you’ve subscribed to in your favorite RSS app such as Google Reader? Need a better way to keep up with the news and updates that are most important to you? There’s not enough time in the day to read all the new articles that are published across the net, but it can be hard to sort out the great from the forgettable articles.

Most RSS feed readers work just like an email subscription, and all new posts will automatically show up in your unread list. Today we’re going to look at NewsBlur, a new feed reader webapp that brings an intelligent approach to RSS feeds. It automatically shows the articles you’ll be interest in based on articles you’ve previously liked, and makes it easy to browse the original site or the RSS feed itself.

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One great aspect of Twitter over RSS is that you’re always up to date on what’s hot. Personally, my RSS feeds tend to get neglected because it’s so time consuming to read through everything when I only care about 25% of the information I find.

Fever° is a self-hosted RSS solution for better management of your RSS feeds, helping you get to the hot topics and filter through your feeds to get to the important stuff. We’ll walk through the installation process and some of the great features of this outstanding RSS reader.

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