The search giant plans to shut down the popular Google Reader. In turn, dozens of Mac app developers scramble to find a better way to build RSS readers. Here’s the story and a free solution.
RSS: Goodbye, Hello!
First of all, if you’re not into using an RSS reader, you should be. There’s no better, faster, easier, less expensive way to manage web browsing, news gathering than RSS subscriptions.
Secondly, the most popular way to manage RSS subscriptions was Google Reader. Most Mac RSS readers began synchronizing to Google Reader years ago, assuming the free service would be around forever.
Forever ends this year as Google plans to shut down Reader in July, leaving many RSS reader apps without a source to store RSS subscriptions.
Therein lies the problem of free services. Google Reader is free, but doesn’t have a business model. Even worse, Reader sent Google’s highly valued customers to other web sites instead of sticking around Google’s new social properties.
Reader’s death doesn’t mean the end of RSS. If you want free news and information on the web, RSS reigns as king, and fortunately Mac users have an RSS champion in the form of Vienna, the free open source RSS reader.
Vienna is a classic Mac RSS reader. RSS subscriptions are displayed in the left sidebar.
Click on a subscription and the most recent headlines are displayed in the main window.
Click on any headline and Vienna details the headline and summary in the lower section of the main window.
Almost every website you run into on the internet uses an RSS subscription feed, and Mac360 was one of the first to highlight the benefits of RSS to Mac users way back in the day.
Vienna is regularly updated, and simple to setup and use. It’s not tied to Google so your subscriptions are safely stored on your Mac.
If there’s a negative at all with using a dedicated, standalone RSS subscription reader app it’s the initial setup of subscriptions.
Vienna can’t do that for you, but bringing an RSS feed link to Vienna couldn’t be easier. After that, just use Vienna to browse the web and save time clicking– RSS subscriptions are brought right to your Mac with continual updates throughout the day.
One more thing, Khoi Vinh has a good look at what happened to Google Reader, and how it has damaged the community.