If you're like us, you will be feeling a little sad that Google Reader is coming to an end. From July 1st, it will be shut down and those of you who are still dependent upon it will have to find a new home. Thankfully there are a number of RSS services out there that can replace Google's own service and add their own twists to a familiar service. Here are the best ones out there.
(For all intents and purposes, we're focusing solely on desktop readers. Those interested in looking for new tablet or smartphone readers can find a roundup of the best ones here).
One of the most popular RSS readers out there and for good reason. Feedly takes what's great about Google reader and adds so much more to the experience With numerous different layouts to experiment with and little features here and there, it's a great one to get started with and importing your Google Reader data is simple.
An analytics platform by trade, NetVibes is also an RSS reader, which allows you to track topics through dashboards, allowing you to organise topics, sites and interests through widgets. If that display appears to be too messy, you can revert back to a normal feed display.
The Old Reader
Designed to mimic and improve upon Google Reader, The Old Reader takes what was great about Google's product and makes it great again. It's very minimal, mind, so it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the other products have here. However, if you're looking for a pure Google Reader experience, you've come to the right place.
If you're a power user, NewsBlur is well worth looking at. One of the nicer features is the story mode which brings up the actual site within the reader itself so you don't have to leave the reader, handy if you don't want to be jumping to and from tabs constantly. The only free account lets you follow up to 64 different sites, but a full account only costs $1 per month so it's really depends how focused your reading collection is.
The only reader on this list that doesn't allow you to import Google Reader data, but Prismatic's desktop experience is every bit as good as its iOS version. By building up a reading list based on your interests, topics and locations, it presents the most important and shared stories out there for your convenience. A handy reader if you're more into heavier reading and are selective about content.
If you aren't already using Digg, it's recommended that you do so now as it's one of the top curated sites out there. There had been talk of Digg bringing out its own reader, which was released in beta mode yesterday. Reports on it so far have been rather positive and if you want, you can get it on iOS since it's been added onto it.
Hands up anyone who was expecting AOL to come in with its own reader. Neither did we, but AOL also has its own reader out in beta mode for those curious. Unfortunately, you won't get immediate access to it since it's being rolled out slowly - like all beta products - but those who have tested it have said that it's simple and to the point so another one to keep an eye on.