Feedly, The Last News Reader You’ll Ever Need
When it comes to Internet news readers, you only need one to stay on top of things happening in the world. Put aside all the rest because I'm going to tell you which is the best to suit your overall needs.
I've played around with a lot of news readers over the years. Back in the days when I only used my Mac, I was content to read my news feeds with Shrook and later Reeder. Both are excellent but they only run on the Mac.
When I got an iPad when they first came out and later a Windows based laptop -- for a consulting project -- I found that I was spending time with 3 different computing devices and wanting to read news an all of them.
For awhile I continued to use Reeder on the Mac and other readers on the iPad and Windows. By this time I had also shifted to using Google Reader for my news feeds so I could at least look at news with any browser. But the browser interface to Google Reader is kind of clunky, compared to a real application like Reeder.
Then I discovered Feedly, a Google Reader client that runs on all my systems and I’ve been a happy camper ever since.
Yet Another Google Chrome App
If you read my KerryOnWorld blog on imo.im, the universal instant messenger, you already know I like my Google Chrome apps. They run everywhere I need them, MacOS, Windows, Ubuntu Linux, you name it.
Like imo.im, Feedly is another app designed to run on the Google Chrome platform. It will run wherever you run Chrome. If you sync your Google data with all your browsers, you only have to install Feedly on one of the browsers you use and it will be propagated to all the others.
The Feedly article layout is similar to the Google Reader but with a much more slick look. You can select from several color themes to give it the kind of skin you prefer. As a result Feedly seems more polished than your average web app that is rendered in straight HTML. Below I show my Feedly instance where I use a carbon colored theme to match the theme of my Chrome browser.
Along the left side of the Feedly UI you have a list of your Google news sources and categories. In my case I organize all my news sources by category. When you click on any of the titles the corresponding article will be expanded in the main Feedly window.
Feedly includes buttons that enable you to post your article to all popular social media services including: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instapaper, Read It Later and Google Mail. Unfortunately there is no way to post from the main Feedly UI to Google+. But you can do that with Feedly Mini. More on that later.
Below the list of categories are two buttons that let you get a full index of your articles by category and to organize your articles by category. To change move a news source from one category to another simply drag it with your mouse from the original category and drag it to the new one.
Feedly Does iOS
Where possible I like to use the same app on PC and mobile operating systems. More and more you are seeing apps that on both types of platforms. Happily Feedly is one of those apps that I can use on my iPad just like I can with imo.im. It also runs on iPhone although I have not tried that version.
The iPad version has all the elegance and ease of use as its Google Chrome counterpart along with the ability to scroll horizontally through your list of articles by swiping with your finger from right to left of vice versa.
Feedly Mini is Icing on the Cake
Feedly includes a cool bonus feature called Feedly Mini. This is an applet that runs on each page in your Chrome browser. It’s activated by clicking on a small translucent arrow in lower right hand of each browser page that looks like this:
When you click on it the icon expands to a vertical array of buttons that let you post a link to the page you are on in the browser to Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
I like to post to all these forums so having these buttons all in one tool is very convenient. I actually had Feedly for several months before I discovered the Feedly Mini feature. Before that I had separate buttons to post to Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When I replaced them all with Feedly Mini I freed up some real estate on my Chrome toolbar.
So if you aren't happy with your current Google Reader or you just want one that runs everywhere you do, then try out Feedly. I think you'll like it.
Vic Hargrave lives in the SF Bay Area. He has over 20 years experience as a software developer and manager. He blogs on Internet security and other tech topics at VicHargrave.com.