Feedly – Google Reader: Your RSS feeds in one place

by: Dan EvansSeptember 26, 2012

The beauty of the Internet is that you can keep updated without having to waste paper. Sure, there’s something about being able to feel a magazine or newspaper in your hands, but if you want to help Mother Earth, going paperless is the way to go. There are a number of ways to get the newest information. You can stalk certain websites like Android Authority to get your fix on the latest in Android news or keep updated on what’s happening around the world by visiting CNN. Checking these websites individually can be tiring though, and it can waste precious time. Be good to yourself and go the way of RSS feeds which allow you to check all the latest updates in one place.

It wasn’t too long ago that Flipboard landed on Android but if you weren’t all that impressed or if you’re looking for options, there’s Feedly. You might be familiar with its web version, but the Feedly website isn’t the only place where you can read your RSS updates. The mobile app for the Feedly service has been recently updated, bringing such changes as a better UI and new features.

For the uninitiated, Feedly turns your Google Feed into a magazine. It definitely made going through hundreds of RSS updates a whole lot easier and more entertaining to go through.

To use the Feedly app, you can opt to log in with your Google account and access your Google Reader items. If you don’t have a Google account, you can skip over logging in with your Google account and just jump to adding some of your favorite sites to the app. You can categorize them either by Feedly’s suggested categories or you can make one of your own. This allows you to organize your reading material for when you’re just in the mood to get updated on technology or when you want to kick back and soak in some references for your living room redecoration project.

To start viewing your RSS feeds, tap on the Menu icon in the upper left corner and tap Today, Latest or any of the categories you have.

Feedly’s strength over the standard RSS reader is that it turns, say, Android Authority’s newest articles into an attractive magazine view. You’ll see a thumbnail of the article’s feature image, the article’s title and the first few words of the article. Swipe right to left to move to the next page of updates and swipe left to right to move backwards.

If an article catches your eye, tap on it. Feedly then shows you the reader-friendly version of the article, stripped of annoyances like ads, and with black text against an off white background. The text is big enough to be read at a comfortable distance. If you find a lot of articles that you want to read but you just don’t have the time, don’t worry. You can tap the bookmark icon in the upper right corner of the screen and save your article for reading later. You can access these saved articles on the Saved for Later item on the Menu.

Sharing an interesting article is also easy using Feedly. Tap the options icon in the upper right corner and you can share your finding with Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and more.

One small snag I ran into was that multi-part articles, such as our Best new Android games (mid-September edition), had trouble displaying the links to the next parts. You will need to view the original article to see them. This may not be that much of an inconvenience to readers but it does go to show that Feedly was optimized for one-page articles.

Feedly is a free app but it isn’t cluttered with ads. You can focus on reading your RSS feeds without accidentally tapping an obtrusive ad. Download Feedly – Google Reader | RSS from the Google Play Store today.

  • John A

    My favourite rss feed. I love how the phone version and desktop version sync with each other and the recent update has made the app even better overall

  • Edwin Khodabakchian

    Hello. I am one of the co-founders of feedly. Android Authority is one of our favorite Android sources so we are particularly excited by this review. Now that we have a new foundation in place, we should be able to iterate a lot faster so if you have suggestions on how to improve the experience or run into bugs, please let us know!

    • Benjamin LE CUN

      First of all, thanks for Feedly. So far one of the best apps I used on Android. The UX is amazing, even if there’s a few glitches here and there, but this new version is very recent so I understand it needs a bit of maturity. If you guys are looking for suggestions, here is a few that I can think of/would love to see coming in the next months/year :
      _ Offline sync
      _ Desktop version is pretty awesome. I like how it takes all the good things from Google Reader and bring a lot more, all that remaining clean and simple. Unfortunately, loading time is pretty slow compared to Google Reader, and it makes me chose Reader of Feedly 2/3 of the time when I only have a few unread news on my counter. I’m sure you’re aware of that, but I’m pointing the fact that it does matter.
      _ The “Today” section is a bit confusing, especially on Android. Never really know what’s gonna show up or what it is. On the desktop, it kind of feels like a portal (see yahoo!) : a lot of infos, but it’s kind of hard to know what you really wanna read about or know about. I think what has been missing to RSS for so long is a constant reading recommendation, not a randomish headline of your feed.
      _ One of the glitches I was talking about is easy to reproduce. I can’t say it’s a bug, but pretty awkward when using the app. Click on a new. Open as a website (in Feedly, not the browser). Swipe to the next news, and then come back to the one open previously. Website is not loaded anymore. Click on the link : page shows up completely, and reload. My feeling : “noooo, it was loaded don’t do thaaaat !”
      _ I’d pay a monthly fee to get rid completely of the ads.
      _ I like the double tap to go back to the previous page. It’s really handy, it makes going back so lazy and I’m quite lazy. When on a webview, I hate the double tap. I want to auto-zoom on text, and I can’t, cause if I try, it’s gonna go back !

      But once again, Feedly is the best reader I ever used, the long waited Reader replacement, on both mobile devices and web, and even with everything just said above, it deserves the 5 stars so many people (including myself) left on the Play Store.
      Congratulations to the team.

      • Edwin Khodabakchian

        Thanks for the feedback. Lots of good points. Passing them to Arthur who drives design for us.

  • Pete Smith

    Does it mark and hide read/scanned articles? IIRC the old version had some issues with that and syncing. If I read a piece in Feedly then it’d dim a bit, but if I read a piece in Google Reader Feedly wouldn’t pick that up.

    My RSS reader of choice is GReader Pro; it’s fast and efficient and I can churn through 400-500 new items in 15 minutes or so. But I’ll give Feedly another shot!

    • Edwin Khodabakchian

      Yes. Feedly syncs with Google Reader. If you are a power reader, there is a settings option called “Auto-mark as read”. If you enable it, feedly will automatically mark cards as read as you swipe through them.

  • Benjamin LE CUN

    You forgot to mention how awesome it also is on 7′ tablets, so I will for you :
    It is.