Google Reader is dead. Long live Windows Phone RSS apps

If you're slightly confused by the title, fear not as that's describing the rather odd situation RSS fans have found themselves in. Google has announced that its popular (actually, industry leading) Reader service will be closing soon. It comes as no surprise that many Windows Phone consumers have wondered what will happen to Google Reader (and general RSS) apps that are already available on the store.

It's emerging that developers are working on ways to keep services live and to provide updates to such apps to better serve consumers. This is a win-win situation, folks.

From July 1st, Google Reader will be no more, but the developer of Nextgen Reader has stated in a blog article that they've been pleasantly surprised by the sheer volume of emails and messages the team has received from consumers. They're pleased to announce that Nextgen Reader for both Windows and Windows Phone will continue to work and the team is already looking into alternatives:

  • Self-hosted on Windows Azure
  • Newsblur support
  • Normandy - Feedly support

The team expects to have more information on a potential move later this month. But they're not alone. The developer of NewsSpot has also revealed plans to keep the RSS fire alight with alternatives. The team is looking forward to companies launching new services that pick up from where Google left off. They too will announce more in the near future. There's light at the end of the tunnel at least.

It's long been suspected that Google will cut loose RSS from its product line, especially with Feedburner laying dormant and slowly, but surely falling apart. Will the closure of Google Reader be the end of RSS as we know it? Not at all. There's the likes of Twitter that helps keep one informed of what's currently going on, so RSS has undoubtedly lost some use, but there's always room for good ol' fashioned website feed browsing.

Source: Next Matters, FourSpotProject; thanks, aaa6112, for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • There goes 1000 greader apps lol.
    I've been using a direct feed reader like Yomomedia, so Google Reader's demise does not effect my daily habits. Plus it has podcast support.
    But I heard, NewsSpot is going to strive forward after Google Reader =) how? dunno yet...
  • Seems like I have to do some search for alternatives.
  • Probably wasn't making enough money from people's personal information. It's getting hard these days to rely on services when you don't know if they will get bought up by some other company and then just shut down, because they were competing directly with your other services. With google, its Google+. With MS, it's Skype/MSN Messenger
  • I am really digging this :-)
  • How were people using RSS readers? Its not something I've had to use. Noob question but hey You cant know everything.
  • Worry not, we were all noobs at one point or another.  RSS is essentially a list of articles on a news site or blog site or podcast site or any number of other sites that can list their entries in some sort of order.  The site will create an RSS feed, which if I remember correctly, is an XML file.  I could be wrong about that.  You copy the URL of that feed and plug it into your RSS reader, like Google Reader.  This enables you to aggregate news feeds from many, many sites onto one screen: Google Reader. (Or within Firefox's built-in RSS reader or Outlook's RSS reader, among others.)  So rather than visiting each site individually, scrolling around, reading things until you stumble upon a story you've already seen, RSS readers only show you stories you have not read.  You can save them for later, favorite them, download them to review offline, or any number of useful options.
    RSS is wonderful and Google Reader was absolutely superb.  I will truly miss it.
  • Thank you for that Speedtouch! Sounds like it was pretty neat.
  • Hopefully weave can create sometype of login so all my feeds can be show up if I reinstall on a new phone or other situations.
  • This!  I need to go see if I can trade my phone because since the last update I get random reboots now.  I don't want to have to setup my Weave again.  It's one of my favorite apps.
  • Totally want that too. It would be wonderful if Weave or even Fuze (I love both) allowed management of feeds that can be accessed from phones, desktops, and tablets.
  • Shameless plug, but if anyone switches to (or uses) newsblur, my app - Metroblur - is a free client for WP8 and currently on the store. It is fairly simple, but I have a big update in the works. If you hate my app, I think FeedMe also has Newsblur integration.
    Of course, Newsblur is currently melting because of all the traffic from Reader Refugees, so any client for it is a bit broken right now, but they are working on fixing it.
  • Hey, shameless plugs are how the world turns.  I'll check out your app, thanks for the info.
  • Thanks for the plug :)
  • Glad that's one less Google service I feel compelled to use (will still need to use YouTube unfortunately). I really wish Feedly had a WP app. Time to start the arduous process of trying out alternatives...
  • if Microsoft is really smart, they should launch Bing Reader, with the option to import people's backup from google reader in XML format. Now, thats only if someone in Microsoft is smart. 
  • Spot on. If they launched Bing Reader and it had the same functionality, but had a better looking UI it would be a coup.
  • That would be great. But Microsoft doesn't move fast enough to take advantage of the situation before the crisis had passed. Now a Nokia reader, maybe.
  • Nokia already had their Reading app under development, but it wasn't any good on 7.5. They should mix it with their Xpress app, and that could evolve into something great.
  • google forever! /s
  • Cool! This is one less thing the crybabies will stop crying WP not having an app for.
  • There wasn't anybody "crying" for WP to have a google reader app, not with the glut of 3rd party apps that performed very well (my favorite FeedWorm works better than the official google reader app on my android tablet).
    An official google reader app would not gain the same pub as an official Pandora or Instagram app.
  • Dude, check some of the sites, and the comments left on them. I have seen a lot of people asking for a google reader app.
  • Do you live in a SnapOn truck? Because you're quite the tool.
  • Google and dead in the same sentence, doesn't get any better than that
  • +100000000
  • Haha i must agree ;)
  • This is the only Google service I use and I hate it but I am going to miss it.  As a news junkie I use several RSS readers whether on my phone, my Tab, or desktop.  I don't use Google reader per se but I import from it to all of my other ones.  Its probably because of people like me that Google is throwing the switch because they are not making any money off of me.
  • Please, PLEASE another RSS aggregator rise to power!
  • The devs of Weave have said on Twitter recently that they have an update coming with their own cloud sync solution (Azure backend) that will allow you to use your Facebook, Twitter, Google, or MS account login to access.  I believe a W8 client is pending as well.  I love Weave as it is now, so this will be my likely solution for any RSS stuff going forward.
  • Weave is great!
  • Weave is brilliantly designed and an excellent RSS client. I only wish I could swipe. from article to article.
  • This ^ 1000. This is the only missing feature that is stopping me from buying the app. Since I am quite used to apps like USA Today and Nextgen reader that support the swipe-to-navigate feature, the lack of such a feature will render Weave very uncomfortable to use to me.
  • Glad to hear NextGen redaer is looking to keep on going - it's my favorite app for both WP8 and Windows 8.
  • Any word from Wonder Reader devs? I sent them mail but no response so far...
  • Yea, I'm going to need an alternative to load my google reader feeds into.
  • I want the bing w8 App on my phone!
  • apps, actually: Bing daily, Bing sports, Bing finance, Bing travel. Yes! Bing them all to WP :)
  • MS should create a reader app in the new outlook format so that it is on top along side of SkyDrive and calendar (whenever the new the version rolls out). Then release the API so devs can create apps!
  • This is a win win situation? Can you guys be less fanboyish please, just bring it down a level. That's a pretty dumb thing to say
  • So, what is an alternative service to google reader?
  • Newsblur for one, which Feed Me already syncs with.
  • I heart rss
  • RSS feeds are the main source of my news and information. Google Reader made it easier. Anxious to see what alternatives show up...
  • I've been using Feed Reader as my WP7/WP8 reader of choice and I'm happy to hear they will be using the Feedly Normandy API.
  • This exactly why I don't use Google services. They are a search company. All these other services they have are just toy projects they throw at the wall and see if they stick.
  • The first RSS reader to support syncing with Netvibes gets my buy.
  • Ok...anyone know of a reader on WP that is also on Android? One of the great things about Google reader was that they synchronize together, so read articles and favorites sync across all of my stuff...even using the web interface. I need something for my tablet, phone and computer. Anyone have a favorite?
  • No more synchronization between devices, oh how much we will miss that feature.
  • One of the smug few. Some reason never trusted google reader despite the many excellent WP clients. If you want something with backup & restore check out RSS Central.
  • A linky
  • sorry but not into small fry online RSS services that could shut down the next time they can't pay the azure bill. I reckon if socl want to be a serious playa then adding an RSS reader would get heaps of signups