A Comparison of Three RSS Readers Out There: Feedly, Digg Reader, AOL Reader

Jun 29, 2013  Print Story

Remember we reported the shutdown of Google Reader a few days back? It used to be one of the Google services that reached a few million people instead of a few hundred millions as Google wants its products to. Hence, the search giant decided to shut down the reader application, putting millions out in the street. We were gladly rescued by a overwhelmingly simple feed reader application known as Feedly.

Feedly


Feedly cloud reader

Feedly came and conquered. It does have an interface with which you can import all your feed content directly from Google Reader itself. Since it was one of the early adopters of Google Reader refugees, it had a major boost in its traffic and user stats.

With is iOS and Android apps, Feedly beckoned the readers who were desperately looking for a platform to place their feeds. And it worked. The application had a boost in traffic so tremendous that it had to make internal changes.

Alexa traffic stats of Feedly

Now the Feedly cloud application goes through regular maintenance and feature updates very frequently. It has a beautiful interface too that is quite a bit inviting.

Feedly color themes

Interface and a few options

viewing options

A number of color themes; various viewing options like Titles, Magazine, Cards, etc.; other options like Twitter and Facebook newsfeed; a finance module with which you can get live stock quotes on selected shares; a way to save the stories to read later; and absolutely easy to use interface make Feedly my favorite feed reader today.

Digg Reader


After Digg lost its mojo, it has been struggling quite a bit to get back into the game. Now, it is trying desperately to get some more users with the help of its new Reader application. Digg Reader went live a few hours ago. This reader also lets you import your feeds from Google Reader.

Digg reader page

In comparison to Feedly’s reader, this is how Digg interface looks. It does not have many customization options or viewing options. While Feedly does include the favicons of the particular website being added, Digg Reader simply shows that old, drab RSS icon for most of the feeds. The view was also not quite appealing to my eyes. It may just be my opinion.

The reader allows you to connect to your Facebook and Twitter accounts as well. Digg also has a read later feature like Feedly and it works with Pocket, Readability, or Instapaper to bring this feature. While Digg Reader is not quite exciting right now, it is still under development and may come up with more options.

AOL Reader


AOL, just like Digg, has rolled out a reader application for its users. The reader is still in the Beta phase, and you can sign up to get into the Beta queue. Due to this reason, we are currently not able to test it out and find its advantages.

AOL reader beta list

It seems that most of the features that Feedly already provides are given on AOL reader as well, such as various layout views; tagging options; importing from Google Reader or its OPML file; and an application programming interface (API). Soon to be released are also the iOS and Android apps. When the reader comes alive, we will be able to find out if there is any advantage to it.



[Update]

AOL Reader invite has come up. Here is the first screenshot:

AOL Reader beta

You can directly add subscriptions or sign in with your Google account to manage the RSS feeds in Google Reader through AOL Reader. I did sign in with my Google account and imported the feeds.

AOL reader reading in cards view

The view options as you can see don't seem to be too bad. It has similar view options as Feedly, List View, Card View, Full View, or Pane View. Pane view is like your Outlook email reader with the list view on the left pane and full view on the right pane.

Themes and settings of the reader are not as extensive as in Feedly. Its color scheme is also pretty drab at best.



Conclusion


As per our assessment, it seems that Feedly is unquestionably the best RSS reader in the market today. It has all the features and the most elegant user interface that is quite a bit inviting. Also, with its capability to incorporate well with a browser like Chrome, with its Feedly Mini applet, it is quite a bit useful.

 
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