Shop Talk: Feedly Review

featured-shop Evernote Camera Roll 20130701 101313

Evernote Camera Roll 20130701 101317

I was an avid Google Reader fan, so when I heard about it kicking the bucket I was clearly inconsolable. A friend suggested to me to try out Feedly, which I’ve adapted to and have been using ever since. I was grateful for the Google Reader support and imported all of my feeds without any issues.

My goals for a good RSS reader:

  • Ability to browse articles quickly
  • Ability to organize and save articles directly to Evernote and Instapaper
  • Can share articles via social media or email
  • IFTTT support

Around the same time I had picked up an iPad mini and downloaded the Feedly app, which also synced to my iPhone. The stars must have aligned, because I love reading Feedly on the iPad instead of the desktop. It’s aesthetically really sleek and swiping through my stories feels elegant. I love that you can customize the look and feel of it too – it even lets you pick what font to read in.

Feedly isn’t a perfect Google Reader solution, but I’m beginning to think that’s okay. I can accept something that’s different and not a complete swap out. It integrates with Instapaper, a function I didn’t think I’d use but has actually turned out to be quite handy. It also has the usual social stuff along with a bookmarking function.

Evernote Camera Roll 20130701 103441

Another great feature is when you have to click through a blog post in order to read more content, Feedly actually has a little clean up button (which functions like the Clearly Chrome extension for Evernote) so you can focus on the content without all the distractions.

Before cleaning up the content

Before cleaning up the content

After cleaning up the content

After cleaning up the content

My biggest issue with it is the lack of being able to search through old posts – a feature which I loved about Google Reader. There was also a period of time where I had to keep connecting my Google account, which is annoying when you have two-step authentication turned on. It no longer does it as frequently but every update seems to require logging in again. Still, when both of my mobile devies are up to speed it means I can view Feedly on my iPad and switchover to my phone seamlessly.

Feedly for the iPhone

Feedly for the iPhone

The iPhone version of Feedly is a natural extension of the app, using the same touch gestures to browse. I really enjoy using long swipes to mark several articles read at once. I also love that you can “undo” marking the articles as read. Sometimes I’ll mark a majority of articles as read and “undo” the gesture on just the headlines that keep my attention. And despite the smaller screen size, the articles are still easy to read and navigate.

Feedly for Desktop

Feedly for Desktop

The desktop version is my least favorite version of Feedly. It comes with a little Feedly icon on the bottom right of your browser so you can easily add new sites, a feature which I actually turned off in frustration because it was interfering with web development. On top of that, the mobile versions of Feedly don’t offer an easy way to add new feeds: you have to paste the feed URL into a search bar, which doesn’t seem intuitive to me. If I were the type to regularly add sites to my reader, this would be a huge issue for me, but I try to be very selective of which sites follow, so I only rarely find myself encountering this annoyance.

Overall, I like Feedly a lot. It’s not Google Reader, but I’m okay with that. I like having a visually pleasing app to browse through my news every morning. It makes me feel fancy. I might not be such a big fan of it if I had to exclusively use the desktop version, but I think it’s a great solution for those with mobile/tablet devices. Even better, IFTTT just announced Feedly support, so I’m incredibly stoked to conjure up some recipes to share with you soon. Stay tuned!

P.S. If you still haven’t found the right RSS reader for you and are afraid of missing future Shop Talk material (reviews, advice, tips, etc), fear not! I can let you know whenever I have a new article by emailing you directly.


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