I must confess, I was actually glad when I read the news that Google Reader was going to pass away. I realized that we would begin to see innovation in this field once again. A few weeks after coming to terms with Reader’s death, we are starting to see good alternatives. My choice was made on Feedbin.
Feedbin is a fast, simple RSS reader with its own API. What this means is that any app that was offering RSS through Google’s API can change and integrate Feedbin’s into it. Something that Reeder, perhaps the best RSS reading experience, has already committed to doing.
Feedbin is a paid service and I for one applaud this decision. For $2 a month or $20 a year, you can use Feedbin’s service and support the development of the service.
Where Feedbin shines is in its simplicity. No flash, no bang, just your feeds. There’s an always existing subscribe field on the top left corner. Whenever you want to subscribe to a blog or website’s content, you just paste the feed url there and Subscribe easily. Feedbin will even give you a choice of feeds if a website offers more than one.
Your feeds are also private. Unlike Google, the service doesn’t track your articles, your habits and does not build a database of you and the kind of content you consume. You’ll never see flashy ads or stuff that gets in your way. It’s just you, and your articles. What’s not to like about that?
Feedbin runs on HTML5 and it’s fast! Page renders quick and your articles come up quickly. The window is split up into three parts. The first panel includes your subscription and your tags (more on this below). The second panel includes all of the articles for the selected subscription from newer to oldest. The last panel, includes the actual article for reading. Here you can mark as unread, star or view the original content of an entry inline. This is a great feature for link blog style feeds that link to other articles. You simply click on the ragged right text icon next to the star in an entry and the text appears quickly and easily.
You can use tags and organize your feeds with Feedbin. If you imported your feeds from Google Reader, this should be automatic. But if you want to add new tags to a feed, simply select the feed and click on the tag icon. This will open up a small field for you to begin typing your tag. The field self-generates if you want to add feed to an already existing tag. The way I view my feeds, I simply select my tag (technology) and then read all of the articles on that tag.
Feedbin is still young, and though it’s already my favorite of the RSS options available today, there are some missing features. Lack of deeper social sharing is one of the most obvious. However, the developer is working on integrating more features such as better feed and tag management, hierarchical tags, sharing and a few other “surprises”. I can’t wait!
Though no native RSS reader app supports Feedbin as of yet, Reeder is already working on using it’s API and will make it available during the next update. For now, you can use Feedbin on your smartphone and though it’s a bit smaller, it works just as good as it does on any other browser.
It’s clear I have already made Feedbin my RSS reader of choice. With its hamburger logo, fast and beautiful HTML performance and a simplicity that makes reading a great joy, my search for an RSS reader is officially complete!