The 12 days of Google Reader: free and paid alternatives

The 12 days of Google Reader is a series of posts that explores options for RSS users post-Google Reader. Day 11 covers free and paid alternatives

Here are some free and paid options you might like to consider to replace Google Reader. There are numerous others, including some I’ve reviewed in The 12 days of Google Reader series. These are just for starters.

Free alternatives to Google Reader

These are the big three.


AOL Reader is still in beta. You can sign up here. I had to wait 24 hours before I got an invite. If you’ve downloaded your OPML file, time is on your side. There’s more on what AOL Reader is and isn’t in Announcing AOL Reader on the service’s blog.


Digg Reader came out of beta yesterday. Digg Reader is supported by first-party apps on iOS, so you can access your subscriptions anywhere. Well, almost anywhere – you know the score.


Of all the free services, Feedly was quickest out of the blocks. Initially, Feedly synced with Google Reader; that changed on 21 June when the Feedly Cloud became a thing. Keep up-to-date with the latest developments on the Feedly blog. As well as having its own first-party apps for iOS, Feedly is supported by third-party developers, including Mr. Reader on the iPad. Reeder for iPhone, currently ‘in review’ on the App Store, will include support for Feedly. It should be released some time next week.

There are numerous paid alternatives to Google Reader. The following are a sample of those that offer free trials, so you can get a taste of what you’re paying for. I plan to keep my feed subscriptions in one of the free services as a backup only. Day-to-day syncing, updating and adding to my feeds will be delegated to one of the following five services.

BazQux – review

BazQux offers a 30-day free trial. It has a pick-your-own-price-point subscription plan – $9, $19 or $29 per year. How generous are you feeling? And how keen are you to revert to the old Google Reader? Many of the new services I’ve looked at have been built in the days since March, when Google announced it would be closing Reader – not BazQux. Vladimir Shabanov’s feed-reading service turned one yesterday.

BazQux is supported by Mr. Reader on the iPad.

Bulletin – review

Atlanta-based Bulletin offers a 10-day free trial. A subscription costs $2 per month or $16 per year. Bulletin has a brilliant very usable, very readable web interface.

Bulletin’s developers plan to introduce native apps for iOS; they’re also in talks with third-party app developers.

Feedbin – review

Feedbin doesn’t advertise the fact, but when you sign up with your credit card there’s a notice that you won’t be billed if you cancel within three days. So you can get a taste of what it’s like without paying. If you forget to cancel – and you’ve signed up for the pay-monthly plan – it will only cost you $2 if you do so before the month is up. An annual subscription to Feedbin costs $20.

On Friday, Feedbin moved to faster servers, resulting in a huge leap in performance. Feedbin has found wide support among third-party app developers, including Mr. Reader on the iPad, Reeder for iPhone and ReadKit for Mac.


FeedHQ costs $12 per year, but also offers a no-credit-card-required 30-day free trial. Developer Bruno Renié opted for a barebones approach. While FeedHQ has its limitations, it also excels in performance terms – the web interface is superfast.

FeedHQ is currently supported by Mr. Reader on the iPad, and Feeddler and Slowfeeds on the iPhone.


Newsblur does free slightly differently. Instead of a time-limited trial, you can have up to 64 feeds free for the lifetime of the service. If you want more than that, an annual subscription costs $24.

Newsblur has free native apps for iOS. It’s also supported by ReadKit for Mac and Slowfeeds (iPhone and iPad).

Your move. Make it quick!