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iOS & Mac how-tos

Migrating from Google Reader

The 30th of June could be your last chance to rescue your RSS feeds from Google Reader. You can either download them directly from Google, or have Feedly import them for you. Here’s how to do both.

July has arrived, almost, and that means Google Reader has just days left. If you haven’t taken steps to migrate your RSS data out of Google Reader, now’s the time.

The best solution is to download a backup of your subscriptions from Google Reader to import to whichever Reader alternative you go for. You can also simply sign in to Feedly with Google Authentication and they’ll automatically import the same info to their new cloud system.

I recommend you do both:

Download your feeds from Google Reader

Log in to Google Takeout and select Choose Services, then select Reader in the list. Click Create Archive, wait until it’s compiled, and download the file.

You can import this file into one of the new RSS sync services that’s springing up to take Reader’s place; more on those in a second.

Auto-import to Feedly

This is a quick backup plan but also serves as the easiest way to get started come June 1st. Head over to feedly.com, or on a mobile device grab their app (iOS or Android), and log in with Google Authentication.

Until July 1st this will give Feedly access to your Reader feeds as per usual, but it will also automatically sync those feeds over to Feedly’s own cloud service in the background. When Reader shuts down, you can continue to log in to Feedly with Google Auth but all your feeds will now be served by Feedly.

Feedly google reader sync

End result, you now have a copy of your feeds you can take anywhere, and a Feedly sync option already set up to use in any of the apps that currently support it.

Which RSS service and apps to use?

Three of the big syncing services are Feedly (free), Feed Wrangler or Feedbin (both paid) but the decider will likely be how you want to read your feeds because not all apps support every sync option.

Lex Friedman at Macworld has got you covered with a look at all of the RSS services and some of the best apps. One very good point he makes is that Feedly being free should be a red flag:

To me, that’s a knock against it. If Google—Google!—couldn’t figure out a way to monetize this kind of service, I’m not sure anyone can.

I’m waiting to see which of the paid options offers the best experience before I put down money, although to be honest neither are remotely ‘expensive’ for the peace of mind a paid service offers, but for now I’m running with Feedly for feed syncing.

I’ll be able to keep using Reeder on the iPhone but I’ll have to switch to something else on my iPad and my Macs as neither of those versions of Reeder supports Feedly yet. I’ve decided to try out the much-recommended Mr Reader on my iPad, and… Well, nothing on my Macs. I’ve found that since getting iOS devices that I use my Macs much more for work than for play so not even having the temptation for procrastination via feed-refreshing might be a good thing.

If you’re dependant on a Mac reading option the newly released Readkit ($4.99) supports Feed Wrangler and Feedbin, and Feedly works in your browser of choice, but there’s precious little else supporting it right now on Macs.

Not long now… Goodbye, Google Reader!

By Owen

I'm a Glasgow-born stills photographer and camera operator living and working in London, UK. As well as cameras I'm into writing, gaming, general geekery and beers by Brew Dog.

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