My Post-Google RSS Setup

Google Reader is dead, long live Google Reader.

Sorry, I had to.

Now that Reader has truly been put out to pasture, I suppose it's time to share what my new RSS setup looks like. I really liked the format of David Sparks' setup post, so I hope he doesn't mind if I copy it.

The Engine - Feed Wrangler

Just like David and Shawn, my current RSS service of choice is Feed Wrangler. I signed up for nearly every alternative under the sun during Google Reader's final months, and the three that stood out to me were Feed Wrangler, Feedbin, and Feedly.

Feedy feed, feeder feeding feedy-feed. Feed? Feed.

*Ahem* I like all three of these services, and could easily have ended up choosing any of them and been fine (especially since they've all got APIs for 3rd-party apps to hook into), but there were a handful of factors that got me leaning more toward Feed Wrangler:

  1. The 'Smart Streams' feature, which allows you to create "folders" of content based on certain parameters, such as Boolean search functions or groups of selected RSS feeds.
  2. In addition to Smart Streams, you can also set up filters to get rid of content you don't want to see. For example, I don't care at all about news regarding Zynga, so I can easily filter that crap out of my Unread list — no muss, no fuss.
  3. I'm a fan of David Smith's previous work, particularly the Check the Weather app.
  4. It's priced at only $19/year, which is affordable for me but still feels like a sustainable business model for an individual developer like David. I want my RSS service of choice to stick around for a long time.
  5. Despite some (understandable) server overload over the last week, the service has been running pretty quickly overall, which is important to me.
  6. Some of my favorite internet geeks were pimping the service, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

So while I could switch back over to something like Feedbin at any point (and yes, I'm keeping my legacy $2/mo plan over the new $3/mo they just instated over the weekend, thank you very much), for the moment I'm sticking with Feed Wrangler.

I haven't been disappointed yet.

iPad - Feed Wrangler app

I know a lot of people have been gushing over an app called Mr. Reader lately, and it does look nice, but I'm personally holding out for the eventual Reeder update. Let's be honest, it's the best RSS app around.

Unfortunately though, Reeder is currently useless until that update arrives, since it only ever supported the Google Reader API. Same goes for the Mac app.

Until the update arrives, I'll just be using the native Feed Wrangler app. It's not the prettiest app around, but it suits my needs well enough for now.

iPhone - Reeder

As of this morning's 3.2 update, Reeder for iPhone now supports Feed Wrangler at a basic level. There's still no support for Smart Streams yet, but the fact that it works at all is good enough for me.

A lot of other geeks have disagreed with me on this, but I'm cutting the developer (Silvio Rizzi) some slack because he's one guy suddenly having to implement the APIs and feature sets of nearly half-a-dozen RSS services at once, and in three different versions of his app.

I'm no developer, but I'm betting this isn't as easy a task as people seem to think.

Mac - ReadKit

As I've mentioned in the past, I don't own a Mac (yet). But if I did, I'd probably be using ReadKit. It's not only an RSS reader that supports Feed Wrangler, but it can also tie into your Instapaper queue and other services.

Items can even be moved back-and-forth between RSS and "read later" services within the app, which is really cool to me.

Web -

I use a Windows 7 PC at work, and there are no truly great RSS apps available to me. As such, I'm just using the Feed Wrangler website just as I used to do with Google Reader. It works well enough and even has keyboard shortcuts.

I honestly think the websites for Feedbin and Feedly are a bit superior to Feed Wrangler's, but the FW experience is much improved with a little help.


Feed Wrangler's own apps and website could use some polish, but that's not really the point. It works best as a background sync service for 3rd-party apps like Reeder to take advantage of.

I'm pretty happy with my current setup and look forward to it getting even better once the iPad version of Reeder updates to support Feed Wrangler.