Like most people, when Google Reader closed in July, I gravitated toward Feedly as its replacement. Feedly had a plan to migrate Reader users over to its service, plus its phone app was beautiful. I was sold.
But then came the bad news. Feedly was often over capacity. It liked to make me sign in again. And it was sometimes slow.
So that got me trying out Digg Reader. I’m really happy with it. It’s now the reader I use and recommend. Here are some reasons why:
1. It’s faster and easier.
Signing up takes two or three clicks. Once you’re in, the interface is simple to use. There aren’t tons of features. Everything just makes sense. When you click through your list of items, there’s no lag. It’s even faster than Google Reader used to be.
2. It has a calmer look.
There is sufficient blank space. Nothing is cramped, and there aren’t random unnecessary doodads cluttering up the screen. The light blue color is pleasing to the eye. The settings are easy to change, and it’s simple to organize your feeds. Nobody wants to stress out while reading their reader items.
3. Its keyboard shortcuts are as good as Feedly’s.
You’ll want to get through your items quickly and save or share the ones you like. I’m not sure why readers aren’t investing more of their effort into developing better keyboard shortcuts. For example, both Feedly and Digg allow you to save an item by pressing “s.” But Feedly doesn’t let you email an item, whereas Digg does. On the other hand, Digg does not let you share an item, while Feedly does (to Buffer).
Unsolicited advice for Digg Reader: “f” should share to Facebook, “t” to Twitter, “g” to Google+, and so on.
4. It saves directly to Pocket.
I’m a huge Pocket user, and Digg lets you save items directly to Pocket. That’s so much more convenient than having to set up an IFTTT recipe, which I had to do with Feedly.
5. It’s connected to Digg.
Digg is making a major comeback, and the site’s content and design are top-notch. If you find something on Digg that you want to read later, all you have to do is save it, and it appears in your Digg Reader.
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So yes, I prefer Digg Reader, and I recommend it to others. But I find myself unable to get rid of Feedly entirely and currently check both Digg and Feedly. This is cumbersome and awkward, so why can’t I commit completely to Digg?
The big reason is that Digg doesn’t yet have an Android phone app, plus Feedly’s is spectacular. I mean, if you’re a phone person, there’s no reason ever to visit the Feedly website. Just stay on your phone and bask in the Feedly glory. It’s one of the best phone apps out there. (I think it has more features and is more powerful than the website.) Digg said that an Android app was coming out by the end of the July, but it’s not here yet. If it’s half as good as Feedly’s, I’ll be happy.
I’m also fascinated by Feedly’s various list views. Digg gives you two choices: list or expanded. Feedly gives you bazillions (or at least five): titles, magazine, timeline, cards, and full articles. Sometimes, when I use Digg, I get a bit jealous. But didn’t I mention that Feedly is extra slow?
Finally, at least right now, I like that you can add a feed to Feedly the old-school way, by clicking on a site’s RSS icon. This takes a few seconds to set up, but at least you can do it with Feedly. I haven’t yet figured out how with Digg.
Once Digg delivers a workable Android phone, though, I’ll be all set. But I also understand why many people prefer Feedly. Which RSS reader are you using? Do you have a favorite yet, or are you still mourning the loss of Google Reader?