A few months ago, I got all crazy and wrote that Digg Reader was better than Feedly. Well, I still stand by (most of) what I wrote — but not everything.
As an aside, the main Digg site — the article generator and curator — is excellent and getting better and better. The editors at Digg choose content wisely. And Digg made a great decision to leave most of its videos on a new separate page. (I like videos, sure, but I came here to read.) Even better is how Digg integrates its reader into the entire experience. The thinking is sophisticated and elegant.
As for Digg Reader, I still think the web experience is cleaner and more beautiful than what Feedly offers. When I’m on Digg Reader, peaceful is the adjective that comes to mind. (Feedly gets the adjective cluttered.)
Unfortunately for Digg Reader, I spend a lot of time reading on the go, which means on my phone. This is where Feedly’s mobile app (at least for Android) is far superior. Like, a lot. Here’s why:
1. When you open up Digg Reader on your phone, you get Digg’s curated articles, not your own. You have to go to a separate screen to get your items. Feedly gives you your articles.
2. When you scroll through articles that you don’t want to read, Digg Reader does not count them as read (either by default or by choice). Feedly does.
3. It’s much harder to scroll through articles on Digg Reader than it is on Feedly. In Feedly, I see several headlines at a time, and when I scroll, an entire new page of items comes up. It’s very snappy. That’s not the case for Digg Reader.
What does this mean for me? As much as I love Digg Reader, I can’t call it my 100% Google Reader replacement. (It’s so funny, by the way, that people were predicting the Google Reader Apocalypse last summer. Things turned out fine, though maybe RSS is dying.) Most of the time, I’m using Digg Reader on my computer and Feedly on my phone. It’s not an elegant solution, but it’s working out so far.
In the meantime, I’ve sent a few emails and tweets to Digg Reader asking them whether they plan on letting users choose a scroll-as-read feature. I haven’t heard back. In this age of excellent customer service, this isn’t the most welcoming news. Despite their imperfections, however, I still find myself using Digg and Digg Reader all the time, hoping for the little improvements that will make things perfect.