Feedly Welcomes 3 Million Google Reader Defectors

Feedly, benefiting from Google's plan to close its RSS Reader, just made itself friendly to more mobile platforms.

Feedly has welcomed 3 million "Reader refugees" since Google announced that it plans to shutter its RSS service this summer.

The Feedly team has been working around the clock to welcome its new users and keep its system running. The smart money says that Feedly can expect to receive a few more new guests before July, and well beyond it, and to help make them all more comfortable, the company has expanded its capabilities.

"Today we leveraged the magic of Feedly streets to release 11 flavors of Feedly across six operating systems and four screen sizes, across mobile and desktop. All syncing seamlessly through the cloud," Feedly CEO Edwin Khodabakchian announced in an April 2 blog post.

Feedly now works on 4-inch iPhones and Android 2.x and 4.x smartphones; the 7-inch iPad Mini and Android 3.x and 4.x tablets; 10-inch iPads, the Nexus 10 and the 10-inch Kindle; and 11-inch notebooks running Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Gunning hard to be the Google Reader successor, Feedly has also introduced a new feed search engine, which it says is "amazingly fast" and delivers more than 50 million feeds.

"No other news reader comes even close to offering this breadth of choice," the Feedly team wrote in a separate April 2 blog post.

Also new is a Must Reads feature to help users stay on top of updates from their most important RSS feeds.

"We have also added a pull-to-refresh gesture to the feed selection panel so that you can always easily get to the latest content available," wrote the team. "Finally, we added a new title-only view, to make scanning of headlines more efficient."

The sharing panel has also been redesigned to make sharing and saving articles easier to do, and there are now choices regarding which saving and shortcut options appear on the main toolbar.

Google announced March 13, to the surprise of millions of Reader users, that ending its Reader service was part of an ongoing spring-cleaning effort.

"While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined," Urs Holzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure and a Google Fellow, said in a blog post. "On July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months."

Additional Reader alternatives—CNET and the Denver Post are among the media outlets that have included roundups—include the glossy magazine-style Flipboard; Google Current, which is essentially Google's own version of Flipboard; The Old Reader, which is Web-only and very, very minimalist; Newsblur, a very close cousin to Google that charges $1 a month; and Netvibes, a Web-based aggregator that doesn't yet have an app but offers views in list form or a mosaic view.

Reader fans should give themselves some time to look around. Breaking up is hard to do.