Feedly hasn’t taken the Google Reader shutdown news lightly; it has promised not only a smooth transition for users relying on the service, but improvements to its core functionality.
What started as a desktop extension for consolidating and aggregating news in an attractive way, Feedly has since launched mobile apps on Android and iOS that present a halfway point between Reader’s austere, text-heavy approach and Flipboard’s magazine-style aesthetic. Whereas I still think apps like gReader and Press are better for quickly glancing at what’s new in the world, the new version of Feedly addresses many of the concerns found in the previous version, namely search and discovery, and improves the fluidity of its interface for most devices.
Let’s get the main things out of the way: the Android version sports a new widget and updated layouts for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 (and presumably other tablets of the same size). It also integrates with Google’s new YouTube API for superior in-app playback. Both versions introduce improved vertical transitions and updated layouts, including a title-only view and a new discovery engine.
Search is now a big part of Feedly, as a new icon has been added to the top right side of the list. The app encourages searching via hashtags, but you can add new content by searching for any keywords. There’s also a useful Must Read section that, like Flipboard, consolidates the most popular content in your feed in a single place.
The service has taken in over three million Google Reader converts since the announcement of its closure on July 1st. That number would never have been as high if the dissatisfaction around Reader’s untimely end wasn’t publicized so vehemently by the very organizations Feedly is promoting. It’s one of the swiftest migrations we’ve seen from one service to another, and we’re certain that once July rolls around, Feedly will be on top of the growing heap.
Feedly has also promised a Windows Phone version down the road, and we’re sure they’re looking carefully at BlackBerry 10 as well.