AOL Reader beta goes live as a competent Google Reader replacement with promises of future mobile apps


Another Google Reader replacement has stepped into the ring with today’s announcement that, out of nowhere, AOL Reader is live for users in an early but usable beta.

The web-only interface is responsive, so mobile devices can use the service, but the company has promised mobile apps for iOS and Android for the service in the near future. Upon first glance, AOL’s idea of the future of RSS is not so much a re-imagining of an old idea as a revisiting of what made Google Reader so effective in its day.

To import your Google Reader feeds, one must first export them from the outgoing service using Takeout and use the generate .xml file to upload them to AOL Reader. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it’s not quiet as seamless as Feedly’s take.

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The mobile web interface, built using HTML5, is very responsive, designed with an apt simplicity that will likely translate well into its eventual native state on mobile. At the moment, though, users of iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10 and other WebKit-based mobile browsers can take advantage of it just fine.

Now that Feedly is firmly entrenched as the Google Reader alternative to beat, it will be interesting to see what upstarts like Digg, AOL and even Facebook can do with a well-worn idea. I wonder if Google still thinks it made the right decision shutting down its own RSS service.

Source: AOL Reader