With Google Reader going soon, people have been looking for a replacement RSS Reader. Fortunately for me I decided look for an alternative a few weeks ago when I wanted to go Google free. I looked at a number of different options for an alternative RSS reader at the time, but Feedbin really stood out for me.
It's a paid product. Not free. That's important for me because I want to use the product in the long term. Supporting this product by paying money to use it is just common sense. Free products can come and go but investing your money in a product provides some sense of insurance that it will be around longer. This is by no means a guarantee that Feedbin will be around forever. An annual Feedbin subscription is just $20 per year.
As an RSS reader, Feedbin does everything you expect a reader to do. You can subscribe to feeds using the textbox at the top of the screen. Underneath this are three panes. The far left is your list of feeds or folders of feeds if you like to be organised.
The next pane is the items in that RSS feed or folder. You can navigate these easily with the mouse or with keyboard shortcuts.
Finally the far right pane is the current item you are viewing or the reading pane.
Keyboard shortcuts can be used to move about between feeds, folders and items. From what I remember most of the shortcuts are similar to Google Reader so those migrating from Google Reader should be able to pick up the new shortcuts quite fast. As an ex-Reader user, I find it easy to navigate about Feedbin.
Feedbin also has support for sharing to an extensive range of services. You can share items to many services like Instapaper, Pocket and Evernote. This is done through the use of URLs that many services provide. Feedbin provides tokens that can be used within these URLs so that you can include the entry title, url and feed name within the URL to the service you wish to share to. I love this feature as it simple to customize what you're sharing. Some people may not like that it's not truly integrated with other services and instead relies on just URLs to share to other services, but given the number of services Feedbin can share to, I can wait for better integration.
Finally there's iOS support. The Reeder app is the best way to view your Feedbin feeds on your iPhone. Unfortunately at the moment there is no Reeder support for Feedbin on the iPad or OSX, however Reeder development will resume at the start of July and hopefully we'll see more Reeder support coming.
It's an interesting time for RSS readers. Many people are turning to Feedly as a replacement for Google Reader, but I just didn't like the Feedly interface or the it's iOS applications. In the time that I have used Feedbin I've had no reason to complain about the service. Aside from the unread counts being a little out on some feeds Feedbin really is a great little RSS reader. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Feedbin.
Update: Shortly after this review was written, Feedbin was moved to much faster servers. Performance of Feedbin on the previous hardware wasn't much of an issue for me but I did read about others complaining of speed and response time. On the new setup though Feedbin is definitely faster than it was previously.
Thursday June 27, 2013