Captured Technology

AOL Reader - A Replacement For Google's RSS Reader?

Jun 25 2013

The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009

The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AOL Reader - A Replacement For Google's RSS Reader?

It is difficult to understand why Google would end its RSS reader service, especially as dozens of copycat services have appeared to feast upon its cast-off users. AOL, perhaps better known for its virtually defunct ISP than its adoption of modern conveniences, has jumped into the fray with the AOL Reader. The product incorporates many of Google's features into a speedy pattern, making it a relatively useful alternative for those who feel lost in the new market.

The AOL Reader is not, however, without its problems. Unlike the venerable Google RSS Reader, it has very little in the way of search or sorting functions. In a marketplace that is becoming rapidly crowded with the would-be heirs to Google's RSS throne, this is simply unforgivable. The lack of these functions seems to be one of the best indications that the AOL Reader is more of a rushed, opportunistic response to the closure of Google's RSS reader than any sort of real attempt to redefine the platform, an issue which will likely leave it lagging behind its competitors.

In the end, the AOL Reader is just another would-be replacement for a far superior product. There are a handful of better alternatives out there, but there are certainly worse alternatives for those who want something with familiar branding. Like most AOL products, it is likely a product of the moment rather than a real attempt to do anything better - but until someone releases a definitive RSS reader, products like that launched by AOL will simply have to do.

Hands-on with AOL Reader Beta

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 Steve Patterson
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