I am a huge fan of Flipboard. Normally, when I think of RSS readers, I think of a chaotic swarm of information. Flipboard simplifies what’s current on the Internet into a visually-pleasing set of squares based on categories. The issue that I have with it, though, is that it’s a little limited on some of the features that I have come to appreciate in Google Reader. Since Google Reader is being discontinued, I thought that I would see what all of the buzz about Feedly was.
Here are my thoughts after spending a few days with Feedly. I do the vast majority of my Internet reading on my phone, so that’s the context of the comments.
Flipboard allows you to add RSS (and Twitter and…) feeds, which is great. The limitation, though, is that Flipboard only gives you four screens (six feeds (in beautiful big boxes) per screen) of information. There are preset categories like News or Technology that you can use, but those (to the best of my knowledge) are not customizable. You can add more feeds, but they hang out off in the wilderness a few clicks away. For scrolling through news quickly, those feeds will be missed.
Feedly is more customizable as long as you use the Google Chrome or Firefox plug-in on a computer to get it started (which was kinda annoying since, like I said, I run most of this off of my phone). In the plug-in you can create as many categories as you want and sort the information based on the number of articles to read and how many times you like to read from certain categories. You can even get categories to show you bar graphs for buttons as to which ones contain more unread information.
Both Feedly and Flipboard display graphics from feeds in a nice manner. Both have widgets that display on your device’s home screen. Feedly’s main negative, though, is that it lags a bit more than Flipboard. Jon Virtes from Flipboard says that the speed of the app is the reason why they probably won’t add more pages to Flipboard.
The final verdict? If you’re just going to read a few general categories like Business or Politics, go with Flipboard. If you want to separate feeds into umbrella categories like Teaching Ideas, School Leadership, and Typography, go with Feedly.