Those of you who've ben lamenting the GoodNews reader, especially its tight integration with podcasts, now have a new alternative to consider. The developer of the aforesaid app has finally published a replacement that doesn't depend on Google Reader, and the wait has not been for naught: uPod crams in just about every feature a podcast fan could want. A free trial version of uPod and a $4.49 license are now available in the Play Store.
We're slap bang in the middle of CES at the moment, but if you're full up on wearables and Android-powered ovens, take a break and check out the best apps of 2013's final month. Below in no particular order you'll find our favorite new apps that debuted during the holiday season. There were a ton of significant app updates, of course, but these are the best new entries from December, along with a few honorable mentions.
Feedly has become the new darling of the RSS world after Google threw itself out of the market last year, but there are still plenty of users (including yours truly) who aren't crazy about the Feedly app itself. Hopefully the changes shown off in the newest beta release will change that. You can check out the beta via the usual Google+ community method: join this community on Google+, then head to this page in the Play Store.
Press is an RSS reader for people who take their feeds seriously. There are no gimmicks here, no over-the-top visual elements, and there's no free version to speak of. If you want this app, you're going to have to pay $2.99 for it, and that's okay, because it's good. Version 1.5 is now available, and it brings in a selection of features that round out your reading experience. For starters, there's support for KitKat's new immersive mode.
Feedly began as a free service, but once the company really started to ramp up its efforts to create the next Google Reader, they introduced a monthly fee to go with it. Users can subscribe to use Feedly for $5 a month, or they can get it for a discounted price of $45 a year. When the company first rolled out this plan, they gave away $99 lifetime subscriptions to the first 5,000 people who claimed them.
Feedly doesn't want to go the way of Google Reader, so it is now rolling out a monthly subscription model to everyone in hopes of keeping the lights on. We've known about this for a while now, as the company offered 5,000 lifetime subscriptions for $99 earlier this month. They promptly sold out, providing them with $500,000 of cash to help get things off the ground. Early backers, and those who choose to subscribe now, get access to the first batch of pro features, such as the ability to search through articles and quick one-click integration with both Evernote and Pocket.
If you're still in the market for a Google Reader alternative that's simple, clean, and well integrated with Android's UI, take a moment to check out Press. This straightforward, perhaps traditional, RSS reader received an update today that gave the already attractive app a touch-up, a redesigned Settings screen, a handful of new features, and a slew of general bug fixes and improvements.
Press, which already syncs with Feedly, Feed Wrangler, and Feedbin, has gained support for Fever, a service which helps readers pick what feeds to focus on by displaying which stories are "hot." The app has long supported offline reading, but now images are cached offline as well.
Perhaps Google Reader's largest advantage wasn't its features, usability, or ubiquity - it was Google's massive resources. The Old Reader was one of many alternatives that readers fled to in advance of Reader's imminent collapse, and its users swelled by over 1000 percent in just a week. Now, after having swelled from 10 thousand users to over 400 thousand, the developers are saying that enough is enough. They currently plan to re-launch The Old Reader as a private service and only invite back those who joined before the flood, but they're still open to alternatives that would ensure continued public access.
The old maxim "change or die" would seem to apply to apps and services left in the wake of Google Reader's upcoming shutdown. Popular RSS client GoodNews is exiting the Play Store, stage right, once Google Reader shuffles off the mortal coil on July 1st. The developer updated the Play Store description and the app's website with the news. Since Google Reader will not be functioning at all, this isn't your normal end-of-life app situation - development will cease, the GoodNews listing will disappear, the fat lady will sing.
In case you hadn't heard, Google Reader will be mercilessly and permanently shut down in just over two weeks. It's kind of a big deal. Not just because of the millions of readers who actively use it, but because of the services that rely on Reader as a backend for their own platforms. Press, a popular reader launched on Android with some fanfare back in December, is now preparing for the Readerpocalypse.