Saturday 22 June 2013

AOL Reader breaks cover just ahead of Google Reader’s end

AOL is all set to fill in the gap left by the much-loved Google Reader, which will go offline on July 1. AOL Reader is currently in private beta as mentioned on, but will launch for all users on June 24. In terms of functionality, it is very similar to Google Reader and has a sparse, minimal UI.

AOL teased the forthcoming service on Twitter along with a Vine video (embedded below). Another webpage gives us some details of the features of AOL Reader. Curiously, the main image shows four Apple products displaying a mockup of the AOL Reader app, which could mean the service will first launch for Mac and iOS.

Users can view their RSS feeds in customisable layouts. Subscriptions can be seen as a simple list of headlines, a visual card-based grid, an infinitely-scrolling list or in email format. Users will also be able to mark or "star" their favourite articles to keep them handy and all starred items can be accessed in one place. You can also tag articles from different sources and keep them filed for later perusal. Users can sign-in with their AOL, Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts to access the beta.

The new service will also enable migration from other RSS readers. Subscriptions can be uploaded in standard OPML format, although we are not sure if this means all your previous flags and offline reading material will also get synced. AOL is also releasing a Reader API that allows developers to make their own applications for the web, desktop and mobile, and use AOL Reader’s features in them.

We can also see that more features will be coming to the new Reader, including native iOS and Android apps, exporting feeds, sharing with other users, integration with additional third-party services, search and notifications.

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