Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Feeddler 2.0

Google will shut down Reader on July 1st.

It simply means that if I cannot find a service to replace Google Reader, Feeddler will be useless. In fact, all RSS reader apps on any platform will be obsolete if they rely on Google Reader. In the past few days, some have stood up and claimed that they already have or are developing Google Reader replacement and will open API for third party developers. I hope they will be as good as they advertised and I can just change API domain and keep Feeddler working after July 1st. Sounds easy? Probably not. I have tried and investigated a few of them. They were either very slow or API is half-baked. Simply put, there is no good solution so far. I do not want to take risk and believe that someone will offer a good solution soon. I hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Feed aggregation and management is not rocket science. However it is difficult to achieve high performance at Google's scale, which requires intensive computation resources. Google will stop picking up the tab for a great service we all love. Someone has to pay for a high-quality service but most users are not ready to pay. So here is the plan for Feeddler 2.0 without Google Reader. I will first implement a cheap syncing solution that can be offered for free without browser support. A high-performance solution will be developed later with browser support for monthly subscription fees. The subscription fee might start with $1/month for up to 50 feeds.

Feeddler will be fine without Google Reader. If many users like the new Feeddler, a Mac and an Android app might come soon!