In spite of die-hard users screaming and crying foul, Google quite unapologetically remains on track to shut down its popular news aggregation service dubbed Reader come July 1. But don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives to Google Reader such as the popular Mac/iOS app Reeder, the unavoidable Flipboard and many other apps.
The social news aggregator Digg is among the companies looking to exploit the opportunity. In March, Digg announced that work had begun on its own Reader replacement. Today, the firm said the app will be rolling to everyone by June 26, giving Google Reader refugees almost a full week of head start before the July 1 cut-off deadline…
According to Digg’s blog post, the staggered roll-out (because “RSS aggregation is a hard thing to do at scale”) starts next week. The first wave will bring Digg Reader to the 17,000 people who gave them feedback.
By June 26, Digg is hoping to be able to sign up anyone.
For our first public release, in time to (just) beat the shutdown of Google Reader, our aim has been to nail the basics: a web and mobile reading experience that is clean, simple, functional, and fast.
We’re also introducing a tool that allows users to elevate the most important stories to the top.
Don’t expect miracles as they’ll be adding new features “over the next few months”.
Specifically, Digg Reader 1.0 will launch on the iPhone first (in addition to the web app, of course), and will include easy Google Reader migration and “a clean reading experience” focused on the articles, posts, images and videos.
As you’d expect, your actions will seamlessly sync across the web and mobile. The 1.0 build will include basic actions, stuff like “subscribing, sharing, saving and organizing”.
Search, however, won’t be part of the launch.
Digg said that the following two months will bring an Android edition, support for popular services like Buffer, Evernote and IFTTT and new tools to sort, filter and rank your reading lists and feeds, “based on your networks, interests, likes and so on”.
Though Digg Reader will be released as a freemium product, the aforementioned features will all be part of the free experience, the company promised. Premium paid features will be introduced at a later stage.
Hopefully, the team is developing the iPhone with iOS 7 in mind. In case you’ve been wondering, the Digg Reader team is comprised of five engineers.
So when’s search coming then?
Digg wouldn’t commit itself to any specific time frame apart from mentioning that by September work will have started on search and notifications.
They better act fast because people who depend on RSS clients tend to be power users who won’t put up with lack of search and notifications for too long.