The most recent firm to try to bring back Google Reader from the dead is called Substack. At least in principle, they are successful. Substack Reader for the web is a desktop RSS client alternative that was released by Substack over a decade after Google’s popular RSS feed aggregation was taken offline.
Now, consumers may consolidate all of their Substack subscriptions onto a single homepage, which they can access and browse using their desktop computer or portable electronic device. The application also connects with RSS feeds from various parties, allowing users to read posts that have been published by other publications.
Even though the new desktop client is designed with old users of Google Reader in mind—for example, by including familiar keyboard shortcuts—it also features additional customization options like a dark mode.
The posts in one user’s inbox that have generated the most subscribers are given higher priority by Substack. Users can click on these posts to open them in a new window and read them there, for instance. Additionally, users can “like” or save individual posts directly from within the feed itself.
Users are able to browse the same web reader feeds from their smartphones because all of the content is synchronized to the iOS mobile app for Substack, which was introduced earlier this year. Similar mobile software for Android is also being developed by Substack, which is still in the process of doing so.
Android users may use this as a substitute in the meantime given how plainly built the new web app is for mobile (and how similar it is to the app that is available for iOS), which may have been purposeful given how similar it is to the app that is available for iOS.
Admittedly, the new RSS feed is not all that different from other ones that popped up after Google Reader shut down, either. Neither is it as feature-rich as competitors like Feedly, which provide conveniences like integration with Evernote. Nevertheless, it does provide capabilities that heavy users of Substack would find to their advantage.
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For instance, the web app offered by Substack enables readers to investigate more emails based on the topics that most interest them. In addition to this, readers who subscribe to writers receive recommendations from those writers.
However, despite the fact that Substack is obviously exploiting the feed to promote its own material, the company avoids using adverts that are more irritating, such as pop-ups.
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In a blog post, Substack stated, “We’re focused on developing distraction-free locations for you to engage with the writers, readers, podcasters, and videomakers you love.” There are no pop-up windows, videos that start playing automatically, or other distracting gimmicks in the new Reader. You’re in control.”