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Lifestyle // Click Chick
Alison Young

Google Reader Substitute Options

As you already may have heard, Google Reader will shut down July 1, which has angered many loyal users, including myself. On a mission to find alternatives, here are a few suggestions for your Google Reader replacement:

* NewsBlur has a well-built interface that is similar to Google Reader but with some useful items that make reading a little easier on the eyes. You can toggle the original view and display articles the way they show up on their respective sites, read them the way they’re presented in their RSS feeds, or view them text-only to get rid of the images and the page fluff. There also is an iPhone, iPad and Android app that makes it extremely easy to view on the go. Although the service is free (up to 10 stories at a time), you can become a premium user for $24 per year to subscribe to as many sites as you wish.

* Feedly is a different take on RSS feed aggregation and takes the form of a browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome and Safari, in addition to an iOS and Android app. Feedly takes your feeds and turns them into a magazine-like view. You easily can share and integrate with social networks. Unfortunately, at the moment it uses Google Reader as its backend, and I’m not sure if it still will work when the shutdown happens.

* The Old Reader may still be in beta, but it’s self-described as the ultimate social RSS reader and just like the old Google Reader, but better. It was built to be the Google Reader replacement. As it stands now, you can log in via Google or Facebook and import your feeds from Google Reader or any other service via OPML (a file type that is widely used to distribute lists of RSS/news-feeds).

Also, with Google on my mind, the company decided to dust off its old Notebook service and re-launch it as Google Keep. It’s a free service that runs on the Web or an app on your Android phone. It’s by no means a fresh idea, but it’s basically an imitation of Evernote, the popular free app for the iPhone/iPad, Mac, Android, Windows or BlackBerry. Life is full of things you want to remember and brainstorm on, so it’s a perfect way to spit out your inner thoughts. Too bad there’s no Google Keep app for iOS, but at least on your Android device (4.2 and later) it appears on your lock screen, so you can run it without even unlocking it.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Thesaurus Rex

Last week Dictionary.com announced its release of Thesaurus Rex, available for your iPhone or iPad. Of course, you can access a free thesaurus. What makes this special is the fact that it’s a full thesaurus that works offline. Being capable of functioning entirely offline makes this a perfect companion when you’re on the go.

In addition, instead of searching for synonyms in the traditional manner, you can sort words by relevance, complexity and length, making it much easier to find the “perfect word.” Thesaurus Rex gives you the most up-to-date collection of synonyms and antonyms at your fingertips, and also includes searches by length, favorites, examples and tips, word origin and history, rhymes and syllables. Cost is $3 from the iTunes Store, but well worth it for what you can do offline.

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