Feedly, the free RSS service that has been the safe harbor for millions of Internet refugees fleeing the soon-to-be-defunct Google Reader, announced Monday that several popular RSS apps will access its API free of charge.
The move will let users view, read and manage Feedly's news feed from five different desktop or mobile applications, including gReader (for Android; free or $4.99 for Pro version), Newsify (iOS; free), Nextgen Reader (Windows Phone, Windows 8; $1.99-$2.99), Reeder (OS X, iOS; free for OS X, $2.99 for iOS ) and Press (Android; $2.99).
In early March, Google announced it was axing Google Reader as part of housecleaning that killed several other projects as well. The search giant cited declining use of Reader for the decision to retire the RSS service and Google's feed on July 1, 2013.
As millions scrambled for alternatives, Feedly was the first to pledge it would keep users connected by moving them to a homegrown clone of the Google Reader API (application programming interface), code named "Normandy," before Google's service went dark.
In a blog post Monday, Feedly acknowledged that "June is going to be another crazy month," but noted that it is on track to handle the switch from Google Reader and its API, having added more server capacity and revised its apps for iOS and Android, as well as its browser-based interface.
The Palo Alto, Calif. company also laid out a roadmap of future improvements and additions, promising to boost Feedly's speed, develop Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps of its own -- it currently offers free iOS and Android apps -- and improve group sharing.
The five app partners announced Monday are just the first wave, Feedly said, promising more details of others in the future.
Feedly has also said it plans to offer a paid option later this year, but the company has not disclosed pricing, a feature set or even a timetable for the premium service.
Other RSS services that flew under the radar before Google's decision to pull the plug, including the oft-recommended NewsBlur, have also added users, updated their software or begun charging users. Newsblur, for example, handled the flood by temporarily barring new registrations for free access -- that has been restored -- instead asking them to pony up $24 annually to keep the service going.
Feedly also provides browser-specific plug-ins for Chrome, Firefox and Safari on the desktop, which can be downloaded from its website.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.