Yeah, I didn't believe it either when I first read it, but Google Reader is riding into the sunset on July 1st. Google is abandoning the service to focus on other projects and technologies (all hands on deck for Google Glass?). Since Google Reader has millions of users - you might be reading this post from it - the impact and groan will undoubtedly be heard across the interwebs. Get ahead of the curve by trying out these RSS reader alternatives before the sun sets.
I used Google Reader because it was the best RSS reader out there. Why? Because it was simple, minimal, and gave me my favorite content reliably and with appealing fonts. There are two popular apps out there (Reeder and Caffeinated) that also have beautiful, and clean design. But guess what? They happen to be Google Reader clients (i.e. you need a Google Reader account to use them and they use a Google Reader API to synchronize data with your Google Reader). What happens when Google Reader goes away? It'd be wise to not put your money down on these apps until some announcement is made that they will work independently of Google Reader.The Old Reader (currently in beta). It's free to use when you make an account and actually looks and feels a lot like Google Reader — even the same shortcut keys ("J" and "K") to scroll through content work! The Old Reader is my top recommendation for a Google Reader alternative.
One reader client that already has made an announcement that it will function when Google Reader sunsets is Feedly. Feedly offers a visually Flipboard-like presentation of RSS feeds, Tumblr, and YouTube content.NetNewsWire. This reader works independently from Google Reader, yet presents news in configurable two or three column layouts.
Another take on RSS feeds is the popular Pulse app -- which is also available as a web client for any platform. Your favorites sites are presented here uniquely (which is what RSS apps had to do to differentiate themselves from Google Reader) in large tiles and in a layout not too dissimilar from a Pinterest board.
What are you going to do when Google Reader goes away?(Images: 1. Shutterstock 2-5. as linked above)