My favorite news/rss reader, NewsAlloy, is undergoing a pretty major update. It’s supposed to be back up sometime tomorrow, if not sooner.
The developer (lordtime) is changing all the MySQL tables over to InnoDB from MyISAM. He’s pretty confident it will result in a decent performance boost. I haven’t had any problems with the speed or performance of NewsAlloy since I started using it.
He also mentions in that post that we can expect a few pleasant surprises after this MySQL update is out of the way. I really love NewsAlloy.
News Alloy and Feedlounge are both AJAX based feed readers. News Alloy is free, Feedlounge is $5/month. I purchased a year subscription to Feedlounge about a month ago.
Now, I’ve tried using Feedlounge a bunch. Sometimes it works fine, other times it won’t work at all. A couple weeks back, I was unable to even login to my Feedlounge account. Feedlounge recently made a new release, a release containing the most significant changes since their initial public release. That release was supposed to improve speed, I witnessed the exact opposite, a drastic slowdown. The Feedlounge team made a few improvements to performance. I still find it to be much slower than News Alloy.
Now, I’ve got no complaints with News Alloy at all. It’s free, it’s quick, and it’s pretty. It’s extremely easy to use, I much prefer the News Alloy UI to that of Feedlounge. News Alloy is so much more responsive too. I love the way it handles groups and categories for feeds. Feedlounge uses tags for group and category names, it was somewhat difficult to keep my feeds organized. For example, I would add a new feed and tag it “Politics”. Instead of showing up under the Politics tag it wouldn’t show up with any tag.
If you’ve used Gmail, you should feel right at home with News Alloy. It’s got some UI similiarities to Gmail that make it so much more usable. I also really enjoy the floating sidebar in News Alloy. It sports some neat plugins too.
In the most recent post at the News Alloy blog, a “no ads” feature is mentioned. I have yet to see any ads on News Alloy. Supposedly advertisements are displayed for those who haven’t donated to the project. They’re also coming out with a mobile version of News Alloy in March.
I’ve found my new full-time feed reader, News Alloy. Feedlounge looks nice but just doesn’t have the functionality I need. I won’t be renewing my subscription next year. Oh, News Alloy is still in beta and I think they’ve got a huge head-start on Feedlounge already.