Digg Reader steps up to replace Google Reader [Review]

Digg is back in the wake of Google Reader’s closure. Under new management, the all-new Digg stepped up to be one of the services to replace the much used RSS service provided by Google. Since Digg’s redesign,  it’s already had an app on iOS, but it has now been updated to import your feeds from Google Reader, where you can read and digg stories from all of your feeds.
Before reading, you might also want to check out our top six Google Reader alternatives.


The Digg Reader app looks just like its predecessor. That is clean black on white design with a list of content sources revealed on the left of the screen with a horizontal swipe.

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When you get the update to your app, which you should have by the time you read this, you’ll find that Google Reader has been added to the content list. Tapping on the Reader entry takes you to a login page where you sign into Google and give permission for the app to manage your feeds.

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Once imported, all of your feeds, folders and starred items are there for you. Starred items are stored under “Saved” which is Digg’s name for reading things later.

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Navigation of the app is intuitive. Getting to the content list on the left works just the same, it’s a swipe. Also, taps serve to open and close your folders. When in a feed list, swiping in the opposite direction opens up options for the feed entry you were swiping across. Those options are: digg, save, share, and ‘read later’. In the latter case, you’ll see the icon of whichever reading service you signed up for in the app’s options.

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One thing you can’t do and I’ve had the same complaint with Feedly, is change your folder content. It isn’t possible to move a feed from one folder to another. This is particularly irksome given that when you add new feeds from Digg’s content directory, they appear unfiled, just cluttering up the list.

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Presumably, you can deal with folder contents on the website for Digg Reader. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test this. Even though the Digg app lets me sign up with my Google account, the Digg Reader website still thinks it needs to send me an email invitation to use it. Even more disappointing, even though I can sign into Digg with my Facebook or Twitter account, and I’ve linked those accounts to my Digg app on the iPhone Digg hasn’t worked out that I’m the same person on mobile as I am on the desktop. Oh well.

Update: When the email invite finally arrived, the desktop web version reflected the content of the iPhone app, and feeds could be dragged and dropped between folders.

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The app itself is well put together and does its job reasonably well. The fundamental sticking point with it is that it’s not clear where Digg fits into the social content sharing ecosystem anymore. In many ways, Reddit has taken over the social aspect that Digg used to have (and now lacks), and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ have all stepped up to become sharing channels.

Does the world actually need Digg anymore? Especially with all of the other Google Reader alternatives?

If you do, follow this link to get Digg from iTunes.