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Feedly signs up half a million new users in wake of Google's Reader announcement

RSS app Feedly is swooping in to take over where Google Reader is leaving off. The Palo Alto, California-based company has signed up more than 500,000 new users in the days following Google’s announcement that it plans to cancel its own RSS feed-reading service.

Google’s decision to shut down Reader took the Internet by surprise, leading some disappointed customers to launch online petitions in a bid to convince the search giant to reconsider its 1 July 2013 retirement date for the service.

But Feedly has been tipped as one of the successors to Google Reader, earning recommendations from people in high places.

“We have been working on a project called Normandy, which is a Feedly clone of the Google Reader API - running on Google App Engine," Feedly wrote in a blog post. "When Google Reader shuts down, Feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using Feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless."

Feedly offers a much snazzier design than Google Reader, with an image-focused interface that brings a magazine-like layout to your RSS feeds. It’s compatible with Chrome, Firefox and Safari and also has Android, iOS and Kindle apps that enable syncing from mobile devices.