Just in time for the 1 July shutdown of Google Reader, news aggregator Digg will next week begin rolling out the first version of its own RSS reader.
Digg Reader will launch in phases, though everyone should have access to the web and mobile reading experience by 26 June.
When Google Reader got the pink slip in March, Digg swooped in with a self-imposed 109-day deadline for its own modernised version of the dead-man-walking reader.
"We've heard people say that RSS is a thing of the past, and perhaps in its current incarnation it is, but as daily (hourly) users of Google Reader, we're convinced that it's a product worth saving," Digg's Andrew McLaughlin wrote in the spring.
A five-person engineering team has been working heads-down for three months, and now Digg is finally ready to reveal an early version of its project. Since the developers found themselves running a sprint instead of a marathon, the company decided to focus on one type of user: the power user who depends on the availability, stability, and speed of the soon-extinct Google Reader.
With that in mind, the beta release of Digg Reader includes easy migration from Google, useful mobile apps that sync with the web experience, support for key actions like subscribing, sharing, saving, and organising, and a clean reading experience "that gets out of the way and puts the focus squarely on the articles, posts, images, and videos themselves," Digg said.
But if you're not 100 per cent satisfied with the new product, don't send it back just yet. Within 60 days of its launch, Digg promises an Android app, more speed, integration with additional third-party services (Buffer, Evernote, IFTTT), and better tools to organise feeds.
All features launched next week, as well as many yet to come, will be available at no cost; there are no details of future in-app purchases.
"While you're at the beach and doing foliage cruises (or whatever people do in October), we'll be spending the summer and fall building out a richer feature set, drawing heavily on users' feedback, ideas, and requests," the Digg team wrote in a blog post.
Digg isn't the only one aiming to capitalise on the impending Google Reader shutdown, though. Feedly has quietly been working to integrate with third-party clients Reeder, Press, Nextgen Reader, Newsify, and gReader. It has now announced that it has almost finished the migration from the Reader back end to the new Feedly cloud.
In preparation for the final move, Feedly is reminding all users that they should be running version 16 on all devices. It should soon receive a pop-up notification that all feeds and categories and up to 1,000 starred items have been successfully migrated to the Feedly cloud.
The random rolling update should reach all existing users by 21 June.