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Tech fans the world over are mourning Google's decision to bury Reader this summer, and there are no shortage of contenders rising to take its place -- including Zite, who claims to have rebuilt Reader's core functionality in only six hours.
Zite announced last week that it had successfully managed to create a replacement for Google Reader "from start to finish, in six hours." Needless to say, the service is dependent upon the company's own app, but it holds promise that Google Reader may have a proper replacement when the search giant pulls the plug on July 1, 2013.
"We at Zite were sad to hear about Google Reader’s impending demise," the company explains in a blog post. "Google Reader and Zite have always been complementary products: GR providing news from sources you’ve subscribed to manually and Zite giving you news algorithmically-targeted from the whole web."
Created in only six hours, the basic feed reading capabilities rely heavily on Zite's backend, which was already compatible with Google Reader as a source for the company's "personalization algorithms" that are used for discovering what type of articles to serve up to readers.
As cool as the implementation may be, there are a number of limitations -- for example, the Google Reader section only appears after restarting the app, and not every RSS feed is currently indexed by Zite. There's also no way to edit feeds, no folder support and no ongoing sync with Google Reader -- not that it's going to matter soon anyway.
"We know there’s a lot more to do to improve this functionality within Zite, but we’re excited that we’ve been able to build something so quickly for disgruntled Google Reader users and look forward to adding more features," the developer concludes.
Check it out by downloading the free Zite app and linking your Google Reader account to it from either the initial setup or the Explore section.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter