Set up Google Reader RSS Subscriptions

Some iOS apps, like Mr. Reader and Reeder, depend on the users having set up their Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Here’s how to do that.

This howto assumes that you have at least a gmail e-mail address. If you don’t have a gmail account, that’s easy to set up. In step #1 below, instead of signing in, create your account. The “create a new account” link is circled in red.

1. Go to the Google Accounts page. Here’s where you can also create a Google account for the first time. Otherwise, login with your Google credentials.


2. After you log in, you’ll see a page like this:


Google Accounts

Near the bottom right, click on “Reader,” in bold. Later, you can come back and adjust your Reader “Settings.” After you click on Reader, you’ll see a page similar to this, without any RSS subscriptions in place.


Empty Subscription page

3. In the upper left, indicated with the red ellipse, you’ll see a button that allows you to add a subscription. Click it, and a search field will open. For example, enter the term “All Things Digital” (without the quotes). A list will be displayed, ranked by the number of subscriptions.


Feeds matching “All Things Digital”

The first one, with the largest number of subscriptions, is usually the one you want. Click the underline link, and the feed will be added to your list on the bottom left. Continue with as many feeds as you’d like. The keyword won’t be hard if you’re familiar with the site, for example, “Mac Observer” or “TUAW.” Here’s what my current page looks like.


Populated subscription page

That’s all there is to it for starters. As you get more experienced, you may want to tinker with managing your subscriptions (link in extreme bottom left), or the Settings mentioned above.

Now you can download an app like Reeder or Mr. Reader for your iOS device. When you log in with the app, it will connect to these feeds and display them in the style the app has chosen. See, for example, the recent review of Mr. Reader.

Here’s an additional tip.  If you have trouble seeing some of these graphics, on a Mac, hold down the CTRL key while you turn your mouse’s scroll wheel forward.  You’ll see a much enlarged screen.  Questions? Ask me in the comments.