Digg’s Google Reader alternative is on its way

When Google announced earlier this year that it was going to retire Google Reader , the July 1 deadline it set seemed like a long way away. But with June more than halfway over, the time to find your preferred alternative is nigh.

One of the most anticipated options to step into Google’s place when the company announced its intention to send Reader to its tech graveyard, a reader from Digg, is nearly ready for primetime. In a blog post Monday, Digg said that its five-person news reader team would launch its product for public use on June 26, less than a week before Reader goes offline.

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When Digg announced that it would be developing a news reader, it asked for public input on what kinds of features users would like to see in a Google Reader replacement.

In Monday’s post, the company made a point of saying that it had been listening closely to what potential users have told Digg they want from the service.

“Here’s what we heard from them,” the company said in the post. “Make it fast. Keep it simple. Let me import my feeds and folders from Google Reader.”

The post lays out pretty clearly what features users can expect on day one, such as an Android app, integration with some third-party note-taking services such as Evernote, and tools to let users sort, filter and rank their feeds.

It also lays out what won’t be available then , namely search and notifications. While Digg is planning to make the service into a “freemium” product (essentially, one that charges only for more advanced services), the company said it had no plans to move the features in the launch program and other basic features behind a paywall.

“We’ll be spending the summer and fall building out a richer feature set, drawing heavily on users’ feedback, ideas, and requests,” the post said. “But first, we want to get the basics right, starting with a clean and uncluttered design and a powerful backend infrastructure than can operate well at scale.”

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