Wednesday afternoon, Google announced plans to shut down Google Reader, citing declining usage since the product was created in 2005.

Google will officially retire Reader on July 1, 2013, so users have over four months to find another option.

All is not lost for those looking for RSS alternatives. First, Google allows you to expert data including subscriptions through Google Takeout.

Many tech blogs are offering up their favorite alternatives to Google Reader. Below are four options that appear in multiple lists. Each is free, though some do have premium versions for a fee.

Feedly is a commonly suggested alternative to Reader. It offers Google Reader sync, which should allow you to transition without losing any data. The service is available on the web, iOS and Android devices.

NetVibes has been around almost as long as Google Reader. It has a nice reader, but offers other features as well. It offers instructions for importing your data from Google. NetVibes is available as a web service and for the iPad, iPhone and on Android.

Pulse and Flipboard are two visual reader options. Pulse is available on the web, or for iOS and Android. It was created for touchscreens and delivers content in a tile format.

Flipboard is only available for mobile devices and tablets (iOS and Android). It's called a social magazine. You can create an RSS feed to follow, but can also access content from other sources in the same interface.

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