Since the death knoll was sounded for Google Reader, the web has been abuzz with alternatives (our own choice was Feedly. Though the decision largely comes down to a matter of personal preference, it's hard to deny that Gazette is the most unique contender.
You won't find any screenshots in this post, because Gazette isn't a web app, per sé. Instead, the service grabs all of your RSS subscriptions and sends them to you as an ebook (.epub format, to be specific).
There is no import option, so you won't be able to pull in your current subscriptions. Gazette does make it easy to subscribe to sites, though, by giving you a bookmarklet (which we love) or a Chrome extension. When you come to a site you'd like to subscribe to, just click. If the site supports RSS, it will be automatically added to your Gazette book.
Every Friday, you'll get an email with a link to download the ebook. Currently, it works on iOS devices, Nook, Blackberry Playbook, Windows Phone, and Sony Reader. Compatibility is really just a matter of .epub support, though, so other devices can work. If you need a recommendation for Android devices, let me suggest Moon+, an excellent ereader with a free and paid version. I won't get into why I love it here — perhaps that warrants a separate post — but suffice it to say that it's one of the most attractive options for Android, both functionally and aesthetically.
Gazette says Kindle isn't supported... yet. Hopefully, that will change in the future.
Coincidentally, Gazette is a product from the makers of Dropmark, which was one of the first apps I wrote about on this site. That's important, because I know the craftsmanship and dedication these guys put into their offerings.
The book itself is quite gorgeous, but if you disagree, you can easily change the appearance on most devices, since most epub readers give you that option.
Gazette also syncs with Readmill, a site built around the concept of making reading a more social activity. I won't go into the details of the Readmill service here, either, other than to say that it is a well-crafted service with remarkably good intentions and focus. I suggest you check it out for yourself. Syncing with Readmill also means that your ebook will be available directly in the Readmill mobile app.
Gazette is undeniably the most thoughtful way to read your favorite websites. It has a slow web feel to it, and that's a good thing. Time will tell whether it becomes my preferred method of reading, but the initial premise is more than a little intriguing. It's offered at a very reasonable $1.99 per month. That, too, is comforting: these guys aren't afraid to charge for their service, which helps to ensure that the product will be around for awhile.
Gazette is also working on a tool which will allow publishers to make a weekly ebook of their site for readers. When that launches, Sssimpli may get in on the action. For now, rest assured that Sssimpli is compatible with Gazette, so when you sign up, be sure to come back and click that bookmarklet to add us.
Hat tip to @aworkinglibrary for the find.
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