Google Reader – Just got better

by venukb on September 29, 2006

Google Reader till now was one of the most “unusable” applications from Google’s stable. Google which re-defined usability with applications like GMail did not extend the same usability aspects to Google Reader.

Now after hearing to the constant complaints/suggestions from the users, GReader has introduces a total new look and feel, and to be honest I am kind of liking it. (I will try the new GReader for a few days and hopefully it will end my hunt for a good RSS Reader)

So what is new with Google Reader ?

Anyone who has used the old user interface will immediately find the difference in the layout. The first thing I did was to delete all the subscriptions within the Reader and import the OPML file. To my surprise, GReader maintained the Folder structure while importing the OPML file.

You will love using Reader once you start using the shortcuts. You can easily move between the posts in a feed and also between the different subscriptions.

The posts can be read in two layouts:

  • Expanded view – If bandwidth is a constraint, I would not recommend this view :)
  • List View – This mode shows the list of post titles and for a big feed and you can press “o” to expand the post.

There are 4 options available for each post:

  1. Star – You can star the post (as in GMail) and access the starred post via “Starred Items” link. However this option is kind of redundant since there is another way of “starring” the post.
  2. Share – Share the post
  3. E-Mail – Mail the post.
  4. Add Tags – I don’t remember seeing this option in the old UI, but this is really a very useful feature.

Additionally GReader has added few default Feed Bundles. Click on “Browse” in the sidebar to access the same.

If any of your friends are using Blogger/MySpace etc you can easily subscribe to those feeds by inputting the user name.

And if you don’t like this new UI, you can go always go back to the old interface. I am not sure why would anyone do this !

What more changes I want to see ?

I am not sure why Google is not having the Reader within GMail. I would definitely like a GReader component (like Google Talk) within GMail. I can read mails and feeds at one place. And as in the case of Google Talk, many people would start using Reader once it is made part of GMail.

It might be little difficult to handle the keyboard shortcuts of both GMail and Google Reader, but its not impossible !

Another option I would like to see is the “Filter” posts option via which I can filter out the RSS feed posts of my interest. This is similar to the “Watches” concept in FeedDemon.

Try the Reader and let me know what you think of the new interface ! Also don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed of Online Diary :)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Vasuki September 30, 2006 at 11:33 am

I took a first look at Google Reader and I am impressed! Great turnaround from being a pathetic application earlier (It was even horrible than Google Desktop then!)

There are a few Ajax glitches, but keyboard shortcuts are awesome (The easiest way to win me over is keyboard shortcuts!) And I always wanted an online reader (My entire monday mornings were wasted reading the backlogs of weekends ;))

Great going Google!

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Vasuki September 30, 2006 at 11:44 am

The two things I am missing are:
1) To set the time interval to look for updated posts for every feed.
2) Some link to explicitly refresh all the feeds at once (and optionally at a folder level also)

If these are already there and I have missed them, let me know.

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Shivaranjan September 30, 2006 at 2:09 pm

Google Reader is good with these new set of features but I love a desktop feedreader more than the online ones. I want google to release a desktop feed reader.

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Venu October 3, 2006 at 11:15 am

Vasu, Yeah Online reader is much convenient ! Also I checked up on the 2 missing things.
There is no option to set the interval, and the refresh option is there once you click on a feed, they should have a refresh icon next to each folder and feed.

Hopefully Google is reading this post and hopefully they will consider this.

Shiv, yeah if google brings a desktop reader which syncs with online reader, it will be great !

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Andyf February 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Hi:),

I would like to submit Kedoya.com for consideration to be put on your site . Following is the site information :

Site Name : Kedoya.com
Short Description : Kedoya is an online community based RSS reader . Kedoya provides all the features that will let you browse news or blogs in a very efficient and enjoyable manner.
Long Description :
Kedoya is an online community based RSS reader. Kedoya provides all the features that will let you browse news or blogs in a very efficient and enjoyable manner :

Some interesting things you can do in Kedoya include:

* Read news from your favorite news sites and blogs
* Personalization of news content
* Rate for the best entries
* Rate other users
* Comments on entries
* Interact with other users
* Flag and Tag Feed Items
* Export/Import your feeds
* Recommend stories to other users.
* And much more!

Thx!,
Andy

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