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Another Distraction

Posted in: Google,JavaScript,WebDev by Richard Hearne on September 29, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

But in fairness one I really like.

I opened my RSS reader this morning to find that Google had completely renovated the place. And I’m not talking a lick of paint here.

The interface is so impressive relative to what was there previously, and a feature that I always wished I could have is now available – I can now browse by category simply by clicking on a folder:

Google Reader List View

The list view is great for a quick look at news headings (memo to self – re-read Brian Clarke’s entry about good titles), while the expanded view gives you all the stories in one pane:

Google Reader Expanded View

In the expanded view items are automatically marked as read when you scroll by them (sweet!). You can elect to turn this feature off in your preferences.

The number of unread items is displayed in aggregate and next to each feeds name (although I noticed that if the feed had a long name then this number was hidden – I hope that maybe Google will fix this by adding it to the tooltip). You can also select ‘[only list updated]‘ next to your subscriptions to filter out all previously read entries.

Google seem to have added a number of search facilities also under the ‘Browse ยป’ tab. This should help people discover new content and easily add it to their reading lists.

And then you have the ‘Goodies’ under your settings tab. The ‘Subscribe as you surf’ feature is something I like a lot. I’m now off to find or create a Google Toolbar button to add this feature (it has always annoyed me that the ‘Add To Reader’ feature of the toolbar didn’t give Reader as an option). I also noticed a mobile reader (reader.google.com/m) although I’m not 100% sure if this is new or not. I do wonder whether a reader might be a killer-app on mobile platforms (all those millions of commute man-hours every day)?

I liked the old Reader. I have a preference for browser-based readers and have tried quite a few others. In the past I overlooked the lack of filtered views in Reader but now I have just that.

The slickness of the interface is what really appeals to me though. Google really have got the user experience to a T. Their apps just keep getting better and really are an indicator of the future of on-line services.

Now I really need to get some work done – if it weren’t for all these cool distractions…

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