Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Google Reader…Finally!

GoogleLogoGoogle has finally decided that it was time to release their very own dedicated application for RSS feeds.  Since Android was released, users had to rely on either the Google Reader website, or third party apps to handle their RSS feeds.  Some are viewing this as better late than never, while others view this as to little, to late.  Over all, this will boil down to personal preference.  I have been using two separate applications for my RSS feed needs.  First was Pulse News Reader (which I did a review on a while back) and gReader Lite.  Pulse, as we already know, gives us a great looking digital magazine appearance.  gReader gives users a simpler appearance, which Google’s own Reader looks a LOT like.

CAP201012011713Google’s foray into the RSS reader app is something a lot of users have been demanding for a long while.  There are some core apps and features that Google honestly should have had prepared before going public with version 1, let alone version 2.x!  Embedded RSS support is obviously one of them.  Now that it is finally here, how does it stack up?

Google Reader is a clean, minimalistic looking application, much like most other Google based applications.  Due to this simplicity, the application runs quickly and smoothly.  There are few images and such that are required to be loaded.  The only images and such that will load are those that are part of the article you are going to read.

CAP201012011714There are not a lot of settings to choose from in this iteration of the application.  However, what few it does offer make it mildly customizable.  You can use between the default RSS feed icon, or you can use favicons.  I personally like the favicons as it helps differentiate each feed.  It is perfect for quickly scanning each feed without taking my time to read each one.

CAP201012011723One major feature currently missing from this release is a widget.  A widget would make this a perfect application.  Many users are complaining that they wish to view their feeds quickly and easily from their home screens.  I agree that this is a great feature that should be considered in the next update, but I admit that it is not a necessary one.

Due to this being a dedicated app, it offers you the ability to share articles with friends via what ever social apps you have installed.  This includes Twitter, Ping.FM, Facebook, SMS, MMS, Yahoo, Google Talk, Gmail, Email, and more.  This is important for those that wish to share information that is pertinent to their friends and family.

I will attest that this is not the “end all” app for RSS readers, but it is a great start for Google.  It easily supports multiple Google Reader accounts.  It syncs automatically.  It IS a Google product, so those that feel that they HAVE to use Google Products with their Google power phone, this is a great.  I am eager to see future updates and what else Google brings to the RSS reader table.  Now, where is our Google Docs app?

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