How do you RSS on the go? Feeds are almost more useful that email, so having a feed reading system that keeps you on top of things is very helpful.  For fans of everything Google, today marks the return (from my perspective) of Google into the online feed-reader market.

After finding Newsalloy, (see my reviews here and here), I really thought that Google Reader had done it’s dash, but true to form Google is the proverbial Phoenix, rising from the ashes with a new and improved product. 

Niall Kennedy has a good post outlining the new features…

Google Reader has launched a major update to its web front-end about a year after its initial launch, redesigning its online feed aggregator to create a feed reading experience that should feel natural to users of Gmail. New features include a shared clippings service, better read/unread tracking, and the ability to share feed items easily over e-mail.

Source: Google Reader courts the Gmail crowd


I used it briefly today to sort through my feeds, import export is good as well as the sharing feature.  As Nial states, it’s very Gmail in its feel, but its still a prototype:

Google Reader is a Google Labs product and part of Google’s technology playground. Labs products are considered “prototypes” but may graduate to Google betas after significant user adoption and technical proving.

It is now so much easier to change feed properties or unsubscribe from feeds.  One of my favorite features is the one click (stay on the page you are on) subscription form.  Contrary to Niall’s post, this is a feed and blog search function built in to the reader, it’s just not obvious on the page, until you click “add subscription”.  The ability to output feeds of your categories is cool, as are the formatted blocks for inclusion on webpages.

Overall this is a solid upgrade from the previous version and shows some promising similarities to Gmail, which hopefully will soon have linked functionality.

The service is quick, the interface is smooth and the keyboard shortcuts are simple. I think I’m going to check it out for a week then keep Newsalloy as a backup reader only. For those who use their mobile phone, crackberry or web enabled PDA for keeping up to date there is a mobile version of the reader too, and best of all, all you need is a Google account, you don’t have to sign up for another service.


Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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