App Review: Google Reader for Android
I am a diehard and avid fan of Google Reader. I can’t help it. It’s just a part of who I am, I guess. Frankly, if I could find an RSS reader other than Google that suits my needs and has as friendly a user interface, I’d make the jump. But the fact of the matter is that Google Reader is the best I’ve found so far, and I like to stick with what works.
Just yesterday I learned of some excellent news: Google has made an official Android app for Reader. Sure, there have been tons of random third-party GReader apps available that do similar things, but I have never been interested in their user interface. Typically when Google does its own official app of something, you know it’s going to be done well. So I naturally lept at the chance to download this new app, available now in the Android Market.
Whether you are an Android user and a fan of Google Reader or even RSS feeds in general, take a little time to download the app and check it out for yourself. The Reader works well enough on any of Android’s available browsers, but it has its quirks: the links and titles to click on are just simply too small unless you have an EVO 4G-sized screen (and even then it still sometimes registers your touch just a little off), and quite simply, it’s an extra step in the process.
With Google Reader’s new app my only concerns with this have been resolved. All of the links are sufficiently large, I never have to worry about clicking on the wrong article to read, and it only takes one step — click on the icon and I’m in. There are plenty of other user experience enhancements just in the menu button alone: I can easily mark everything as read, do a quick search, add new feeds, refresh to get new articles, and I can even throw in multiple Google Reader accounts. Additionally, I can even choose to move up and down through the list of articles just by using my volume rocker (though there are up and down buttons at the bottom of the screen for easy navigation as well).
Also of benefit to the user experience, you can do a long-press on folders, subscriptions, and individual items for extra options. For instance, it’s easy to send individual items to other third-party apps on your phone, such as Facebook or Twitter. You can star them, like them, and even add notes to each item.
One disclaimer: Google Reader app will only work on devices that run Donut (2.0) or higher.
All in all, I’m extremely excited to have this new app on the front screen of my current Android device. The fact that it’s completely free is a nice touch to it, though I would’ve been happy to pay a few bucks to have it. If you are as big a RSS geek as I am, you’re definitely going to enjoy using the dedicated Google Reader app on your phone. And when you do, please be sure to click that “add subscription” button and add us!
Also check out our screenshot gallery below for more visuals on some of the app’s features!