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Google Reader - Free RSS News Feed Reader

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 1 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Google Reader - Free RSS News Feed Reader

Google Reader - Free RSS News Feed Reader

Heinz Tschabitscher

The Bottom Line

Google Reader is a decidedly simple yet very usable and, thanks to a flexible labeling system, quite comprehensive web-based RSS feed reader. You can even share items easily right from within Google Reader. More automatic help with organizing would be nice.
Google Reader is no longer available.

Pros

  • Google Reader provides a slick, universally accessible and uncomplicated way to read RSS news feeds
  • Sensible keyboard shortcuts make navigating Google Reader a snap
  • Lets you label feeds and items freely and for comprehensive grouping and organization

Cons

  • Google Reader cannot label items automatically based on past choices
  • You cannot annotate items
  • Google Reader not identify related posts and news to put items in context

Description

  • Google Reader is a web-based reader for RSS and Atom news feeds.
  • You can group and read your subscriptions using free labels.
  • Google Reader lets you tag, sort and organize individual items using labels, too.
  • Keyboard shortcuts make navigating Google Reader a pleasurable snap.
  • You can easily share items on a public web page that has an RSS feed itself, send them by email, or use tags for blogrolls.
  • A blog and news search engine makes it easy to find and subscribe to feeds.
  • Google Reader is accessible in screen readers and navigable using WAI-ARIA.
  • Using Google Gears, you can access up to 2000 items offline (in the normal Google Reader interface).
  • You can import and export your subscriptions using OPML.

Guide Review - Google Reader - Free RSS News Feed Reader

Meet Google Reader, and you may not meet overwhelm: a list of headlines taken from your RSS feed subscriptions that you can scroll through as long as fresh items come in.

That's it?

It can be, and thanks to Google Reader's amazing keyboard shortcuts coupled with speedy operation, going though this list is a very productive way to read your daily dose of news.

But it need not be. A plethora of flexibility and potential power is hidden beneath Google Reader's decidedly simple interface or, more precisely, in its labels. You can label both individual items and feeds freely with any combination of tags.

Google Reader then lets you group and read feeds by label and you can read all items designated with a certain label, too. If you label somewhat consistently, Google Reader offers a high level of organization. Of course, you can search all your items, a particular folder or subscriptions, or all articles carrying a certain tag.

It would be even better, of course, if Google Reader could lend an automatic hand. Google Reader might learn from your labeling and assign labels based on past decisions, for example.

While it is easy to share items with the world, you cannot annotate them (other than with labels), neither for yourself nor for others.

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