Google Reader is a content aggregator that gives the user control over their RSS and Atom feeds. The user can access blogs they follow through Blogger as well as other content. A search bar lets the user seek out specific types of content or content focused on a subject, event or issue. Google Reader gives the user a glimpse of all their feeds on the homepage after logging in. Trends are also recorded and displayed in color coded charts that can be viewed by time of day, day of the week or data for the previous 30 days. Additional content is suggested in the explore area, which recommends individual items as well as sources that might interest the reader. The user can choose between list view and expanded view when browsing each area of Google Reader.Show more screenshots »
Google Reader was first released on October 7th, 2005. The application left beta on September 17th, 2007. Many users prefer Google Reader because they already utilize many of the company’s other applications. The application’s user friendly design and versatility have made it appealing however some have complained that the application isn’t intuitive enough to be considered the best available. The application doesn’t identify related posts, leaving much of the organization process up to the user.
Google Reader stands out because of its simplicity and flexibility. Users of all experience levels can quickly master the Google interface, which is very similar to the company’s other offerings. The user can access feeds easily from their Reader account. The user can label their feeds and individual items however they see fit. This gives the user total control over how their content is organized. While that may mean more work for the user, it also lets the user organize in a way that works for them.
Most users who have experience with Google’s other products will feel right at home with Google Reader. The application utilizes the same familiar white background with the colorful Google logo and matching buttons throughout. The design is simple, with a side bar menu to give the user access to their item and subscriptions and sorting options across the top of the page. Everything the user needs is easily accessible without any distracting clutter.
New users are required to create a Google account to access Google Reader. The user can begin by clicking the blue “Sign up for a new Google Account” link in the upper, right hand corner of the Reader homepage. The registration form on the next page asks the user for their current email address, password, country location, birthday and a word verification. Once the user has submitted the form, they must log in to their email inbox to retrieve a confirmation message. This must be accessed before the user can log in to their new Google account.
Everyone can create a Google account for free. The user can access all current Google Reader features. There are no subscription fees or other charges required when utilizing the application. The user is not required to take any action or make any purchases to keep their Google reader account active. All users are given access to the same level of features with no limitations. This is a good price for the features and functionality the user is given with their Reader account.
Google Reader is ideal for anyone who manages many content feeds. The application can help the user spend less time viewing new posts and content on a daily basis. The user can choose how they sort each item and view recommended content to grow their feed list. The application is very easy to use and even more appealing to users who already have a Google account and use applications like Gmail.