Posted by Alan Green, Software Engineer
Thank you again for using Reader as your RSS platform.
Today we're rolling out the new Reader design, and the Google+ features that we mentioned just over a week ago. Before the day's over, all Reader users will be able to enjoy the following improvements:
- A new look and feel that's cleaner, faster, and nicer to look at.
- The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing "Like"), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing "Share" and "Share with Note").
Integrating with Google+ also helps us streamline Reader overall. So starting today we'll be turning off friending, following, shared items and comments in favor of similar Google+ functionality.
We hope you'll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not. Retiring Reader's sharing features wasn't a decision that we made lightly, but in the end, it helps us focus on fewer areas, and build an even better experience across all of Google.
If you decide to stay, then please do send us your feedback on today's set of improvements. Google+ is still in its early days, after all, and we're constantly working on improvements. If, however, you decide that the product is no longer for you, then please do take advantage of Reader's subscription export feature. Regardless where you go, we want to make sure you can take your data with you.
Updates to Google Reader on the web are rolling out gradually and should reach all users by end of day. A new Android application will follow soon. If you have questions about today’s announcements, please check out our Help Center.
In the next week, we’ll be making some highly requested changes to Google Reader. First, we’re going to introduce a brand new design (like many of Google’s other products) that we hope you love. Second, we’re going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles.
As a result of these changes, we also think it's important to clean things up a bit. Many of Reader's social features will soon be available via Google+, so in a week's time we'll be retiring things like friending, following and shared link blogs inside of Reader.
We think the end result is better than what's available today, and you can sign up for Google+ right now to start prepping Reader-specific circles. We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you. That's why we will also be extending Reader's subscription export feature to include the following items. Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you.
- Your subscriptions
- Your shared items
- Your friends
- Your likes
- Your starred items
Today we’re excited to announce some updates to the official Google Reader app for Android. Over the last couple of months, we’ve added some of your most-requested features:
- Unread count widget - choose any feed, label, person, or “all items” and get the unread count on your home screen. Clicking on the widget takes you to straight to that stream.
- News ticker widget - if you prefer a bit more information, you can add a larger size widget that cycles through items on any stream you want in Reader. Clicking any headline will take you to the article, while clicking the folder will take you to that stream.
- Mark previous as read - if you’ve used the mobile version of Reader before and missed this feature, it’s now back! As you scroll down your reading list, hit “Mark previous as read” at any time to only mark things above the screen as read.
In addition to these new features, thanks to 20%-ers Alexey Retunski and Anton Vayvod’s support, we now have an official Russian translation as well.
We hope you enjoy the updates - give it a try! You can download the app in all countries from the Android Market. The Google Reader app is available for devices running Android 1.6 or higher, with widget functionality available for devices on Android 2.2+.
As some of you have noticed, we've recently enhanced Reader's commenting abilities, via an "Options" menu that is present for all conversations about shared items. You can now get a link to the equivalent conversation in Google Buzz, which is handy for passing around a funny thread. If it's your shared item, you can disable comments entirely, if for example the conversation was about a topic whose time has passed.
Additionally, you can now moderate comments within Reader. If the conversation is on an item that you shared, you have the option to remove comments directly. For all conversations, you can report comments as spam.
We hope these changes will help you keep an elevated level of discourse about shared items. As always, if you have any questions or comments about these new features, please head over to our help forums, or send us a message on Twitter.
It’s been a long time coming, but the official Google Reader app for Android is finally here. Let’s jump into the features, shall we?
The app supports all the basics you’d expect like unread counts, friends, sharing, liking, and starring, but it also has a whole lot more, including:
- Multiple accounts
- Synced preferences
- Full subscription features (subscribe and search from your phone)
A couple harder to discover features we’d like to highlight:
- Volume-key navigation: if you enable this in the settings, you can navigate by using your phone’s volume keys for next and previous
- Long-press on a folder or subscription to bring up a contextual menu that lets you rename, unsubscribe or change folders
- If you hit the menu key on an individual item, you can use the “send” feature which integrates with other apps on your phone to send the item using any 3rd party app
Update: Here's a link to the app on Android Market. It should run on Donut and higher.