I don't care for the new interface and I agree that it's slower, but that may just be because I'm not accustomed to the look. GUI changes are minor to me and easily fixed with a greasemonkey script anyway.
The real problem is that they stripped out tons of functionality and didn't replace it with anything. Google+ is not integrated. They added a button to share in google+ . That's all. that's not integration. There is no way to get my friend's content on google+ back into google reader.
That is the entire point of sharing in google reader. It's not a 'social network' per se, it's specialization in going through RSS feeds. I find a 'friend' that looks at funny photos all day and he pics out the 10-20 good ones so I don't have to look at funny photos all day. My feeds can be focused around other topics.
but this only works if sharing is super easy (like pressing shift + s) and there is some way to get shared content back into my reader.
Without that the social network is completely useless. I might as well be emailing/IMing links to my friends.
I don't mind that they are using google+, but they need to think about this for moment and actually make google+ useful in some way.
This would be roughly analogous to twitter removing hashtags and replies and replacing them with a 'post to Facebook' button. What's the point?
> There is no way to get my friend's content on google+ back into google reader.
PlusFeed is an unofficial AppEngine service that exposes Google+ posts as RSS. You can then subscribe to the PlusFeed RSS URL in Google Reader. Unfortunately, PlusFeed can only see other people's public Google+ posts (since it's not logged in as you).
I use Google Reader a lot, and so found this critique of yesterday's UI rollout interesting. My own experience was not as full of grousing as this guy's, but I do have my own complaints.
His complaints are (1) of screen real estate having been reduced to something admittedly pretty insane, (2) increased number of clicks to share and (3) decreased privacy in doing so (he's incorrect about the last: you don't need to +1 prior to sharing; noted, he updates his post with a correction about this), and (4) lack of contrast of the grey on white of titles and links (to me titles appear black on white and links are underlined making them easily identifiable -- was this changed?).
As for complaint (2), integration of sharing in Google Reader and G+ means that there is necessarily going to be a bit of latency introduced, because you've actually got to do the work of choosing who to share with. This doesn't bother me: the precision and primacy of the circles concept in Google+ is what attracts me to it over the convolutions of exhibition on Facebook.
Lastly, as for the first complaint, regarding screen real estate: My usual daily objective in Google Reader is to be able to do triage on about 200 - 300 articles in less than 10 minutes. I am subscribed to a ton of feeds and in order to keep pace I need to consume headlines and form a general intuition about the content while doing as little reading as possible. I want to decide between (1) "this is interesting, I'll read it later" and (2) "this is not interesting, pass" on the order of milliseconds. I don't actually do any reading at all in Google Reader itself, so his screen real estate gripe doesn't really resonate with me. If I want to read an article I just re-tab (or in the case of some content, usually videos or music, star it) it and return to it later. His contrast complaint (4) would be relevant, but I'm not seeing it.
Which brings me to my own central complaint. Namely, general sluggishness. Because of the speed that I sift through articles, any delay between pressing the "j" shortcut which advances to the next unread article and actually advancing to that article is a really palpable, frustrating and significant. Such delays are frequent -- very frequent. I haven't actually looked into what the cause of this delay is computationally, but I'm fairly certain it's not a bandwidth issue, because Google Reader keeps itself loaded pretty far ahead of the current article you happen to have in focus.
In any case, as long as such delays exist, any UI issues are pretty much secondary to my use case.
Thank you, that helped a lot. Here's my version if anyone is interested...
1) Made the left hand navigation slightly grey to offset so much white.
2) Made the list of articles have less padding (more "compact", less "bloaty" :) )
3) Removed the "Home", "All Items" and "Explore" links (I never use them and just wanted it clean)
I have that issue with the new version of Google Docs. You get just a little more than half the screen to actually write inside the doc. The rest is all "chrome". They should at least make all that disappear and appear on demand.
The redesign of Reader looks like it was done by a junior designer who got the memo that "white space is good" but didn't understand that little blobs of white all over the frickin place are not actually that good. Reader is now a mess of disconnected bits floating aimlessly in space. It's gone from being quite serviceable to quite disfunctional.
I use google reader everyday at work on Internet Explorer 7.0 ( bank-mandated browser, don't ask ). Worked fine until this new layout change. Today I login. It says "Your browser is not supported" ! Hmmm...never happened before.
Now I get 3 vertical scrollbars, 1 horizontal scrollbar and lots of whitespace. 3 vertical scrollbars to scroll thru an article ? Which one do I scroll ? There are weird color artifacts - like when I click on an item in LHS, its a little bit red, then white, then red again. There's a black dropdown "View in Reader Play" what is that...click...I get a new fullscreen window with a whole lot of high contrast white on black text with large fonts...WTF...Dude gimme back my old google reader. This one is definitely broken on IE7. I'm all for ui redesign, but pls don't break what works well on older browsers.
Google phased out support for IE7 across their Apps platform in August. It shouldn't be surprising that other new versions of their products only support the newest and second newest versions of a browser.
I like using Reader to manage my feed subscriptions, but nothing more. I don't want to share my content on any social network. Nor do I want to view the content in an iframe. I would prefer to just click the row of the feed item and have it open in my browser like normal links.
So for me the gui updates are sort of mixed. I agree its wasting a whole lot of screen space, but overall I like that it shares the same look every other google product is moving to.
I feel like I use Google Reader incorrectly because it has so many extra features I have no use for. Anyone know of a product that does exactly what I described above?
I usually just click the grey icon to the right, which opens the link the item points to. The expanded view is still useful though, since for example HN points to the posted link and not the comments page.
I like Google's new design style for its services, but as soon as I saw the new Reader I realized something was off. I found it harder to read the headlines. Maybe it's because of too much space between them, or maybe because the lines between them are as dark as the headlines. I'm not sure, but I know I can't read through the headlines as fast as before.
I think the decision to integrate +1 is the right one and they should do it with all their services. I haven't tried it yet, but if what he says is true, then they need to lower the amount of clicks you need to share something.
Google does seem to be trying the "one size fits all" approach. While it may work on a grand scale, trying to standardize the look across their apps, it definitely falls short when you get into the particulars of each platform's individual needs. Beyond that, though, for their "new look" to significantly slow down my browser is unacceptable. New UI should not be so heavy that it materially affects the page's performance.
Regarding sharing, on the mobile (or, at least, iPad) interface, the only sharing option I can see is the basic +1, which, as far as I can tell, isn't seen by anyone unless the go to a user's google plus profile and click the tab. As a result, I can longer share in any meaningful way via my primary consumption device.
Edit: to add, there doesn't appear to be any way to view my +1 items on my iPad, since the google plus mobile interface apparently lacks that section.
The Reader team must be thanking their lucky stars that their product lives on and that Reader hadn't been given the chop like other non-mainstream services, e.g. Google Notebook, Code Search. Ultimately it's a techie tool and most internet users likely aren't aware of feeds let alone Reader.
I bet they agreed to any hurried G+ shoehorning as it's a sign Reader isn't being wound down.
They ruined a really impressive web application. Thanks to a HN recommendation I've fully gone over to Tiny Tiny RSS http://tt-rss.org/redmine/ which is quite similar to the old reader in many ways and self hosted. Click Settings > Import/Export, download OPML, then import OPML. Away we go.
I wouldn't miss the old design too much if there were a chance to adjust the display density. So, where's the switch to change that? If this were consistent in design, I'd expect it to be around the same location as in Gmail. But it's just not there.
Ok, so lets say you want to keep Google Reader as your back end, but want a new front end (ala the various apps on iOS). Is there a good alternative online front end (open source or paid) that can replace Google's front end, but still offers things like "mark unread"?
I am in the same boat as grk. I wanted to try it, but $10 seemed to pass that 'oh its only a dollar or two, what the hell' threshold. Couple that with the poor reviews for the mac version, and I was dissuaded.