December 02, 2010

RSS Addicts Welcome Google Reader to Android

Google Reader has long been the gold standard for feed readers on the desktop. It's been a must-stop destination for me practically every day since 2007. As the world of consumption around the service has changed, with people calling for the death of RSS and mass migration to social services, the product has adapted to more social sharing capabilities, and integration with Buzz, Google's social aggregation service. But until yesterday, Reader was conspicuously absent when it came to the Android Market - pushing RSS addicts (like me) to get their feeds another way, be it through the generic mobile interface Reader offered, through an alternate product, or simply just to wait until getting back to the desktop.

Reader's debut yesterday was absolutely welcome. While many people are saying that Web versions of products should be all you need, consumers have taken strongly to the mobile app mentality best exemplified by the iTunes Store and Android Market. Even if you can get to a site via a mobile client, it's often perceived to be a less fulfilling experience. Reader's new app on Android is the full experience its users were waiting for, and it's a great option for mobile feed consumption - especially if you want to do two things: first, synchronize your read/unread data from mobile to the desktop, and second, share to your Google Reader link blog.

My Google Reader Folders and an Item on Android

The app (free, of course) asks you to connect your Google Account, or multiple accounts if you have them, and after a quick synchronization, it pulls in all your unread items. This can be those from feeds you subscribe, or friends' shares that you have added to your list.

Sorting and Sharing in the Google Reader Android App

The Reader app does practically all those things the desktop equivalent does. There's the option to sort by newest, oldest, and by magic. There are also the options to view shares from people you follow, or to explore blogs you might like, based on your other interests. And like the main site, you can star items, like them, add notes, or share them downstream. The app integrates with existing social tools you have on your Android phone, so you can click share out to Seesmic, Gmail, Text Messaging, or whatever you like.

People I Follow and Exploring Google Reader Android

For me, the Reader app icon now occupies a valuable home screen space, next to my6sense and Google Buzz. And if you're curious as to any conflict with Reader and my6sense, just remember that Reader is our only default RSS source in my6sense, and they are a valuable partner, supplying the RSS portion of our aggregation service. The more options people have to get to their information on the mobile is a great thing.

You can find Google Reader in the Android Market, and see their post from yesterday here: The Android Google Reader app is here!

Disclosures: Google Reader is an essential source of content to my6sense, where I am VP of Marketing. In theory, the new app is competitive as well.