I began my morning routine as usual. I arrived at the office, found a slightly flat bottle of Root Beer I left in fridge that was still worth drinking, and then sat down at my computer. After getting my thoughts together and setting my goals for the day, I opened Google Reader to see if there were any cool articles and find out what was worth sharing on twitter. Low and behold, I discovered that Google has changed the appearance of their reader. There are no major updates this time, but it is still worth mentioning. Below is a screenshot of the home screen.
I first noticed the change when I went to click on my Social Media and SEO folder. The folder icon was less detailed and was a solid shade of gray rather than then usual tan color. My first reaction was thinking it might have been a loading error. After refreshing, I discovered it must be an update, and then realized the overall layout was slightly different as well. The easiest way to describe the update is that it is less cluttered, which in my mind is a good thing. Everything is more spaced out, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to follow. There is also more space between each item on the news feed. Here is a screenshot of my “all items” feed.
One concern I had was whether or not it would still be useable on the Kindle 3 with the new update. When I first purchased my Kindle, I came across an article on Wired about how to effectively use Google Reader on the Kindle with its built in shortcut keys, and I have been doing it ever since. To my dismay, I discovered that with the update, Google Reader does not automatically adjust it’s dimensions to fit the Kindle screen. This basically makes Google Reader useless unless you want to sit around and wait for each individual website to load on the Kindle browser.
Google has been working on updating the appearance of all their web apps in a similar manor, so it will be interesting to see what rolls out in the future. It is possible that this Google Reader update may just be a test run, but I suspect it will stick around. If not, we still have a glimpse of what’s to come.
I am not sure how the updated reader works with the latest versions of the Kindle, but for Kindle 3 users like myself who do not plan on investing in a new Kindle any time soon, we will probably just have to wait it out and see if Google makes its feed reader more functional on the Kindle 3.