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август 14, 2013

After Google Reader

It is somewhat in fashion to name things starting with 'After'. After Eart, After etc.

However this post is about the now dead Google reader and what happened after that.

At first it looked like feedly will be the winner - they already had integration with google accounts, it was very easy to use your feeds and while lots lacked behind on the UX side of things, they provded a working solution for the problem somewhat 1 mln users were facing.

After a week long testing I migrated (almost a full month before reader was closed down). The day it happened feedly had some issues but none the less it worked well. The problem was its creators had UI vision very different from what Google engeneers used to have when reader was last updated. Hovering to activate the side panel, really? No way to go to topics, only a few, very basic shortcuts... there was so much missing it bearly scratched the needs of the power users. And then it was an extention, not a real cloud app. But they fixed that...

If you are like me you read several houndred titles a day, mostly skimming for something that might be of interest or importantce. This was not supported at all initially, then they aded somewhat handicaped version of it (calling it "classic google reader look". Well ... no.

There was no search. Later they decided that search will be behind a paywall. Great, so now we are supposed to just pay for search results? It ain't gonna happen, considering the fact that the same content is available online and indexed already by google's search egngine. Sorry fellas, wrong decision.

If that was the end of the story it would have been a bit traggic: users end up with half working (several times I had to contact support because titles I have read kept coming up as new ones!), half familiar, worse product than what tehy are used to.

But then, I don't eve remember how, I found InoReader. Gess what, it has the exact same shortcuts as Google reader, it looks pretty much the same (it's an option) and behaves the same. It contains the statistics for your feeds, also in a newtly arranged UI box it shows the status of your subscriptions so you can see if one or more had stopped working and it loads FAST. I mean really really fast! I cannot compare it to GR, because it is gone already, but it is much faster than feedly that is for sure! It reacts to user input faster and behaves smoother.

If you are like me and happen to miss Google Reader just give it a try! I promess at least as UX it wont dissapoint. I am not sure how well the backend is constructed, but front end wise it is the best out there, maybe even better than GR!