Google Reader – Old Wine, New Bottle. A Bit Broken Bottle!

I like the new Google Reader. I mean, I really love the simplicity and the minimalism on the new look.

Yes, that’s just me and a few others. I do see quite a lot of people very unhappy with too many things on the new Google Reader. One of the first things people are quite pissed off with is the loss of sharing features.

Folks at Google are probably the only people who’re very excited about Google Plus. Unfortunately, a lot of people have already buried it. So, when Google says you can only share via Plus, it sure sends a lot of people out. Of course, Google ain’t bothered about that now:

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.

The new Google Reader suits me perfectly fine. For all the time I have been using Google Reader, I have not felt the need to share items. In fact, I haven’t shared stuff even once – except when I created my own bundle, which got shared automatically on my wall. If I wanted to share, I would do it from the webpage of the post I am reading – not from Google Reader – because if I find a post interesting, I go to the website directly and read it on the website.

Google Reader only allows you to share (via Plus), email or add tags to a feed item these days. If, however, the feed item itself has links to comment etc., you are up for bonus because Reader can’t do much about that πŸ˜‰

Well, there are certain things that I did find somewhat excellent and there are things which are unsightly, in my humble opinion. The UI does look stripped down – which is nice, because it looks like Gmail’s UI and I like the minimalism.

The way the Next and Previous have become simple buttons clearly paves the way for a perfect minimalism.

The padding on the sidebar pane is however questionable, I guess. I mean, look at this:

The All Items has a larger padding in the bottom, while the Explore has almost none. Looks ugly.

My shock came when I first took a look at the Trends page.

To Google: I wouldnt mind at all even if you used up quite a lot of space on my screen. Pad them, make this look better, please 😦

The vertical scroll bar looked quite disturbing to my eyes πŸ˜› I knew this was something odd – because Google’s designers are not that silly to have it on the pane. With some doubt, I tried on Chrome:

Dang! I am using Firefox 7 and still the veritcal scroll shows up. I was wondering why Firefox gets this treatment all the time. 😦 I am not shifting to Chrome just for this no-scroll beauty though πŸ˜‰

Oh yes, there are quite a lot of β€œpluses” though. What’s impressive is, all the good points from the old Reader have been retained (oh yeah, except the share). I am still adding feeds to my Reader – sometimes via mobile, sometimes via the web. For me, I am not going to move away at all. Google Reader is just getting interesting.

Quite a lot of people seem to be somewhat unhappy with the new changes.

Mashable reported this:Β 10,000 users signed a petition! Phew!

Someone who worked on the Google Reader changes – and quit Google in July as a PM – talks about the changes. Visibly unimpressed.

Rob here says feeds have gone missing. Thankfully that didn’t happen for me! I recently did an Ubuntu upgrade (I wish I hadn’t but after seeing GNOME-shell, I am happy) and lost bookmarks in my Firefox. That seems quite okay, but losing feeds on Google Reader would be – let’s just say mildly disastrous πŸ˜›

β€œOccupy Google” happened right after the guys at Google announced the changes. Just 15 folks who wanted to send out a message. Only, it didnt reach the damned offices of Google.

Well, except for the share, I don’t see how Google Reader has actually changed in its functionality. But you know what? The whole concept of web – as well as that of life in general – is determined by the word share. Happiness shared is happiness multiplied. Somewhere, Google forgot that part, in its attempt to make Plus more popular.

Update: Here’s more steam-venting: