I haven’t had much time to “play” with the new Google Reader from Google Labs (beta) but here are a few VERY fast impressions, things I’m suprised not to see from the outset, and other things I would love to see in future releases. One thing is for sure, competition is almost always good for the searcher and it will be interesting and likely exciting to see what Bloglines, My Yahoo, and other web-based readers offer in their next releases.
+ Given that Google is a “search company?”, I’m surprised that you’re not able to only search content from your selected feeds. Bloglines does offer this feature.
+ No advertising on any pages. Is advertising coming?
+ Since it’s all about sharing, what about being able to easily share individual posts with non-Gmail users?
+ Since Google is a global company (and beyond) I would have expected to see at least a few interfaces in a few non-English languages from the outset. Yes, it’s a beta, I know.
+ I would appreciate an option to add feeds to my Google Reader directly from Google Blog Search. The same goes for feeds from specific news sources from Google News (assuming feeds are available).
+ I hope Google will eventually offer a mobile version of its reader. This is one of the primary ways I interact with feeds. My Yahoo feeds are available via My Yahoo mobile. Bloglines also offers a mobile version.
+ Let’s see, I can have feeds in my Google Sidebar, on my Google Personalized home page, and now in my Google Reader. How about a way to unify my subscriptions and also what I’ve seen/read with all three tools.
+ The default sort of articles is by relevance. Google defines it this way, “[Google Reader will] guess what’s most relevant to you based on how you use Google Reader (such as which items you decide to actually read). Btw, Findory launched a personalized feed reader a few weeks ago. More about that here.
If sorting by time is more important to me, I can’t seem to find a way to change the permanently change the default to time.
+ Options to change default font and point size.
+ A tool/widget to notify when new headlines become available. We’ve been told that one is likely to be available soon.
+ The chance to use Feed Reader with the Opera browser. At the moment, it’s a no go.
+ Searching for new content. MSNBC offers 19 feeds but a search for “MSNBC” only shows 4 feeds. Yes, more are available when including other terms but a basic search should show all possible results.
+ How about spell check when searching for new content. A typo for “search engine rondtable” offers no suggested spellings/corrections.
+ More documentation via the FAQ. (Thanks to those who helped me access it. Some did say it was difficult to find.)
Postscript: Very cool, I must say. You can listen to podcasts/MP3 material directly from the Google Reader.