As an avid user of Firefox the dangers of using one browser (apart from initial testing) became apparent today, especially considering most web users still use Internet Explorer.
Google Reader is still in Beta
I'm a big fan of Google Reader. I tried the first Google Reader interface not long after it was released and couldn't get on with it. It didn't have much going for it. It was hard to use and read articles from, and it was buggy although it was a beta release.
Since the interface was changed however it has progressed in leaps and bounds. It is now my feed reader of choice. I didn't particularly like the Bloglines interface either.
Mobile Feed Reading
I'm a busy person and I don't get much time during the day to catch-up on the news I want to hear about. So after purchasing a Windows Mobile MDA with unlimited 3G Internet access I was on the look out for a decent mobile feed reader.
Even though browsing normal websites with mobile devices is possible, it's not a rewarding experience because not many sites are optimised for the small interface.
Thankfully Google Reader has a fairly decent mobile interface, that includes a mobile proxy to reformat normal web pages to make them much more readable on small mobile devices.
Google have managed to shoe-horn most of the functionality into the mobile version, but it is a lot more buggy than the normal web version. Perhaps some of the bugs I come across are down to buggy web feeds, but Google should be able to find a way around most problems.
Google Reader Mobile User Interface Enhancements
Here are some of the bugs/bugbears I have with the mobile interface (in no particular order)
- There should be a link straight through to the article on the site in question, not just the summary page in Reader. This will reduce the amount of clicks if you know you want to read the article even without reading a summary first.
- Why do we need the more... Link when we now have the mark these items as read... Link?
- When you star an item it reloads the whole page. Can it not return to the list on news items?
- Some blogs cause http errors, produce no article when you click through, feature loads of links that you need to scroll through to get to the content, or show the summary as being the same as the blog title.
- I would like the option of being about to read only a subset of my feeds from the mobile interface.
I use the new shared items widget on my blog to let my users know what I've been reading lately. From the web interface you can quickly share feed items with a simple click. This functionality is missing from the mobile interface however. So the work around for the time being is to star each item I want to share with my readers and click the share button on each item when I get on a desktop machine.
The interface is improving all the time, so hopefully Google will listen to its users, because I know I'm not the only one who has views on some of these topics.