Google has released an RSS reader. It is a beta, in Google Labs. I’ll try to review it tomorrow, but in the last hour of tinkering with it, I have never been so frustrated with a product. Nothing works the way it is supposed to, whole features are broken, importing fails, and usability decisions boggle the mind.
If I didn’t feel like I had to write a review for this blog, I wouldn’t even give the Google Reader a second glance. It is the opposite of the kind of software I prefer using, and I won’t be switching anytime soon. I’ll explain why when I get back tomorrow. Maybe someone else wants to give it a shot?
UPDATE: I really have to leave, but I feel obligated to explain my feelings. I just don’t like the Reader. Maybe it has to grow on you, but if an hour of attempting to use it leaves me frustrated and angry, it can’t be good, can it?
It doesn’t work in Opera.
It gives error after error in IE.
It doesn’t let you browse.
New items don’t dissapear.
Labels are confusing for feeds.
When you click on a feed, the feed list dissapears. When you click on the box up top to view your feeds, the feed items dissapear.
Feed search only gives you one page of results.
I’m thinking Google tried to reinvent the wheel, and what it wound up with was a square. Revolutionary, maybe. But squares don’t roll.
I don’t like this form factor. It is a far cry from the ease of Bloglines. If Bloglines adopted this interface, I’d switch. Maybe new users will like it, but I can’t.
I can’t fully explain why I don’t like it, because I don’t like it for so many reasons. Every decision made in the design of this Reader is the opposite of how things should work. Google seems obsessed with AJAX over usefulness. If this is the sign of a Google OS, who the hell is going to ever want to use it?