Google Reader has been updated with an all new look, one that is a cross between the simplicity of Gmail and the tried-and-true Bloglines model. Tossing most of the old system out the window, the new Reader features a two-pane view, with labels as expandable folders in the left pane. The rest of the page is where you read your feeds, and the view is big, easy-to-read, and with lots of options right at your fingertips. You can also use that area as a list view, identical to your typical Gmail inbox. Reader looks ready to handle the demands of a full-fledged RSS reader, and that makes me happy.
One caveat: It doesn’t work at all in Opera. Shame, since I really, really like it now. In fact, Reader is similar enough to Bloglines, with enough unique features, that I’d maybe consider switching if it worked in my favorite browser. Reader’s home view includes a few articles chosen from some of your favorite blogs. There are a lot of useful keyboard shortcuts.
Also, look at how cool the shared items feature prints out. It’s like if del.icio.us became an auto-blogging tool.
Google should do these videos for every product launch in the future.
UPDATE: On my system, Reader hogs 100% of the CPU when open in IE7 on Windows Vista, even when completely idle. Anyone else experiencing performance hog problems?
UPDATE 2: Philipp notes that you can revert to the old design in the settings, and that Google has “feed bundles”, with similar categorized feeds, that you can subscribe to.