Official Google Reader Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Reader team

Reader and ARIA: A new way to read

3/12/2008 09:44:00 AM

We on the Reader team are delighted to have a guest post today from Google usability expert T.V. Raman, who has announced on the Google Blog that Reader now supports ARIA-powered screenreading. Our thanks go out to T.V. and to Charles Chen, fellow Googler and creator of FireVox, for their work in enabling more people than ever to benefit from Reader. Here's T.V.'s post on how to get started:

ARIA For Google Reader: In Praise Of Timely Information Access!

Here are instructions on how to set up fluent spoken feedback from screenreaders and self-voicing browsers when using Google Reader.

Spoken output support in Google Reader is implemented using Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), an evolving standard for enhancing the accessibility of Web-2.0 applications. WAI-ARIA is supported at present by Firefox --- with future support forthcoming in other browsers. ARIA support in Google Reader has been tested in the following environments:

Note that Firefox 3 is still in Beta and that ARIA support like the underlying standard is still in development. ARIA support in Google Reader is designed to help end-users experience the benefits of a powerful Web-2.0 application, while giving browser implementors and adaptive technology vendors a real-world application on which to test their implementations.

Activating ARIA Support In Google Reader

When you first open Google Reader using a screenreader, you will hear an invisible link labeled click here for ARIA enhanced Google Reader. Follow this link to activate ARIA support. You can bookmark the resulting page for future use.

Once on the ARIA-enabled Google Reader, press ? to hear a list of available keyboard commands. Power users note: most of these keyboard commands are available in the default version of Google Reader.

Please send all feedback to Google Group Accessible.


One more step

3/05/2008 09:27:00 PM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

Not every Reader release is filled with exciting new features, but we'd like to think that every little improvement counts. While we've been working on some longer-term things, we've also had time to make some smaller changes to Reader, which we're releasing today:

More languages and countries: Reader is now available in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Brazil, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Subscriber counts: If you were curious how many other subscribers a feed that you read has, you can now easily check: use the "show details" link in the top-right corner. Additionally, to see how indie/hip you are, you can use the "Most obscure" tab on the trends page to see the feeds that you subscribe to with the least number of subscribers. Just keep in mind what these numbers indicate.

Increased reading area: By shuffling some things around in the header area, we've managed to squeeze an additional 17 pixels of reading space for feed content. This may not seem like much, but every little bit matters when consuming hundreds of posts a day.

Bug fixes and performance improvements: We've made Reader faster to load when you have more than a thousand subscriptions. The settings page should feel perkier too. Finally, we've squashed some bugs -- most notably, bugs that prevented profiles from loading in certain cases. We also added improved keyboard navigation and fixed a problem refreshing search results. A lot of these tweaks and bug fixes are in response to user feedback that we get in our discussion group, so please keep it coming.