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

A hearty welcome to NewsGator users

7/30/2009 12:30:00 PM
Posted by Brian Shih, Product Manager

A little while back, our friends over at NewsGator told us that lots of people who use their client RSS readers like FeedDemon and NetNewsWire had been asking for the ability to synchronize with Google Reader, since maintaining two separate subscription lists was a hassle. Today, we're happy to report that we've worked with NewsGator to make this possible, and new versions of their client readers released today will use Google Reader as the synchronization backend. If you use one of these applications, check out NewsGator's instructions and FAQ on transitioning your subscriptions.

Now that Google Reader can be used as the online companion to NewsGator's client applications, they've decided to discontinue consumer use of NewsGator Online, their free web-based RSS reader, at the end of August. If you've been using this service, you'll need to transition your subscriptions to Google Reader. To do this, all you need to is a Google account (you already have one if you use Gmail), and here's a video to help you get started. To those of you who have been waiting for this integration and to those of you who are using Reader for the first time, welcome!

As always, we'd love to hear your feedback in our help group, Twitter or Get Satisfaction.

Customize your mobile Reader experience

7/23/2009 01:55:00 PM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

Reader's mobile interface for smartphones (iPhones, Android-based devices, and the Palm Pre) is a handy way to keep up with your subscriptions on the go. We realized that we've never officially talked about the settings page for the mobile interface, so here's a quick rundown of the ways in which you can customize your Reader experience to suit your tastes (on your phone, you can find this page by looking for the "Settings" link at the bottom of the screen).

  • Start page: Choose which folder or view you'd like to see when you first log in.
  • Link reformatting: Though smartphone browsers can generally render any webpage well, you may still want to reformat webpage (removing most styles and compressing images) if you're on a low-bandwidth connection.
  • Links in new window: By default Reader will open links in new windows, but if you prefer you can open them in the same window, replacing Reader.
  • Items per page:New! Reader normally displays 15 items at a time, but if you have a fast connection or if wish to blast through more items at a time, you can choose to display even more.

We got the idea for the last setting from a blog post, so please keep the feedback coming, whether via blogs, our help group, Twitter or Get Satisfaction.

P.S. Speaking of settings, we've added a checkbox that those of you that are not big fans of liking may appreciate.

Following, liking and people searching

7/15/2009 05:29:00 PM
Posted by Jenna Bilotta, User Experience Designer

When we first started improving our sharing features, our goal was to make sharing as simple and flexible as the rest of Reader. Today, we're pleased to announce that we've made four improvements to give you more sharing control and help you easily find other people's publicly shared items within Reader.

Find and follow other people

Instead of sharing your items with others and hoping they reciprocate, you can now find people with public shared items and subscribe to their shared items with one click. Use our new people search feature (powered by Google profiles) to look for people who have public shared items. You can browse by name, location, or topic, and start following new people -- all from inside Reader.

People search example

Shhh, just between us friends...

If sharing publicly isn't your cup of tea, we now allow you to share items with a specific group or with multiple groups. If you choose to do this, only people you add to your sharing groups will be able to see and comment on your shared items. If you use Gmail, you will notice that these are the same groups from your Gmail contacts -- so, changes you make to these groups in Reader will change them in Gmail as well.

Sharing settings

Take your 15 minutes of fame

If you want people who visit your Google profile to know what you're interested in on Reader, add a link to your shared items to your Google profile. Once you check the box marked "Add a link to my Google profile," anyone using the search feature within Reader will be able to find and follow your shared items.

To make it even easier for people to find you, you can also give your Reader shared items page a custom URL that uses your Google username, like You need to enable this under "Profile URL" on your Google profile first.

Shared items on profile

If you liked it, then you shoulda put a "like" on it

Have you ever wanted to tell an author or publisher that you appreciate an article they wrote? Or maybe you want to let your friend know that you enjoyed the blog post he shared with you. With a quick click of the mouse (or a swipe of the "L" key -- for the keyboard shortcut pros), you can "like" any item in Reader. All "likes" are public, so anyone reading an item you've "liked" in Reader can see that you're a fan. Checking out shared items for people who have "liked" the same items as you is a great way to discover other people with interests similar to your own.


And one last comment about comments

One small note for this release: the ability to see and add comments to shared items is still restricted only to people you have in a sharing group (i.e. "Friends"). So, although your shared items might be public (and publicly discoverable), only people you have added to a sharing group will be able to comment on them.

Sharing groups

These features are English-only for now, but as always, keep the feedback coming via our help group, Twitter or Get Satisfaction.