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

Follow changes to any website

1/25/2010 02:01:00 PM
At Google we're always looking for ways to take advantage of work being done in other parts of the organization. So when a team approached us with a way to follow changes from websites without feeds, we jumped at the opportunity. Post by Liza Ma, Product Manager.

Feeds make it easy to follow updates to all kinds of webpages, from blogs to news sites to Craigslist queries, but unfortunately not all pages on the web have feeds. Today we're rolling out a change in Google Reader that lets you create a custom feed to track changes on pages that don't have their own feed.

These custom feeds are most useful if you want to be alerted whenever a specific page has been updated. For example, if you wanted to follow's latest products, just type "" into Reader's "Add a subscription" field. Click "create a feed", and Reader will periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page.

Here are some more example feeds for sites without feeds that you could follow:

We provide short snippets of page changes to help you quickly decide if the page is worth revisiting and we're working on improving the quality of these snippets. If you don't want Google to crawl or create feeds for a specific site, site owners can opt-out.

If you have a feed-less page you've been dying to follow, sign in to Google Reader and try it out for yourself. As always, if you have any feedback, please visit our official help forums or our Twitter account.

​A new year, new mobile features, and more!

1/05/2010 02:58:00 PM
Posted by Arif Siddiquee, Software Engineer ​

We know that many of you like to take Reader with you wherever you go, so today we are updating our mobile interface by adding a few new features along with a new streamlined look.

New mobile features include support for "liking", tagging, and sorting feeds by oldest/newest. These are all features that were previously only available on the web interface, and we’ve worked to get them into the mobile version as quickly as possible.

As far as streamlining goes, we’ve made a few improvements to give you more features with less clutter. First, we redesigned the bottom action bar to include a “More” link, revealing additional options (with the most common actions selected by default).

We’ve also updated the main header to be consistent with other Google mobile applications, specifically Gmail, Calendar, and Latitude. And we’ve added an option drop-down in place of the old secondary tool bar, to give you a little more space for your feed items. We hope this also reduces those accidental “mark as read” accidents that happen on occasion.

On Reader's web interface, we've made it easier to find people who are sharing stuff similar to you. Take a peek at the new people recommendations (in the “Recomended sources” section on the web interface) to find folks with shared items we think you’ll enjoy. It's a nifty way to discover new feeds and people that you might not have discovered otherwise.

As always, we listen to your feedback and use it to improve Reader. If there are specific features you miss on the mobile version of Google Reader, head over to our Product Ideas page and leave us a note. We love all kinds of feedback through our official help forums and our Twitter account.