Two things about me: 1) I always have my nose buried in my iPhone. 2) I always have Google Reader open in my web browser at home. Putting those two together, you might have thought I was a heavy user of the Google Reader app for the iPhone, but I really wasn’t. I did like it a lot, but only in spurts. It simply never felt built for power usage. Today, that changes with a new beta version Google is rolling out. Quite frankly, I’m worried about my social life.
This new version, found at http://www.google.com/reader/i/ is simply awesome. It takes the desktop experience and translates it onto the iPhone’s screen. One big problem I had with the app before was that it was entirely too hard to star anything. As I wrote last November:
I would still like to see a bit more prominent way to star and share stories (and a way to do so without having to click in to the story – for those of us who star things to read later).
That’s exactly what Google has done. Now, it’s a large, very finger-tappable star — and yes, you no longer have to click into a story to star it. But the best part of the app? Its speed. This thing is smoking fast.
The team that updated the app clearly took cues from the excellent iPhone version of Gmail. It’s simple really, just make the iPhone version act like the regular version, but with larger areas to click on. The “share” link still could be a bit bigger, but there is only so much screen real estate to work with.
This version also works with the new “Notes” feature of Google Reader.
You won’t yet find the new Reader on the iPhone Google Apps toolbar area (it will still take you to the old version), so be sure to use the link above.
Waiting in line will never be the same again.
Here’s an audio post as I test it out:
[photo: Google Reader Blog]