Completely unexpectedly and without much fanfare, Google just dropped its official Google Reader app into the Market. I gave it a quick look and found that it's basically a great interface to the mobile version, lacking any advanced features (such as pre-caching) or settings.
The 3 great things about it are:
- Google Reader login integration, which uses your phone's built-in Google auth, after you grant it permission. This means the app never asks for login credentials.
- The app syncs everything with the web version very seamlessly.
- It's fast and doesn't hang anywhere, unlike gReader.
Now the bad things:
- As far as I can tell, there's no pre-caching or any kind of cache control at all. The only items available after turning off the data connection were the articles in the feeds I just manually looked at, while others displayed the network error message.
- In fact, there are very few settings at all - so few that the app doesn't even have a settings screen. You can choose the sorting mechanism, hide counts, show only updated items, and switch between default icons and favicons.
Overall, I definitely prefer this to Google Reader's web interface, but power users will laugh and go right back to Newsrob or another similar offering. Props to Google for rolling it out, and I hope future updates turn the app from basic to useful in the next few months.
Download Google Reader by clicking or scanning this QR code: