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:

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.reader

image image

Source: AppBrain

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://mindmirror007.blogspot.com alchemist007

    Come on now, don't be hard on them, they will update soon ;-) but good catch though

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I don't think I was too hard on them - I've just stated my observations. There is no guarantee they will pursue more advanced features, there is only hope that they will.

  • http://swissmountainleader.com ian

    You might add to the 'bad' that it's quite a large app and won't install to the SD card.

    • http://suddenfish.net Suddenfish

      large app? it uses 4.2 MB on my phone. Seen worse.

  • Pet

    Offline support is must have...

  • hellow0rld

    how do u use it? i installed it , log on my account and enable sync...then what? theres no option to do anything else except add more accounts.

  • Dennis

    Very basic reader. I will stick with gReader for now.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/dbin78 Dain Binder

    I actually like it; simple and to the point. Things will surely be added in the future, even if they don't this is great and much better than any third party app I have used.

  • TareX

    I cannot believe the official app doesn't have a WIDGET included. Widgets are what set Android apart from iOS, webOS and WP7. I don't have to pop in and out of the official Android Google Reader app to know if new stories are out.... Very, very underwhelming...

  • Betto

    Too much barebone. I want more, pre-caching is essentials if I want to read my articles when I'm around and don't have a wifi connection.
    A little bit of customization too, like fonts, dark background and so on.

    Personally feedR still feels much better. But i'm waiting for the next versions

  • http://www.gp800.org.uk Terry

    I can't find it in the market - is it available for 320x240 screens (HTC Tattoo) ?

  • GuyverV

    newsrob is what, $7? i'll stick with this any day