Google Has Pissed Me Off

Over the last several weeks, I have fallen in love with the Google feed reader.  It is simple to use, and perfectly matches the way I want to work.  It was as if someone smart at Google ignored all the competitive readers out there and said "how should a reader be built"

Today, Google introduced a new interface which I hate, and said it would soon discontinue the old user interface I loved.  Basically, they threw out the old, simple interface (which was so Google-ish) and replaced it with a Bloglines/FeedDemon/etc. clone.  This new version looks as if a new programmer never read a feed in his life but just went out and tried to copy existing products.  Those of you who like the way bloglines works but would rather a Google branded version will be happy.  Many of us who loved the old version are angry.

I may be reading too much into this, but it seems like a small but definite step in the Microsoftization of Google, replacing simple intuitive software with bloated feature-packed messes.

Update:  Here is how I would describe the difference between the interfaces:  For those who read feeds once and then never come back to them, like reading the paper in the morning then throwing it out, the old interface was perfect.  Those who read feeds more like email, where they read it once but then want to be able to find it again later, or who read non-sequentially, jumping to certain feeds they consider more important than others, will like the new interface much better.  That's why the new interface looks a lot more like the Google email client.  My only disapointment is that there are LOTS of products servicing this latter market, and the old interface was the only product I have found to service the former.


  1. sr:

    Huh?? The old Google Reader was the ugliest software that I had seen from them. I never used it. Thanks for the tip -- this version seems a whole lot better!
    Well, you can still use the previous version for a limited time -- check under Preferences.

  2. Doug Murray:

    100% agreement. I quit using Bloglines in favor of Google several months ago. Sure, GR had room for improvement, but stealing the Bloglines look wasn't it.

  3. smilerz:

    You can try Attensa, I tried their 1.0 product that tied into Outlook and it was pretty good. I quit using it because I wanted a more mobile product and switched to Bloglines.

    Supposedly, their 2.0 product comes with a web interface that sorts incoming feeds based on your preferences (i.e. if you always read Hit and Run as soon as they come in it will place those feeds at the top of the queue.)

    I'm not fond of the interface, but since I like Bloglines that might be a good thing for you.

  4. Bob Smith:

    Do you use a Mac? If so, check out Vienna ( There's a hidden pref you'll want to set if you don't want duplicates to reload (defaults write CheckForUpdatedArticles -bool no).

  5. dave:

    I don't like either their old or new interface.

    Try Sharpreader.

  6. Tim Swanson:

    Just an fyi, you can change the preferences in GR to the "old" look and feel (for the most part).

    Also, for what it is worth, I'm just the opposite, love Bloglines, disliked GR. Perhaps if they gave you the option to seemlessly move or even mix/mash the interface (API anyone?).

  7. Danny:

    What I've done is changed my view to list, and then clicked "all items" on the left frame. I then clicked the "u" button to hide the left frame. That leaves you with a similar interface as the original.