Google Reader is the Solution

I was a long-time hold-out user of standalone RSS aggregators (SharpReader for Windows and Straw on GNU/Linux, both of which have been somewhat stagnant over the last couple of years). I’ve finally thrown in the towel and switched to Google Reader. It was a great decision.

The key factor is mobility. I check email and blogs from my personalGoogle Mobile Image laptop; our kitchen computer; my office workstation; and, perhaps most significantly for Google Reader, from my cell phone. The Google Reader cell phone app is quite good (handy “keyboard” shortcuts, efficient presentation), and allows me to catch up during time that is difficult to use for other purposes: waiting for the train, standing in line at Starbucks, on the elevator.

The only real downside is the lack of offline support (although I don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to create it), but this is far outweighed by the mobile functionality. As “access anywhere” becomes more important than “offline access,” I predict we’ll see more users of all applications make this sort of switch.


  1. mark Apr 14

    You may also want to use rss2email (debian packaged).

  2. Jem Apr 14

    I agree with you–it’s brillant. I also like their Google Browser Sync and google notebook, all because I can switch computers really easily. It’s kind of like a .mac account for free :)

  3. Paul Tötterman Apr 14

    I’ve written a offline reader for Google Reader. You can find it at: . It’s targeted at maemo (Nokia N800), but runs just as well on the desktop. And it’s quite rough around the edges, but it’s there so that anyone can improve at their will.

  4. Jamie Apr 14

    Yeah I’ve been using Google Reader for several months now, and it really is the reader to end all readers (for now).

  5. Steve Laniel Apr 14

    I don’t agree with Adam’s contention that All Online All The Time is the future. In fact I think it’s best for us to plan on a wifi-type world — i.e., nearlynet instead of permanet. I would prefer my tools to behave normally as though they had net access, but fail gracefully if they don’t.

    Of course what this points out is that the next step in Ajax is to have offline support, wherein JavaScript can actually commit files to disk. People have been making this point basically since Ajax came out.

  6. adam Apr 14

    I doubt Steve. I expect it will be so close to All The Time that offline/sync tools are just going to be cruft. They might still exist in specialized situations, but I expect the main tools people use just won’t have or need the support. (I’m thinking 10-15 years away, now.)

  7. Friend May 11

    Paul Tötterman, your links doesn’t work :(( 404 – Not Found

    May be we can find application for Nokia devices somewhere else?

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