Android: If you’re a fan of Reeder for OS X and iOS, but wish Android had a similar newsreader, congratulations: Press is the app you’ve been waiting for. The developer takes more than a few design cues from Reeder, and that’s a really good thing.
Press connects and syncs with Google Reader. After launching, let it sync, and the app displays all of your feeds as tiles or as a list that you can browse through. Tap a specific feed to read articles from it, or read all of your unread articles at once. In portrait mode, you can swipe from side to side to move from article list to article text, and in landscape mode you can zoom in on article text or images. On tablets, you can see a list of stories on the left, and tap them to change the text on the right.
At any time, you can hit the menu key or button in the upper right to open the article in your browser, share it with friends, mark it as read, star it to read later, and more. The app supports offline reading and lets you control text size and font, so you get the reading experience you want.
Granted, it’s not as feature-packed as some of your other favorite newsreaders, and some people report crashing issues with it (which we didn’t have when we tested it.) Still, if you’re looking for an elegant, gesture-friendly way to get Google Reader onto your Android phone or tablet, it’s definitely worth the $1.99 you’ll pay to download it.
Tags: Google Reader
Buffer launched its maiden Google Chrome extension last week, and now the service has expanded it beyond covering just Twitter to provide sharing options for Facebook, Google Reader and, interestingly, Reddit and HackerNews.
As explained on its blog, the extension allows users of the service — who can ‘queue’ their social media postings to avoid overwhelming friends and followers with updates — to add a Buffer button to social services, making it easy to add content from across the Web.
“Our most important goal is to let you Buffer from anywhere you go on the web,” says co-founder Leo Widdich.
We’ve already looked at the Twitter integration, when it launched last week, so here’s how the extension plugs into the other sites that can now be configured to offer a native sharing button.
The extension allows content from social network to be added to Buffer, from status updates, to news and even pictures.
A Buffer button is added into the sharing links that sit under each article in Google Reader, while a further integration adds a ‘quick button’ for the quick view.
These two sites are particularly popular sources of interesting news and tidbits from across the Web. The extension drops a Buffer button into the sharing options on both sites.
If you’re a regular user of Buffer — and the service certainly a strong community — the new extension is likely to be a nice addition to the existing tools that you use for the service.
Those that don’t know of Buffer or queuing tweets, or others who are not regulars, might also be tempted by this.
With so many Web sites to follow, I find myself relying on my Google Reader regularly. Unfortunately, I also find that many RSS snippets will cut off right when I’m about to get to the good stuff. This is generally because the sites want you to click on their links. I understand the reasoning behind it (and am guilty of it myself), but this sometimes leaves me with 10 open tabs to read, making me wander and lose focus on 10 different Web sites.
To prevent this, I’ve started using Google Reader Inline after checking out a recent article on Lifehacker. This is a very useful extension for Chrome that allows you to load the full article without leaving your current tab or opening a new one (and still gives the writer’s site a page view). So after I’m done reading, I can move on to the next article in the queue, instead of wandering aimlessly through a Web site for 3 hours — like I do on Wikipedia.
Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)
Step 1: Download Google Reader Inline for Chrome.
Step 2: Open and log in to Google Reader.
Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)
Step 3: Browse through your articles in the RSS feed, and press on the small magnifying glass in the upper left-hand corner for any article you want to expand.
That’s all you have to do! How do you deal with text hidden “after the jump”? And do you see this extension being helpful?
Google Reader and Gmail are two of the most customizable Web apps available today. Need a different inbox layout? Sure thing. Want to change the colors or visual density? No problem. Still, some interface elements, like the Google Bar at the top of the window, will never go away, no matter what you do. If you wish they did, try free Chrome extension Minimalist for Everything.
Minimalist for Everything brings a new level of refinement to the scene. Instead of an all-or-nothing proposition, now you can decide how much of a user style you want to apply. The add-on ships with modules for Google Reader and Gmail, which you can use turn on and off bits of the interface without writing any code. For example, maybe you want to hide Google’s legal disclaimer from the footer, or maybe you want the Gmail search bar, but not the search button. Just find the right checkbox, tick it, and you’re done. The interface is very friendly, and it’s easy to find just the part you want to hide.
Minimalist for Everything currently has only rudimentary export/import functionality.You can also use Minimalist for Everything to install “regular” user styles, but then you don’t get the level of configuration the add-on can offer for its own modules. The biggest missing piece in the Minimalist for Everything puzzle is an online repository that would let users exchange modules. Such a website would surely foster a thriving community of modders and customizers. Until that happens, Minimalist for Everything remains a powerful way for Chrome users to unclutter Google Reader and Gmail.
Note: The Download button takes you to the Chrome Web store, where you can download the latest version of the software.
The official Tumblr app was a late-comer to Android, and, sigh, hasn’t kept pace in the years since. That’s all changed. Today’s update simply puts the iOS version to shame. Surely this lead can’t last.
Tumblr for Android has a spiffy new user interface, which look and feel — including post-type icons — is more like the social network. The revamped UI is the real deal; well close to it. The app is speedier, and that includes photo browsing as well as loading blogs and posting to them. By comparison, Tumblr for iOS looks ugly and lacking. Access to Tumblr Radar from the Android app rocks. Still there are omissions that favor Tumblr for iOS, such as audio uploads. I’m surprised this feature isn’t available on the Android app (Wasn’t it once?).
“Its very rare for me to say that an app is sexy”, jozefd14 comments on the Google Play product page. “This is truly an awesome update. Hopefully iPhone/iPod Touch update will look like this. Its very nice to the eyes”. The Android user has HTC myTouch 4G.
Brett, who uses Droid Bionic: “A really good update for the app. Things are better, and I can actually open the photos on ny dashboard to get a better look. I just wish I could go through all of my ‘liked’ posts, because it seems I’m limited to a certain amount. I see the three periods at the end, so does it mean I have to stop there?”
Lee, who uses HTC Thunderbolt, offers more mixed reaction: “Love the new UI. Really well done. This app was just terrible before, definitely usable now! Problem: logs me out a lot and says its unable to reach the network. Really annoying!”
I must admit to rarely using Tumblr for Android, having likewise found previous versions deficient. But the update is promising.
Earlier today, I explained that for this week I’m putting away the RSS reader and using social media to ferret out the news. Thanks to software developer Aaron Burrell, whose post alerted me to Tumblr for Android — something that likely wouldn’t have popped up in Google Reader.
Chrome: Most feed readers default to a long list of headlines and articles with a folder-like navigation tree on the left to help you sift through your feeds and unread posts. It works, but FeedSquares is a Chrome extension that connects to Google Reader and uses tiles to display your feeds instead. Highlighted and off-axis tiles indicate new topics, and you can click any tile to see the posts for that feed, and any article to bring up the full text.
Once installed, click any tile to bring up the list of articles from that feed in a horizontal list at the bottom of the screen. When you find an article you’d like to read, click it to bring up the full text, and click anywhere off of it to minimize it again. Folders you’ve created are displayed as menus at the top of the screen, and clicking one rearranges the tiles so you only see the feeds in that folder.
FeedSquares isn’t necessarily faster than other tools: it takes several clicks to get from the base display down to a new article, more than other, traditional feed readers. What it does differently—and well—is give you an easy way to see where there are new and unread articles to read, browse through your feeds without obscuring the feed list, and offering a fun and different way of interacting with your RSS feeds. If the inbox-look is tired to you and you wish there were another way to read the news, FeedSquares is worth a try.
Chrome: Reeder for Chrome is inspired by Reeder for Mac OS and iOS, but it’s not from the same developers. Nevertheless, it retains the clean and easy-to-use look and feel of the original, and completely re-skins Google Reader into a clean and attractive three-paned feed reader that looks just like the desktop and mobile app.
If you’re a big fan of Reeder on the desktop, or just want to get a feel for what its like before you pay for the iOS or Mac OS versions, Reeder for Chrome can give you a similar experience. It’s missing some of the smooth transitions, but your feeds are grouped in the small pane to the left, headlines live in the center, and you get a large view of the story or article in the pane on the right. Click a headline and a new Chrome tab opens with the article on its home page.
Since Reeder for Chrome is a skin for the actual Google Reader homepage, you can manage your subscriptions, add new ones, and filter for read, unread, star, and mark stories in the interface. If you’re looking for something a little different, check out our Reeder for Chrome | Tumblr
Chrome: Reeder for Chrome is inspired by Reeder for Mac OS and iOS, but it’s not from the same developers. Nevertheless, it retains the clean and easy-to-use look and feel of the original, and completely re-skins Google Reader into a clean and attractive three-paned feed reader that looks just like the desktop and mobile app.If you’re a big fan of Reeder on the desktop, or just want to get a feel for what it’s like before you pay for the iOS or Mac OS versions, Reeder for Chrome can give you a similar experience. It’s missing some of the smooth transitions, but your feeds are grouped in the small pane to the left, headlines live in the centre, and you get a large view of the story or article in the pane on the right. Click a headline and a new Chrome tab opens with the article on its home page.
Since Reeder for Chrome is a skin for the actual Google Reader homepage, you can manage your subscriptions, add new ones, filter for read and unread stories, as well as star and mark stories in the interface.
Reeder for Chrome [Tumblr]
Tags: Google Reader
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube video sharing property and
Chrome Web browser have both been more closely integrated with Google+, the company’s young social
Since its June launch, Google+ users have been able to watch
YouTube videos with their friends, family or colleagues via the Hangouts group
video chat application, which enables up to 10 users to watch YouTube
clips, music videos or even movies and discuss them in real time. Google in August added the ability for YouTube users with Google+ accounts to
start Hangouts right from YouTube with the click of a button.
Google+ and YouTube got a lot cozier Nov. 3, offering something of an ad-hoc streaming music, video or movie player.
now click a YouTube “slider” in their Google+ stream to jump right
into YouTube from the social network. To do this, users mouse over the YouTube
icon at the top right in Google+.
When the button slides out, users can type in what they
want to search for and hit Enter. YouTube will begin playing a list of related
videos in a pop-up window. This feature worked well as a little streaming audio
On a whim, eWEEK typed in “Jawbox, For Your Own
Special Sweetheart” and received essentially a set list of the band’s
albums, including a nice mix of studio and live cuts from that D.C. hardcore
album. Moreover, we were able to move the pop-window all around the screen
without losing the content.
As a bonus, we were able to then share the content with our Circles by clicking the Share button located in the top right-hand corner of the YouTube video that’s playing in the pop-up window.
Google also added two new Google+ Chrome extensions. The +1
button extension lets users +1 any Web page and share it with their Google+
Circles. The notifications extension lets users check their Google+ notifications while
they browse the Web.
These YouTube and Chrome tools are the kind of features
Google CEO Larry Page and Google+ Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra referred
to as shipping the Google in Google+, a euphemism for splicing more of the company’s Web
services with the social network.
Google has also integrated Google+ with Gmail, Search, Google Reader, Google Maps and Google News, among other combinations. With this layered, integrated approach, Google is essentially rebuilding its brand as the
premier search engine to becoming the premier social destination online.
However, it has to compete with Facebook and its massive network of 800
million-plus users worldwide to carve out a piece of social real estate. At 40
million-plus users and counting, Google has a ways to go. But integrating
Google and Google+ is an essential start.
November 4, 2011 By Jeffrey Van Camp
Google has built two Chrome extensions and a YouTube button for its Google+ social network.
Google is continuing its steady rollout of Google+ features. Yesterday, the search giant further integrated YouTube and Chrome into its new social network. The new features are intended to help users easily find YouTube videos and more easily share and +1 content from Chrome. Google Reader and Gmail both received Google+ inspired facelifts in the last week as well.
YouTube: A new, and awkwardly placed, little YouTube icon now appears above the “In Your Circles” section at the top right of Google+, but will stick to the side of G+ no matter where you scroll. Mousing over it will expand it to a search bar where you can type in a YouTube query. We searched for “Zelda,” and once we hit Enter, a new window, small window popped up and a random Zelda video started to play. A list of other popular videos are below and the window has a big Share button that lets you post the videos or playlists directly to Google+. Useful? We’re not so sure. Fun? Possibly.
Chrome: Two new Chrome extensions are now available. You can now install a +1 button extension, which lets you +1 and share any page that you’re on much like it’s done on Google+. More useful may be the Notifications extension though, which puts that big red Google+ notification dot into your browser. This means you can fully use Google+ from any website. Pretty powerful stuff. Facebook should do something similar.