While I was waiting for Google to lay my favorite Google reader to rest and the Digg reader to come along and save me, I took a quick tour of the AOL reader. I’m happy to report that its quite awesome. Why do I think so? From the ones I’ve tried, its pretty much the closest to Google reader. Here are four other reasons I love it.
1. Simple list view: AOL reader gives me a very simple list view. For someone who makes a living reading and writing, this is quite useful. It’s a simple question of function over form. In this case, I chose to go with function. It works for me.
2. Shortcuts are similar: I’ve been on Google reader for ever since I can remember using feeds. So I’m used to its shortcuts. AOL reader has pretty much the same short cuts. Mark everything as read: SHIFT + A.
3. It’s free: When Google reader shut down, I’d written a post about alternatives to Google reader. The Old Reader was good but gave way when there was too much load on it. The others, like Zite or Flipboard are too flashy. I’ve got 100s of feeds that I have to skim through. Give me anything besides a very simple experience, and I’ll die of fatigue.
4. Sharing features: The nifty sharing features let me post to the social networks of note. That is: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. It also lets me email a link.
What’s pissing me off?
First: I have a feeling that the feeds aren’t being updated on time. That would be really lousy. The reason I subscribe to them is because I want them on time, in one place and in industrial quantities.
Second: AOL displays an advertisement on the right hand corner. I’m okay with that. After all, I’m not paying for the service. But that’s just about enough space I’m going to share with creepy advertisers. Take another inch from my screen, and I’ll be on my way.
But I’m not complaining yet.