Google unveils Reader Play for visual Web browsing
Google has launched a new, experimental tool that will allow users to view content from their RSS feeds in a more stylish way.
Dubbed Google Reader Play, the service is designed to complement Google Reader, the Web giant's RSS reader. Rather than display stories, videos or photos from sites users subscribe to in a list, Google's Reader Play displays that content in a slideshow-like format.
Each item in Google Reader Play is displayed one at a time. If a particular item contains a photo, Google Reader Play automatically enlarges it. Any videos included in the feed will "auto-play" once they are brought to the fore. The app also includes arrows on either side of an item to help users move back and forth between content.
Like Google Reader, the service allows users to "like" items that they find interesting. Based on those preferences, Google Reader Play finds other content across the Web that users might like and displays that in their feed. Users also can share items with friends or star them to make it easier to find them at a later time.
Google Reader Play is by no means a replacement for Google Reader. The service is well-designed and it's easy on the eyes, but power users looking to quickly customize their RSS feeds will want to stick with Google Reader.
-- Don Reisinger