As I stated in an earlier post, Google Reader is the best RSS Feed Reader on the Internet. However, it is not perfect. And the more I use it, the more potential for improvement I see. Here is my list of what I’d like to see changed with Google Reader:
- Lack of Different Default Views for Sites: Some websites (such as Digg.com) have hundreds of posts each day. For them, I’d like the default videw to be the List View, where it shows only the post title and the first 20 or so words from the entry. This is a much more space-efficient view and allows for quicker browsing through the headlines, since with this many entries, you’re going to ignore most of them. But for sites with only a few entries, say less than 10 or so unread items, I’d like the default view to be the Expanded View, where the entire content is shown for each post. I don’t like having to switch between views based on which feed I’m viewing; there needs to be a way to specify a default for each feed or specify it based on number of unread posts.
- Too Many Entries for Some Sites — Show me the Best: As I stated above, some sites have way, way too many entries for me to read all of them. Right now, I have 754 unread digg.com articles, and that’s only because I used the “mark all as read” feature a day or two ago. Truthfully, I will never, ever take the time to read all of these entries and I probably should just delete my subscription to that feed. I wish Digg would provide a feed listing only the most popular of the popular stories, but they don’t because they want people on their site voting up articles. So I wish Google would implement a tracking system for high volume sites, so that the most popular unread items are at the top of Google Reader, rather than the most recent.
- Too Many Entries for Some Sites — Only Show the Latest Stories: If Google Reader won’t show me the most popular stories on “high volume” sites, at least autoamtically mark the older posts as “read”. I’d like to see a per-site option to show “only the most recent ### number of posts.”
- No Images When Using Google Reader in Offline Mode: First of all, I have to say that having an offline viewing mode for a browser-based application is awesome! I installed Google Gears, clicked the “offline” icon in Google Reader, and all the feeds could be read without an internet connection! Unfortunately, all of the offline feeds had the pictures omitted. Sure, having pictures would require more cache to be used on my PC for the offline content, but a picture is worth 1000 words in most cases, and the omission of pictures makes reading some posts worthless.