Thursday, 11 April 2013

Fiddly Feedly Fixed

Just a brief update on the Oh Noes! They killed Google Reader! panic of a few weeks back.

In common with a lot of people (three million and counting so far) I jumped to Feedly. I can't say I liked it much at first. The layout was clunky and far from intuitive. It worked, though, pulling everything smoothly and painlessly from Reader, so I stuck with it.

I forced myself to stop checking Reader and practiced going straight to Feedly. Just as well, because the other day when I went to the Google drop-down "More" menu from which I used to open Reader, Reader was gone.

So, I was using Feedly but not happily. Then two things changed. First, I got round to setting Feedly up on my 7" tablet. Wow! What a difference. Feedly on a tablet is just gorgeous. That whole "you're looking at a magazine" thing they were trying for, which looks just awful on a desktop monitor, works perfectly on the handheld screen. It feels so natural to use and looks utterly charming. It's a positive joy to use.

It's so enjoyable in fact that I was considering giving up blog reading on the desktop altogether and using the tablet even at home (currently I mostly only use it when out of the house). The problem with that would be commenting. I can and do comment from the tablet but I can't say it's pleasant so I tend to comment a lot less than I would if I was sitting in front of a real keyboard. Of course, that might be a good thing...

Then a couple of days ago Feedly issued an update for the desktop version, optimized for a range of browsers, which they said was in response to recent user feedback. Presumably from the those three million users they've gained from Google. I patched the new Firefox version and the result is that I'm now very happy indeed with Feedly.

The new layout is clean, elegant and eminently usable. I can see everything I need just where I need to see it, at a glance. Feedly is now not just a good replacement for Reader, it's a much superior product all round and I heartily recommend it.

I guess Google did us all a favor. Odd how ungrateful I feel.


7 comments:

  1. Until they make Feedly an extension-free website on the desktop i have a problem with it. There's no reason why it should be an extension and not a HTML5 webpage. At work i'm often stuck on different PCs and with *gasp* IE , Feedly does not work on IE...

    So yes, the mobile app is great, but i've now moved over to NewsBlur in the meantime and enjoying it alot more. Especially the whole "training" thing (i.e. i can tell it i like Guild Wars 2 articles and it will point them out in my feeds).

    I do like the whole magazine view up to a point, but i've had that with Flipboard and Pulse long ago (Pulse , mind you got a desktop website too for adding RSS feeds, but unfortunately they are sticking with the crazy block display on there too as opposed to a list, so err..no).

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    1. The new Firefox version seems to have done away with the Magazine page look altogether. You just get a list. I don't even use that, though. I'm using the Index, which shows me the name of every blog I'm subscribed to in a single, tidy view. If any have new material the name is in Boldface and there's a number after it that says how many items I haven't read. Couldn't be more straightforward.

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  2. I've been happy with Feedly except for the colossal, enormous, gigantic screen-filling TICK to mark all read.. I can't count how many times I've already accidentally clicked on that and marked half a dozen posts read. WHY WOULD YOU HAVE A MARK ALL READ BUTTON THAT FILLS THE ENTIRE SCREEN THAT'S INSANE?!?!?!

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    1. Yep that is decidedly weird. I guess someone was really proud of his tick-drawing skills...

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    2. You can disable that in the preferences. It's called "Giant Mark As Read" ;)

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  3. I tried Feedly but so far I'm back on Reader (which you can still access by bookmark or by direct URL: google.com/reader).

    The problem with the Feedly app is that it seems very sensitive to working offline and I mostly read my RSS feed on the underground/metro so to have the app decide to try and update and then blank if there's no Internet is a major turn-off for me.

    I might try just using the webpage via Safari (as I do now with Google Reader) and see if that follows Safari's very usable offline mode rules, or try something else instead.

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    1. That's something I'd never even thought of, going through my feed offline. Hadn't even occurred to me it would be possible. I do so little offline I almost forget there's anything that can be done. Would be very handy on the journey to and from work - I must look into it, although from what you say not with Feedly.

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