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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Google still has the best feed reader

Yes, we all know Google Reader was shut down for good on July 2 of last year.   It's creators went on to do great things, and are still at it.  Users had an emotional attachment to Google Reader; it was the best for those that understood RSS. Many were upset at its sunsetting.  That's well known.

What's less well known is that Google is rebuilding a smarter newsreader, from the consumer point of view.   What I don't understand is where it is hidden: inside the Google Play Library under "My News".  For the last year, I thought this was a place for Google to sell magazines to compete with the quite weak iOS Newstand, so I never ventured into Play News.

But yesterday, I actually wanted to buy a digital copy of a magazine (hard to believe I know) - and discovered that Play News is so much more than a digital magazine stand.   It's a news reader with a feed reader underneath.

In fact, they do a pretty good job of mixing both together.  But just as a basic newsreader it's pretty damn good.



You can navigate to the publications you like, and this part is genius, it will auto promote the publisher's mobile app if it appears in the Play store.    Little golf claps for the PM at Google who created this feature.




And underneath, yes there is a feed reader.   In fact, here's how this blog looks inside of My News:




So yes, RIP Google Reader, but let's hope Play News combined with the news that appears in Google Now can fill the void.    Google has always been good at creating relevant news products, they've just been really poor at marketing them.  Let's hope this incarnation stays alive.

Update:  This app is actually called "Play Newstand" and does have it's own icon in Android if you dig into all your apps.


I didn't correct my flawed name uses above to underscore Google's lack of branding.   Getting the name to dsiplay without an ellipsis as "Play News..." isn't easy.




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