Google had a look at what everyone had to say about the Google Reader’s recent update and responded by adding a few new features! As if the last update wasn’t enough they added a few really important features this time around.
- Pick your start page: On the Preferences tab that is located in the settings you can choose what you want your homepage to be. Maybe you want it to be a specific feed, folder, or all of your items. It’s up to you.
- Hiding the left side: You can hide the left sidebar to simulate a full screen mode by pressing the letter u on the keyboard. Press the same key again and it reappears. David Copperfield couldn’t even pull this kind of magic off!
- Refreshing: There is a new refresh link at the bottom of your sidebar that will check to see if any of the feeds have been updated since you last loaded the page. Google Reader also does it automatically for you every few minutes. That is much easier than having to constantly check back all of the time…now if only they would release a notifier application.
I am still a little disappointed with the frequency that Google Reader updates itself. I think they have an “intelligent” system going on where their servers watch for how frequently a feed is updated. If it is updated frequently then they will check for new posts every hour. Otherwise it appears to be on some sort of algorithm where some of my feeds only get updated every few hours.
- Space is smart again: The spacebar will let you go from post to post unless a particular is longer than what can fit on the screen. In that case it will start scrolling instead of moving on to the next post without letting you finish reading the current one.
The Google Reader Blog also mentioned that when a refresh takes place any new items that are displayed will briefly be highlighted in yellow. That makes it easy for you to see which ones it just added. Of course it flashed so quickly for me that I could hardly see it but they thought it was cool enough to give them a slight bump on the Web 2.0 scale (note the rounded corners):