NewsGator just launched a new beta version of their online feed reader that is sporting some nifty AJAX and JavaScript goodness. Personally I prefer to use desktop feed reader applications because they offer more configurability and settings, but NewsGator now has a slim layout that is sure to please a lot of people.

You’ll quickly notice the AJAX jumping into play when you begin switching between your feeds. It operates a lot smoother now and reminds me more of Google Reader. There isn’t as much AJAX going on as I initially thought because the expanding and contracting headings only utilize simple JavaScript to hide the text from sight. Google Reader actually uses AJAX to retrieve the article’s content each time you click to expand an article when in the List View. Why does this matter? It doesn’t make that much of a difference to people who are on fast Internet connections, but Google’s feed reader will load up a little faster. This is because NewsGator immediately loads all of the content even if you never expand it, therefore creating more information for you to download when you view the page.

I think that the online client looks pretty nice, but it isn’t something that I would really use. Their online service is still important because they have a downloadable feed reader application for both Mac (NetNewsWire) and PC’s (FeedDemon). Neither of those applications are free, but they are some of the best software feed readers currently available on the market…and they are setup to synchronize with the NewsGator service.

Right now Google Reader is my preferred feed reader when I’m away from my personal computer, but they too have some things that could be fixed. A few weeks back I remember reading an article by Curtiss discussing the five things that Google still needs to fix/implement in Google Reader so that it is more usable. The one thing that I agree with the most is the need for a notification program so that I know when Google has found some new posts for my subscriptions. Even Bloglines has a notifier available so I think Google Reader needs this as well.

Let us know in the comments below what you use to keep track of your feeds, whether it be an application or an online service.

Source: Micro Persuasion