Friday, October 06, 2006

The case for Bloglines

Gina at Lifehacker has compared Google Reader to Bloglines and has made the case for Google Reader. Steve Rubel agrees whole-heartedly. I have been using the new features they rolled out and I agree with most of their assessment. I beg to disagree with Steve's claim that Bloglines has not innovated since being bought by Ask. In the last few weeks Bloglines has rolled out improvements to address issues that were starting to annoy me:

  1. The entire left pane does not refresh when you select to keep an item new.
  2. The time between automatic updates has decreased so that your feeds are updated more frequently.
  3. The left pane can be expanded or collapsed to provide more reading space.
Additionally, where Bloglines shines, in my opinion, is in its mobile interface. They improved the mobile interface recently to integrate Skweezer. Skweezer compresses and reformats the content when you click on a link on a post. In the past, I was afraid of doing this on my mobile phone because of the load time some sites that contained flashy images. Skweezer is my shield. Sure, Google Reader also has a mobile interface, but it is not nearly as featured as the Bloglines:
  1. You cannot select which feeds do and don't show up in the mobile interface. While subscribing to a feed Bloglines lets you select whether to include the feed in your mobile reader.
  2. The feed items are presented in the river of news format. While this might be ideal for the desktop, when I am on-the-go, I prefer being able to select the feed I want to read. Google Reader mobile lets you browse feeds in the river of news format or by label. Bloglines presents me with all feeds that I explicitly chose for my mobile reader in the familiar folder hierarchy visible in the left pane. From there, I can choose to read only the feeds I want at that particular moment.
Thes features combine to make Bloglines a superior feed reader for mobile device. And since mobility is key for me, I am going to stick to Bloglines until Google Reader can deliver.

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Muralikrishnan said...

Sure, Bloglines is better on the mobile, but despite all those so-called 'improvements' they have doen in the recent past ... the fact remains that the bloglines have literally been warming their backsides while the rest of the world got more focussed on anticipating user needs and meeting them

Abhishek Ghuwalewala said...

I agree that Bloglines is not perfect by any means and they need to do a lot of work to catch up with the features and the user experience of Google Reader as well as other web-based feed readers. But I also think that Bloglines is a strong player and should not be short-changed this soon.