Newsgator Online takes on Google Reader

Newsgator, developer of my blogging mainstays- FeedDemon and Newsgator Online, today officially launched the beta version of its web based RSS reader Newsgator Online.

Newsgator team has got rid of the plain-old query and display interface with a fresh new Ajaxy UI. What this translates to us in terms of features is faster feed and post loading. If you start with the default viewing options, Newsgator Online quickly loads up summary for all posts, and possibly fetching the complete post content in the background to enable you to get through your posts quickly. Adding feeds, changing settings, adding/deleting/renaming/refreshing folders, all have desktop based product like look and feel in the new release.

However Newsgator Online still needs to be optimized for viewing area available on laptops. When I tried adding a new feed to one of my folders, the pop-up window didn’t have the right controls to resize and move the window. So you can end up refreshing the page and start all over again. Also when I tried out the new UI, I found the folder drag-drop controls bit too aggressive. If you are not careful you can end up moving one of your folders as sub-folder to another folder. This leads to an interesting scenario of being able to have sub-folders in Newsgator Online, a feature not supported in FeedDemon. Before you start hunting down your sub-folder in FeedDemon, let me tell you that all the sub-folders from the online version showup as independent folders in FeedDemon. Maybe FeedDemon will get to supporting sub-folders option, although I don’t really see the utility for such an option.

On the whole the new release gives far better user experience as compared to what we had before. This release will very well help Newsgator compete with Google Reader that has lately been capturing major chunk of RSS reader market.

Links:
Newsgator Online

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