Android Apps

Google Reader Android app gets a taste of Honeycomb

August 17, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Lifestyle

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Android Honeycomb apps could use a jolt of energy, especially from the people responsible for creating it. Google took a break from building its tablet OS and updated the popular Google Reader app to be better-compliant with it.

The latest version of Google Reader scales much better because it now has a tablet mode. Honeycomb users will notice that the app uses the fragment Honeycomb system to split the feed menu and article view; there’s about a 45/55 split between the respective panes. A large thumbnail also appears with some articles, and a top level view for common actions for interesting articles (Star, Like, Share, Keep Unread). Further options like Tag, Mark all as read, and Sort are available with the Menu button.

The new design isn’t perfect, but it’s a more favorable option than the previous version. While Google Reader was technically usable on Honeycomb, the app lacked a tablet-optimized mode and looked terrible as a result. It just didn’t make sense using Google Reader on an Android tablet, despite that being the way most people manage RSS feeds. As a result, Honeycomb users had to turn to alternative apps, of which there are many options.

People who just want the standard Google Reader experience can finally just use the official Google Reader app. I’m a little partial to those other options I mentioned, but more choices is rarely a bad thing. Update by opening your app in the Android Market or triggering an install from the Market website.