I’m getting a bit worried about the guys at Google Labs – at the rate they’re pumping out new stuff, they probably don’t get much time to sleep. The latest thing to pop out of the Labs is Google Reader Play – a new way to view Reader that seems particularly well suited to tablets, maybe even touch phones.
Google Reader is a feed aggregator, it lets users subscribe to many different feeds and into one feed but offers many other features too.
Google Reader Play is just another way to view that one aggregated feed – it views items one at a time, using as much screen real estate as possible, and provides two simple but easy ways to navigate the feed, either by previous/next item arrows at the sides of the screen or the “filmstrip” with thumbnails, which makes it easier to spot interesting items and fast forward to them.
Both approaches are very touch friendly and it requires very little user interaction – photos and embedded videos (from YouTube and other sites) are loaded automatically and videos start to play right away.
This gives Google Reader Play the potential to be the way to read the news on touch-enabled devices (and probably big-screen TVs as well).
You can try it out for yourself at www.google.com/reader/play. If you haven’t used Reader before, the Recommended items will be loaded – the most interesting news, images and videos on the Internet right now, as suggested by Google’s algorithms.