AOL has launched a new service called AOL Reader, which, as the name implies, is aimed at providing a Google Reader replacement for all those who are still not satisfied with their choice. AOL Reader is still in beta, but you can get access to it by signing in on reader.aol.com using your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Account.
With the upcoming demise of Google Reader, many companies are racing to provide a suitable replacement for the disgruntled RSS crowd. Many users are biding their time, waiting for the boom of replacements, with Digg providing the most speculations regarding their new Google Reader replacement. AOL came in from behind, launching its reader two days prior to Digg’s planned launch, bringing a simple and minimalistic reader into the mix, that integrates well with other AOL services such as AOL Mail and AOL On.
The reader itself is not innovative, but simply provides the same old features most Google Reader fans like, packing them into a much slicker interface than the one we’re used to from Google Reader. There are four layout options to choose from: list view, card view, full view, and pane view; two themes to choose from: light and dark; and four different font sizes ranging from small to x-large.
Each article can be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or email, and you can star items to save them, or mark them as read or unread.
Adding feeds is as easy as clicking the plus icon and finding the feed you’re looking for. There seems to be no way to import feeds from other services, but this might be added in later iterations. AOL Reader supports many keyboard shortcuts, at least on paper, but at the time of this writing none of them worked on my system.
All in all, AOL Reader is a nice-looking reader that adds many useful features to the basic Google Reader interface, and is easy enough to use. Its beta status means that not all options currently work, but it’s definitely worth a sign-in and a try if you’re still on the lookout for an alternative. When first signing in, you may be redirected to a “Request your beta spot” page after completing the process. Don’t despair, enter your email, go check your inbox for a confirmation email, and most chances you’ll be in.
The major downside of this new reader is that AOL is just as bound to shut it down as Google was if it doesn’t attract enough users, leaving us stranded and looking for alternatives yet again. What do you think of AOL’s new reader? Will you give it a chance?
Source: AOL Reader