Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

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press   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]Google Reader is an important part of my daily routine. It’s how I keep on top of news and blogs I care about. In fact, Reader has many fans in MakeUseOf. We’ve even published a Google Reader cheat sheet with lots of handy keyboard shortcuts. But what if you don’t like to read your feeds while in front of a computer?

Well, if you’re an Android user, we’ve covered JustReader and Pulse, two interesting Google Reader clients. But today I’m here to take a good look at a recent arrival in the Reader client space, called Press. If the name sounds familiar, it might be because I recently included Press in a roundup of applications three gorgeous Android apps that give iOS a run for its money. Now, let’s see how this pretty client actually works in daily use.

Navigating Your Feeds

Press starts off with a base assumption. If you use Google Reader, you probably put all of your feeds into neat labels.

labels   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

This is not always the case, as you can see from my screenshot above. I used to have a lot of labels in my Google Reader, with over a hundred feeds. Then last summer I went on an information diet and cancelled all of my subscription except for a handful of select feeds. So, no labels for me. That said, with just eleven unread items, you don’t need labels.

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Once you tap the label you want to focus on (or “no label” in my case), you get a screen showing currently unread posts:

subscriptions   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

So, I’ve got one RailsCasts screencast to watch, and ten posts on MakeUseOf. Let’s tap into MakeUseOf:

posts   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

Each post has a little circle noting its status (a full circle means its unread), as well as a title and a quick excerpt. This is nice, because you can quickly scan over the titles and tap the little circle to mark uninteresting stuff as read before you even go into the individual post reading mode.

Next, note the neat little strip on the right of the screen: Pull it out (or tap one of the posts), and you’re into the individual post mode.

Viewing An Individual Post

Talk about pretty formatting:

singlepost   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

This is what an individual post looks like. I love the colors and the font. If you’re not into the sans-serif look, you can change it:

fonts1   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

This overlay lets you quickly change the fonts size and the justification. Why would anyone right-justify their posts, I have no idea. But if you really want to, you can.

To change the font, just tap its name (Open Sans above):

fonts2   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

What’s nice about this being an overlay is that your changes are reflect immediately. Tap a different font, and the shaded text in the background instantly changes, so you can decide whether or not you like the look. And while only a handful of fonts are included with Press, each is striking and different.

Check out the serious-looking serif Bitter:

fonts3   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

One feature I really like is being able to use the volume buttons to quickly navigate between posts. Just hit Volume Down to scroll to the next post, and Volume Up to scroll to the previous one. Note that this is useful only for switching between posts. If you’re reading a long post and try to press Volume Down to scroll, you’re going to find yourself transported to the next post. Takes a bit of getting used to.

Preferences

prefs2   Press: An Impressive Google Reader Client [Android]

I’m a fan of applications that don’t have overwhelming preferences panels. Press has more than one screenful of preferences, but refrains from dividing them into subcategories you must dive into. The only feature I’ve had trouble with is shown above: Background synchronization. When I enabled it, Press force-closed in the background every time it tried to synchronize with Google Reader, popping up random error messages when I was doing other things with the device.

Final Thoughts

Press is an elegant Google Reader client that’s fun to use, and definitely merits its spot on our list of Best Android Apps. It’s far from the only game in town, but that sort of competition only yields better apps for all of us.

Did you try it out? What did you think about it?

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5 Comments - Write a Comment

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Nevzat Akkaya

It looks good, but I use “d7 Reader Pro” and I think it’s great!

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Taswir Haider

It looks really lovely.I think I should be try it.Thanks.

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Nuno André Catarino

I guess that google made a pretty impressive job when making Google Reader. I use it in both tablet and smartphone (tf101 & galaxy s3). The interface looks pretty simple and fast to read. You should have focused more in the pros and cons, or maybe a comparison between two of them. The issue you report related to labels is true. Google doesn’t organize them in a useful way, I have started labelling some of the most interesting posts but I have left that because on the left pane it started showing me the labels mixed with the rss feeds. So you guys advise me to change, or to keep my google reader app? Give me your advice!

Jamie Morris

Nuno, I’ve been using Press for a couple of months now. iI switched from D7 Pro that Nevzat referred to. The thing is, all these apps sync with Google Reader so you can use any or all of them without it effecting your feeds. Give it a go and try it for yourself!

The one negative for me is that you can’t manage feeds from the app. For that, I currently use GReader Pro.

Erez Zukerman

Nuno, Jamie’s answer is spot on: I would just try Press for a couple of days and see. That said, a comparison post is a nice idea! Would definitely consider it.

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