I've been using Bloglines to aggregate my 100+ rss feeds from around the Internet since I discovered the wonderful world of rss about 2 years ago. When Google Reader v1 came out, I was at first impressed with the slick ajax UI they came up with...it was very smooth, had lots of bells n whistles, etc. However, unlike most google products I use, Google reader v1 fell way short of satisfying my rss thirst for knowledge. I could not categorize feeds and it was difficult to quickly browse articles. It was a classic example of where "cool" did not sync with "functional". Here's a screenshot of Google Reader v1 beta:
Recently, Google launched version 2 beta of their Google Reader...and after trying it out for a couple weeks, I've officially made the switch from Bloglines. Why? Because it finally lives up to the wonderful user experience that I've come to find in many of Google's other products such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Analytics.The
Pros: My favorite feature of the new reader is the ability to toggle the way you view the feeds from a list view (very similar to gmail) to an expanded view (similar to bloglines). I use both views frequently because some feeds (like craigslist feeds for example) are much quicker and easier to view as a list while other feeds that have long articles I tend to read regularly make the expanded view the most practical.
List View Screenshot:
Expanded view screenshot:
You can now categorize your feeds and organize them how you wish (similar to bloglines...only without the frames).
Another great differentiator from Bloglines is that google can display only feeds/folders that have new posts...which makes my list of 100+ feeds not so long and above the fold since i read them regularly.
Google reader is also smart enough to know the difference between a new post and an updated or modified post...therefore google will only show you new posts (if you tell it to)...where bloglines always just re-displays the same post every time its updated.
The Con (yea just one):
UPDATE: Just a couple of days after posting this review, google added the auto refresh in there...so this con is gone :)
My only gripe is that Google doesn't automatically update your feeds like bloglines does...instead, you have to refresh the reader to get your updates...not a show-stopper for me though :)