Thursday, June 16, 2011

Google Reader - The Web App is winning

For the last couple of months i've been using the free desktop app Reeder as the client to read my RSS feeds. I've tried several desktop apps but to date Reeder was the one I liked the best. It wasn't perfect, but it was free and it seemed a little less clunky than the native google reader interface. Regardless of what tool I use, its always connected to my google reader account these days. That allows me to pick the best app on each platform but still maintain consistency in keeping up on the news.

The Reeder beta finished and now they want $10. Thats a reasonable price for good software, but since it didn't just switch on ads or cripple the app but literally disabled it I jumped back to the native google reader interface until I could make a decision. And you know what? The native google reader app improved and its hard for me to say the local app is better. So I uninstalled Reeder and went back to the google reader interface wrapped in fluid to make it an app and I haven't missed Reeder yet.

The killer will come when I need to read RSS offline, but these days I don't travel with my mac but with an iPad and iPhone. The other killer is when you buy an app like Reeder on one platform they don't give it to you on the others. I have no idea what Reeder looks like on the iPad or iPhone since they don't have a lite/free version and i'm actually quite happy with the free MobileRSS. If Reeder sold the desktop app on the Mac for $10 and included the mobile versions with that i'd consider it, but otherwise its not going to happen.

When vendors really make their apps work offline with HTML5 it will really but a strain on the local desktop app vendors. And competition is good for the consumers.
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