Google seems to read people’s minds and to truly show how it cares for the ones seeking online information, it makes striking revelations in its new avatar of Google Reader. The new features include the stunning new and much awaited feature – Feed Search and a collapsible sidebar separator. On a personal note I had craved for searching some of my feed archives and failing to find the much needed information right away.

Google Reader Search

The official Google Reader Blog announces the delightful news,

That’s right, search is finally in Google Reader. Now you can find that that apricot recipe you came across a few months ago and now have a craving for. Or perhaps you’d like to search for “ipod” so that you can read at once all the posts in your subscriptions that mention today’s announcements.

I have almost above 100 sites listed in my feeds and saving the URL’s whenever I found exciting information was a thing out of reach. It was also time consuming to add each of the links into my del.icio.us account. The craving has finally ended and the lord has showered glory on my online wealth. The Google Reader Search is here. And mind you it is not simple as Google sometimes appears to be. On the contrary it is stunning and leaves a striking impression if you too craved for it from a long time.

This time its not a single search box as the Google homepage has. There are two and the second one is definitely surprise package. Its an editable combo box as never seen before! I would love to have such a box in my applications too. I hope they make it available in GWT. Besides that it has the amazing Google Suggest built within it which searches the matching feed names from the ones subscribed to the one you are typing. And adding to the whole lot of amazement the speed is lightening fast.

Initially I had expected to be a bit slow since on a technical front, it has to browse through the debris and from deep down within the posts it has bring the relevant result. I searched an old post of my site written about 6 months back when TechTracer went live. Surprisingly it gave me the result within less than a second.

My earlier strategy to keep the nice articles searchable were rather meek. I used to either share it so that I could find it by browsing the archive manually or star the posts so that at-least I could make out the one I needed from the starred lists. The final option would be to use Google’s BlogSearch But none of these options were handy.

Now that the search has been built in it my online wealth of information has now become even more richer. The unique way to search the reader which would leave you with quick trips to the desired source is:

  • Use the Suggest Combo to check whether you have the hint of finding the feed in consideration from the many feeds you have subscribed for.
  • Put the query in the first text box and hit Search
  • You can also leave the second search box empty if you want but you should note that it will then search all your feed archives which might go into millions of articles. But you still don’t have to worry. The search would be quick indeed!
  • The search results brings up a third tab in addition to the List View and Expanded View tabs. So you can keep the search results for as long as your want.

I would be very keen to know the search mechanism that they would have applied here because that would hold a key to applications where document search is crucial. I can expect that Google web search is fully dependent on heavy indexing, fast hardware and optimized querying, but searching through my own reader, with my own added feeds which can keep on changing quite a lot and bringing the search result amazingly fast is something mind boggling for me right now.

One more thing which Google Reader has introduced in its interface is the separator. Previously users of Google Readers were left clueless as to whether the content region could have had more space and expandable for easier reading. Some users found the options to do this through utilities present for Firefox like the Platypus plugin even though there is a shortcut to expand and collapse the sidebar by pressing “u” to toggle to full screen mode.

The Google Reader Keyboard Shortcuts help is easily accessible if you just click “?” (Shift + /) which opens up a transparent windows with a list of shortcuts. Pretty amazing stuff indeed.

But now, the Google Guys have made it look more noticeable by providing a color-change-on-hover separator. Click on it once to close the side bar. Although it dampens the look of the Reader but it is very helpful in cases where you just might have forgotten what to do to close it. Once closed you can relish your feeds with a much broader space and mind! :)


Stumble Digg Technorati Subscribe Delicious