Written by nitinpai on July 6th, 2008
ReadAir – Google Reader On My Desktop!
The only constant thing for me in my life is change. I like to change my lifestyle, habits, hobbies once in a while so as to keep my mind fresh and active. I get bored with routines and so is the same case in my browsing activities or tools which I use. This time around my axe swayed in the direction of my age old favorite feed reader, Google Reader.
I am thoroughly satisfied with Google Reader for reading my RSS feeds but I felt its been a long time I have spent on it and it has now started to bore me a bit. So I started some search for good desktop applications which would give some eye candy and also improve my productivity while learning from the feeds.
I have found one nice solution which has relieved me to some extent and which is certainly an impressive effort in the direction of web desktop integration. Its called ReadAir. It is a really nice application for feed reading and I am impressed by its potential. The reason I liked it was because it is built on Adobe AIR. I had become a fan of Adobe AIR when I had read about it for the first time.
Seeing a live usable application built on it was something I had waited for and ReadAir has confirmed my belief that sometime later in the future we are going to see amazing applications built for the desktops but running on the web. Mozilla Prism is a yet another effort in this field.
Okay, coming back to the ReadAir. ReadAir is a desktop feed reader for reading your Google Reader feeds. The features that I can place my votes on are:
- Easy setup and login straight into Google Reader
- Direct synchronization of read posts with Google Reader
- You can star any post directly inside it which is also visible later in your Google Reader
- Add/Remove tags or feeds from within it
- It has got a very minimalistic Interface yet its pretty neat looking
- The feed post colors and fonts are soothing to the eye
- It is quick in loading.
- Clicking on the post title marks the post as read (This is better than scrolling the entire length of the post as in Google Reader)
I was satisfied by the above basic features and also expect them to improve them in the future. Since the application is in its early days, some features can be cranky at times. For example, I found the auto update feature somewhat unnecessary. It updated the application with some new features which later started to show some errors. Also, the search is not fully functional and currently ReadAir does not support keyboard shortcuts.
Leaving apart the shortcomings, the synchronization was the best part of ReadAir. At least I have got a different reader for my taste and also due to the synchronization with Google Reader, I do not have to worry about re-reading the same posts if I happen to access Google Reader from a different location. I appreciate the commendable effort put up by Adam Mcgrath for bringing this idea to life and am looking forward for addition of more features.
Try it, its nice to have a change sometimes and I would always root for web desktop applications like these. For installing ReadAir you need to have Adobe Air installed on your system. Download Adobe Air from here.