Overdue: Google Reader to get design revamp, Google+ integration next week

google-reader

Well, it’s about time. Google announced Thursday that it will be giving its Reader product a much-needed redesign. In addition, Google will added integration with its Google+ social network to make it easier for users to share stories with their Circles.

As part of the redesign, Google will also do a bit of house cleaning with Reader by retiring the current social features in the RSS reader, including friending, following and the sharing of links within Reader itself.

In an attempt to get out ahead of the user outrage that’s commonplace anytime a company like Google or Facebook rolls out drastic changes to long-running products, Google says it will also make it possible for users who dislike the new setup to export their data, and move to a different RSS reader.

“We think the end result is better than what’s available today, and you can sign up for Google+ right now to start prepping Reader-specific circles,” writes Alan Green, a software engineer at Google. “We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you. That’s why we will also be extending Reader’s subscription export feature to include the following items. Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you.”

The items include subscriptions, shared items, friends, likes and starred items.

The update to Reader is due sometime next week. And if you ask me, it couldn’t come soon enough. As someone who must constantly keep on up as much as possible, I am a fairly heavy Reader user (but by no means the heaviest, for sure), with a few hundred websites programmed into my subscription list. When Google+ launched this summer, one of my first thoughts while testing out the new social network was how great it would be to have Reader integration. And pretty soon, Reader began to feel out-of-date entirely – but still the best option around.

In other words, I could not be more excited for the update. So I likely won’t be one of the people packing up all my data and heading for the door. Unless, of course, Google completely screws things up, which is always a possibility. But I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic about this until the day comes.

Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.
Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.