Bring Google Reader To Your Desktop With ReadAIR

Seems Adobe AIR apps are gaining ground around the web. Popular Twitter clients such as Twhirl and Spaz are already using the AIR platform. Not good enough? WebKut (review), a screen capture application, Alert Thingy, and more recently MySocial24/7, Friendfeed clients, are also on the platform. While it’s long overdue, it’s no surprise that popular RSS reader Google Reader has been ported over to the platform too!

Available for both Mac and Windows (sorry Linux users), ReadAIR aims to bring the best of Google Reader to your desktop. Logging in and syncing the app with my account was quick and easy. The only thing ReadAIR app seems to have going for itself is a nice clean design. You can star an item, mark everything is as read, add and remove both feeds and tags, and view shared and starred items. You can also set refresh rates for every 5, 10, 20, or 30 minutes or choose to never refresh. Still, ReadAIR doesn’t compare to opening Google Reader in my browser.

readair_screenshot       

Issues

If your system is running slow, expect ReadAIR to give you numerous errors. I actually had to close Firefox, which wasn’t running high, in order to use the app. The app could be more useful if it automatically started downloading my feeds instead waiting for me to click on a folder before doing it. The load times can be pretty annoying. Also, I’m still searching for the "Share" button to share an item, which sucks major bullocks. The unread count does not automatically update once you’re done (which is irritating) and as Sarah Perez points out, there are no keyboard shortcuts for ReadAIR.

The display view for ReadAIR may annoy those that are comfortable with the way Google Reader allows you to view your feeds. I’m the user that only views updated items. I don’t want to see the feed otherwise (what’s the point?). This isn’t an option in ReadAIR, you see them all, and this could pose a serious problem if you have more than 200 feeds in GReader. Another annoying quirk is that the page may not properly display. Take a look at what I mean:

readair_bug

Not Ready For Primetime

There’s too much that’s missing and not enough innovation being brought to the table from ReadAIR for me to recommend it. Some of the most basic features in Google Reader are no where to be found and more recent GReader additions such as notes may never make it to ReadAIR. While it’s something to keep an eye on, right now ReadAIR is a bit of a disappointment to fans of Google Reader.