Bring Google Reader To Your Desktop With ReadAIR

SHARE

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.

SHARE
  • adamjmcgrath

    Hi,

    Thanks for your thorough review of my app! At the moment I have to agree with you, there are some bugs and plenty of features missing.

    Just to let you know that I am rapidly developing it at the moment and have released v0.11 today with support for the 2 most important shortcuts (J/K) with more coming along soon.

    I've also fixed the bug you've illustrated above with the viewing pane not sizing to it's content properly.

    As you can see, it's still only really a proof of concept at the moment – but I hope to develop it more

    Once again – thanks for taking the time to do a thorough review

  • Pingback: Geek-Chic: Organizing your geek life, part 2: RSS Readers | Prodigeek

  • http://shegeeks.net Corvida

    Thanks for stopping by Adam! I'm looking forward to seeing how you continue to develop ReadAIR and I just installed the update. Shall play with it a little later and maybe email you my thoughts.

  • http://uniquefrequency.wordpress.com Daryl Tay

    I really like the idea and it's great that a product is at least out there. Adam, major props to you for responding to this! I'm eagerly awaiting for the bugs to be ironed so I can try it and get hooked. Corvida, great review =)

  • http://learnfirefox.cybernetnews.com ChrisRossini

    One of my reservations was the fact that there weren't any keyboard shortcuts…Nice to read that they've been implemented…Looking forward to seeing how this app progresses.

  • http://readwriteweb.com Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Are the feeds actually downloaded and stored locally where I can look at them in XML even offline forever and ever like a real desktop reader? That's a big part of why I use a desktop reader. I'd be pretty psyched if all of the above was true and wonderful.

  • http://www.sheysmith.com Shey

    I couldn't find the share or notes feature either. Without those ReadAir has no use, to me personally.

  • http://www.myphillynetwork.com Anthony Farrior

    Aww Fiddle sticks! I thought we found true freedom from the browser….

  • http://mindofestevanico.vox.com James Neal

    Every since I discovered Snackr, I spend less time just browsing Google Reader. I only go to Google Reader when I am looking for something specifically. The running Snackr banner has already alerted me to feeds that I totally forgot I had. I really want Snackr to keep on evolving. It suits my browsing personality unlike any other web app I've tried in awhile. In fact that's how I got here!

  • http://shegeeks.net Corvida

    No it's not true. :(

  • http://techtracer.com/ nitinpai

    Hey I just happened to write a post on ReadAir. The main reason which prompted me for it was even I got bored using Google Reader for a long time now. Needed a change. ReadAir is nice. Have you tried FeedDemon or RssBandit?

  • http://techtracer.com/ nitinpai

    Hey I just happened to write a post on ReadAir. The main reason which prompted me for it was even I got bored using Google Reader for a long time now. Needed a change. ReadAir is nice. Have you tried FeedDemon or RssBandit?

  • http://techtracer.com/ nitinpai

    Hey I just happened to write a post on ReadAir. The main reason which prompted me for it was even I got bored using Google Reader for a long time now. Needed a change. ReadAir is nice. Have you tried FeedDemon or RssBandit?