Google Reader for iPhone Now Available

Yesterday, Google released a new version of their popular RSS feed reader intended for use on the Apple iPhone. Google created the new version of the reader as an exercise in using the Google Web Toolkit to create feature-rich applications for the iPhone. The Google Web Toolkit, or GWT, is a development toolkit which allows users to avoid the many pitfalls and frustrations of Javascript browser compliance when authoring AJAX web applications by letting programmers author these applications in Java.

Google Reader for the iPhone

Technically, the new web application isn't Google Reader. It's a more bare bones RSS reader and as such is formally called the GWT Feed Reader. That said, at the end of the day, it's a feed aggregator and reader that Google offers. Its desktop counterpart is Google Reader.

Though it probably comes as little surprise, the iPhone-geared Google Reader's interface jives quite nicely with

the iPhone interface. Text is sized appropriately, the interface is relatively peppy, and iPhone-esque effects such as "sliding" new screens in and out are used. The interface will be familiar and comfortable to most users.

The availability of Google Reader for the iPhone will be good news to many users who have been frustrated with the options for reading RSS on the iPhone. Though Apple offers a web version of their .Mac RSS reader on the iPhone, the lack of a centralized interface and certain UI issues have been criticized by many.

Google Reader for the iPhone brings a bit more to the table. Feeds are managed centrally through the AJAX interface. New feeds can be added and removed through the interface as opposed to the .Mac reader which requires navigation to the RSS feed in question and the addition of a .Mac reader bookmark.

One terribly annoying, at least from our perspective, .Mac reader UI quirk not is thankfully not found in the iPhone Google Reader. When scrolling through a list of feed articles, and selecting to read the full article summary, Google Reader for the iPhone returns you to the article in the list that you expanded. Annoyingly, the .Mac reader always returns you to the top of the RSS article list.

You can read more about Google Reader for the iPhone and the Google Web Toolkit here.

Here is the direct link to Google Reader for the iPhone.