Google Reader is the best RSS subscription collector out there — but only as a base. In practice it has one of the ugliest user interfaces I’ve ever come across. It’s busy, cluttered, and generally hard to look at and use. If it weren’t for all of the apps that utilize Google Reader within their own UI, I’m guessing it would have tanked along with other unwieldy Google services. Thankfully, some enterprising folks have used browser technology to re-skin Reader into something that actually makes content easy to consume. One of the best is Reeder for Chrome.
First things first: Reeder for Chrome is not an official extension by the creator of Reeder for iOS and Mac, Silvio Rizzi. It was created by @DazChong, someone who loved the slick design and easy usability of Reeder. 40Tech’s Evan Kline shares that love — he’s included Reeder as the first of his top 10 consumption apps for the iPad and one of the top 10 Mac App Store apps he can’t live without, and has cited it in several posts as his go-to app for RSS.
Note: Reeder for Chrome will, at some point, be changing its name to avoid confusion.
Reeder for Chrome delivers. It may not have all of the features you’re used to from the actual app, but most of them are there, and the look and feel makes Google Reader not just bearable, but a pleasure to use. It is especially useful for Windows, Linux, or Google ChromeOS users that want what those Mac folks have.