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Google Reader gets UI face lift, settings page

Google Reader has received a major UI overhaul and joined its sibling Google apps with the introduction of a full-blown "Settings" page. Users finally have a powerful management panel for their Subscriptions and Labels, allowing batch operations for deleting, renaming and shuffling subscriptions around. The Google Reader team even went so far as to allow you to toggle whether animations play when you're using gReader.

The face lift doesn't stop at Google Reader's settings and preferences though. There is a new Labels menu to accompany Subscriptions, and both are ripe with AJAX-y pull-down goodness. Gone is that clunky Subscriptions section that folds out; now they're both handy menus that allow you to chose single feeds or entire labels. But if you aren't a menu and mousing kind of reader, the translucent label selector you can access from a keyboard shortcut (g + l) is still present.

All in all this is a spectacular (and necessary) update to my personal favorite of the online newsreader offerings. Call me crazy, but I think this finally makes Google Reader feel like it has the necessary features to stack up to the competition - even though it's still in the Labs.

Tags: google, greader, labels, reader, rss, settings, subscriptions, UI, update, upgrade