Screenshot tour: Desktop Google Reader (NOT by Google)
Desktop Google Reader is quite a lofty name for a program; bordering on trademark infringement, I would say. But that's not the only thing wrong with this program. Wait, before I bash it I have to tell you what it's supposed to do: It's basically "Google Reader for your desktop". It plugs into your Google account and pulls feeds and items off Reader, no OPML export needed.
And this is another one of those things that I so wish worked well, but really don't, so that only serves to make things more frustrating. I know NewsGator has Reader integration, and so do a bunch of other RSS readers; I went through them all, believe me. Nothing works right; I was hoping this little app would be my salvation, but that's far from the case. Continue reading after the fold to see it in further detail.
It's not all bad; let's start off with something nice: Read it Later, Instapaper and Twitter integration. That's rather groovy; too bad the buttons are not conditional - you get an Instapaper button (for example) on the toolbar even if you never fed in credentials and are not interested in the functionality.
Another neat desktop feature, if you're into interruptions: tray notifications. Not a lot of info within the notifications, but they're there. Luckily, these can be toggled off.
Ahh, the non-configurable toolbar. Note that not only are the RIL/Instapaper buttons there, they are enabled even if you don't have account information.
There's a complete browser engine inside - I think it uses Chromium, not sure though. That's a pretty standard feature for an RSS reader.
Standard feed management functions are present; and no, I don't want to unsubscribe from MakeUseOf, they actually rock. :)
There is no ad-blocking functionality of any kind; in some extreme cases (sorry, MakeUseOf guys) this makes some feeds plain unusable. It's actually pretty funny - there's so much AdSense here, that actual post content is just about peeking from the bottom, and you have to scroll the complete length of the window just to start reading. A big minus indeed.
Here's an odd one: In Google Reader, I configured it so that people can't see what I "like", and conversely, Reader doesn't tell me how many other people "like" something. For some reason, Desktop Google Reader has this information. I was under the impression Google hides it, but I guess it can be accessed via API calls. Does that mean if I "like" something through this reader, other people will see it? Not so cool, IMHO (also on Google's part).
Bottom line: This thing is a C&D waiting to happen (at least as far as the name goes), and it's just not ready. Steer clear, at least for now.