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AOL You've Got News app offers a slick reading experience in Google Chrome

AOL -- who happens to own Download Squad and Switched -- has been all over Google Chrome this year. They've already released a handful of extensions like Lifestream, SHOUTcast, and Offsite for Chrome and now they're offering up their first app in the Chrome Web Store.

Harkening back to days of yore, it's You've Got News. Unlike the New York Times app Seb showed you, You've Got News is a locally installed app -- not a link to a remotely hosted Web site. The app actually feels a bit like reading the newspaper: use your left and right arrow keys to flip through the main sections and your up and down keys to peruse a section's individual pages. You can also click on background pages in the margins to bring them into focus.

Click in to an article, and YGN opens it in a minimal reading pane. Two font sizes are provided, and both were very readable on my modest Windows 7 laptop. Related articles are displayed in a sidebar, though clicking through will open them in a new Chrome tab -- you'll even find some Download Squad posts listed in amongst the tech articles from our pals at Engadget. Sharing options are provided in the article view as well, making it easy to send links via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

The reading interface is squeaky-clean, and while we certainly wouldn't be shocked to see some advertising appear at some point, YGN is totally distraction-free at the moment. Transition effects are smooth and easy on the CPU (Chrome's task manager rarely blips above 0), and the app uses about half as much memory as its NYT counterpart. More customization options in YGN would be nice -- right now all you can choose is which sections you want displayed in your "newspaper."

All in all, You've Got News seems like an excellent fit for the average Web user. While it lacks some of the advanced functionality of the New York Times app, the fact that YGN offers a very newspaper-like experience will likely make it a popular option for many who get their Web news fix in Google Chrome.

Tags: aol, chrome, chrome web store, ChromeWebStore, google, google chrome, GoogleChrome, news, web apps, WebApps

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