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Google Reader for Android updated to include widgets, more syncing

It's now been a couple of months since Google Reader hit Android, which didn't quite live up to expectations. Luckily, developers at Google seem to have been listening to the innumerable complaints, and the app received its first big update today, bringing with it a choice of widgets, more syncing, and more overall functionality.

The widgets are probably the first thing that users may be interested in, and they're not disappointing. There are two options available; one is a small, single-icon widget that simply displays the unread count for a particular feed or folder, and the other is a larger widget that acts as a news ticker for any feed or folder. Using multiples of either widget can make for an extremely informative homescreen, to be sure.

Looks-wise, it's still the same minimalist Reader, but it's now much more useful than it used to be. Hitting up the app settings is sure to put a smile on your face, because along with choosing to always use HTTPS, you can have the app synchronize your most-read feeds on an hourly basis for offline viewing, and you can also opt to have the app make use of multimedia plug-ins like Flash.

Other small touches have been added to simply make using the app easier. Chief among those, as simple as it may be, is a new button that pops up as you scroll down your feed that allows you to mark all items that have scrolled past your screen as read. Basically, the app is now useful.

You can download the app through the Android Market, or use the handy QR code below to hit it up at AppBrain:

Tags: android, apps, cellphones, feed reader, FeedReader, google, home screen, HomeScreen, mobile, productivity, widgets