There are two apps I use more than any other on my mobile devices: Gmail and Google Reader. While Android has a pretty nifty built-in app for accessing Gmail, up until recently you had to use the mobile web version of Google Reader to check out the latest news from your RSS feeds, or rely on a third party app like NewsRob. But this week Google launched an official Google Reader app for Android.

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The app offers all the features found in the mobile web version, plus:

  • Support for multiple Google accounts
  • Synchronization for offline viewing

You can also read full text feed items from the app or even search for text within articles without opening a web browser.

The app lets you navigate by using your volume keys if you like. You can also share any item via email, Facebook, or other services by using the “send” option from any item. Google Reader for Android also makes renaming folders, unsubscribing from a feed, or changing folders as easy as long-pressing a feed or folder. You can also open a web browser by clicking any link in a story, including the headline.

It’s worth noting that while you can read feeds offline using the Google Reader app, it doesn’t seem to cache photos for offline viewing. By default, you also only get the last 25 or so items when offline, but it appears you can manually grab more stories than that to read offline by scrolling to the end of the page to load more stories before killing your internet connection.

It’s actually a bit tricky to find the app in the Android Market, since there are so many third party Google Reader apps, but you can download the app by scanning the bar code above.

I’ll probably have to use the app for a few more days before deciding whether it will become a permanent replacement for the web app on my phone, or just something I use when I know I’m going to be offline for a while. But it’s certainly a nice addition to the Google suite of Android apps.

Update: After using the Google Reader app for a day, the amount of storage space it was using on my phone grew to over 11MB. I’m going back to using the web app or NewsRob until I get a phone that has more storage (or until Google releases an update that lets you use an SD card for storage).

You can check out more screenshots after the break.

via Android Guys

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...