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native

Google just announced that they’re shutting down Google Reader. We’ve just put together the tips you need to move away from Google Reader, and the apps you should try now for subscribing to RSS feeds. Be sure to check it out!

Google Reader is one of the predominant RSS subscription apps and, for the few phases of RSS use I’ve encountered, I’ve used it. Google’s product is stellar and offers a great selection of features, but there’s always room for improvement. Unfortunately, today on the web, it’s one of the only apps designed just for reading RSS feeds.

Developers have taken Google Reader and used it to power a number of third party apps, one of them being Reeder. Reeder is one of the most popular Google Reader clients, available on iPhone, iPad and Mac. In this article, we’re not going to compare two web apps, but rather take a look at how the experience of Google Reader on the web differs from Reeder’s range of native apps. (more…)

It often seems that there’s a major divide of opinion over what makes an app look nice, what makes it look too plain or basic, and what’s over the top. The ’90′s and traditionally slow internet connections have conditioned us to automatically assume graphical apps will be slow and frustrating to use online. However, with broadband today, we’re seeing more and more advanced apps like Flow, LucidChart, and the new iCloud Web Apps that look as nice or even nicer than standard desktop apps.

On the other end of the spectrum, many web apps cling to a simpler, typography centric design. Google’s apps have so far stayed on the simple side, and even though Google+ threw more color and animations into the mix, the latest Google theme across apps has been for a more simplistic, text-centric look. Pinboard is my personal favorite bookmarking service, but when I was looking over my original review of it, I noticed that several people commented that the app looked old or outdated.

Then, there’s Flash powered websites. These monsters are slow to load even on modern broadband connections, and your computer’s fans are sure to kick in as it starts playing back the “site”. Most of us don’t want to be bombarded with sound, videos, and moving images when we just want to find a realtor’s phone number. Sites like this, if anything, make you want to run to the safety of Google and Pinboard’s text only designs.

So where do you stand? Are you excited to see more rich, native-styled web apps, or would you rather see text-centric designs stay popular? Should web apps look like they belong on the desktop, or should they stay different in their basic design?

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