Due to the impending business of Google Reader, The Medias have created ways to fill up the looming void. Apps such as Zite have come to update the reader-like features. Digg has run to build the RSS reader to reproduce the core functions of Google. Recently, AOL has joined the battle with its own AOL Reader as its weapon.
The same with Google Reader and Digg Reader, the AOL Reader comes with a minimalist design and countless features. But, what makes it sets apart with some readers? Actually, there’s nothing. But it works and looks good as expected. But, if you have an AOL account, you’d be negligent not giving AOL ago for your new web-based reader.
AOL Reader Designs
Let us begin by discussing its general visual look. AOL Reader is a plain mix of white and blue that makes it difficult for visual cues like folders, headlines and breaks to be prominent. Undoubtedly, the color scheme evokes the feeling of minimalist, but it’s more evocative of a dull, rainy day. Fortunately, AOL makes it easier to endure the drab with a clean surface. The hand column located in left part is well-spaced and slim, so there’s no overcrowding with Google Reader. At the upper part, you are able to find buttons to refresh your feeds and add subscriptions. There is also a menu drawer for frequently used functions such as importing data from the Google Reader.
Adding content to AOL Reader is simple. You only need search terms to find the RSS feed, enter the specific URL of feed, or search content by the categories such as sport, lifestyle and technology. Sad to say, the search capabilities of AOL are pretty limited, and its search results missed out several obvious hits. For example, when you search for “New York Yankees,” it will not show anything from New York Daily News or MLB.com, even if both are trendier choices and have RSS feeds. Searching for the direct RSS feeds is always a better option until the AOL reader boosts its search feature.
Total Hands-on of AOL Reader
To add content, you only need an XML file from the Google Takeout. AOL Reader will take care of the rest. Depending on your subscriptions, this may take some time. For some people, the 20 subscriptions are very fast. For detailed instructions, check out the AOL’s helps pages. Another feature is the Card View, which includes a dash of photos, but does not allow the visual features to overtake the text. Full View is another option, which shows the full articles one after the other. Pane View minimizes the reading area, creates second left-hand navigation column to scan the article headlines in folders quickly.
AOL Reader Additional Features
Additional features in AOL Reader include social networks sharing, simple tagging, organization capabilities and an API which enables developers to build third party apps on top of the service.
Overall, the AOL Reader appears to be an eminent attempt, and this will be a decent solution for Google Reader’s downfall — especially for those who own AOL accounts.