Today Google has made some changes to their Google Reader app. The look and feel has been changed to provide a much more streamlined look and a much faster interface than the previous version.
The biggest change to Google’s Reader app is the addition of Google Plus functionality. Google has removed the ‘like’ buttons and replaced them with +1 buttons which allow for easy sharing on Google’s social network.
The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing “Like”), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing “Share” and “Share with Note”).
Google also removed the friending feature, following, and shared items and comments in favor of adding Google+ functionality to Reader. It is unclear that the changes made to Google Reader will be accepted to everyone who uses it. The changes made do not really affect me because I never actually used them. I would however still like to see a feature that would allow for the change of colors or themes similar to what is found in GMail. Here is what Google had to say:
We hope you’ll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not. Retiring Reader’s sharing features wasn’t a decision that we made lightly, but in the end, it helps us focus on fewer areas, and build an even better experience across all of Google.
If you do not have the new Google Reader version, Google says everyone should have it by the end of the day. Go0gle also recently closed Google Labs and Google Code a decision which Google feels is a good decision. Google will continue to develop new products and features and listen to user feedback when they can.