Read better with Better GReader | The Download Blog - CNET Download.com

Read better with Better GReader

Better Gmail now has a younger sibling: Better GReader. Although not exactly robust, Better GReader offers a handful of useful features and skins to improve and customize Google Reader.

Better GReader's Mac OS X skin gives Reader an Apple feel.

(Credit: CNET Networks, Inc.)

Better GReader is a young, but not exactly robust, Firefox extension. However, like its sibling Better Gmail, it has a lot of potential. Designed to improve the look, as well as the functionality, of Google Reader, GReader has four skins and four features to get your RSS going.

Created by Gina Trapani of Lifehacker, the extension a compilation of Greasemonkey scripts. The four features are useful, but not all at once. One allows you to skip the iGoogle choice when adding feeds, so that feeds are directly added to Google Reader. The two Preview Item options let you load the feed's source page directly in the Google Reader interface, a long-needed feature that most other standalone readers have.

The fourth feature is a smart subscribe tab that surfaces on the upper right-hand corner of your browser. It detects all RSS and Atom feeds on a page, and lets you subscribe to them just by clicking on it. It's not perfect, though, and it might have trouble with some feeds, such as those managed by FeedBurner.

GReader's interface is simple--and that's a good thing.

(Credit: CNET Networks, Inc.)

The included Google Reader skins go a long way to improving the Reader experience. One gives reader a Mac OS X look, another changes the font and maximizes the viewing area. A third, Minimalistic, minimizes the navigation bar--if you press W, the top navigation bar will disappear. The last skin changes the font, but none of the layout.

All of the GReader features work in conjunction with the Better Gmail integrated Reader option. This means that if you use Better Gmail, you can now remove the ugly clutter of the Reader top navigation bar from the bottom of your Gmail with the Minimalistic skin. Overall, this is a good start to this plug-in. Hopefully more scripts will be added to make the Google Reader even better.

Now, if only there was a plug-in to prevent Google from keeping tabs on you.

CNET Top 5
Companies Apple could buy with their billions
Apple's sitting on a massive pile of cash. Here are five interesting ways they could spend it.
Play Video
 

Member Comments