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March 10, 2010

Google Reader Play

Google Reader Play is a new way to read popular articles and an interesting interface for browsing web pages.

"In Google Reader Play, items are presented one at a time, and each item is big and full-screen. After you've read an item, just click the next arrow to move to the next one, or click any item on the filmstrip below to fast-forward. Of course, you can click the title or image of any item to go to the original version. And since so much of the good stuff online is visual, we automatically enlarge images and auto-play videos full-screen," explains Google.

The interface is optimized for posts that include images and for short blog posts. You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate to the next post or you can start the slideshow view to only look at the images and headlines.

I was disappointed to see that Google Reader Play doesn't show your subscriptions. It only shows a list of recommended pages and Google uses your actions (starring, liking or sharing items) to improve the recommendations. If you want to read your subscriptions in Google Reader Play, use this URL:


  1. BTW, you can view of your subscriptions, folders or All items view by using the "View in Reader Play" command at the bottom of the View/folder/feed settings menu (or the [v] menu in the subscription list).

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  2. It looks great! I'm glad they integrated with GReader so viewed items are instantly marked as read in GReader.

    However, I would like to be able to control the flow of reading (i.e. what's coming next). When you have hundreds of unread items, you have to be selective and use the labels to prioritize your reading instead of relying on Google's automatic ranking. Don't get me wrong, it does get "what" I like to read or not, but not "when" :) So, to me, one missing feature is the ability to choose only a specific label (or subscription) to read in the stream.

    Another thing that would be useful is having the option to mark something as unread, especially because you don't know what's coming next and might open a tl;rl (too long; read later) entry.

    I wonder if they are planning a thread for suggestions/feature requests on (or maybe we could use the Google Reader one?)

  3. Preparing for the iPad, huh ???

  4. I prefer the newspaper approach at

  5. Hi I liked google reader play but I have few notes:
    1.I can not see my g reader subscription
    2.The black background should be replaced or you make the member to choose from different backgrounds
    3.The categories should be more
    4.There is no way to get news of non English languages like arabic
    5.There is no search box

    Best wishes to Google Reader Plat Team

  6. @amir..agree with you, but i think we will see the changes soon in update editin..

  7. I'm also disappointed that it doesn't plug in to my subscriptions. It doesn't seem very useful to me this way.

  8. The first thing I thought was StumbleUpon. A way to channel surf the web, liking and sharing content but yes it's not obvious that it's really reading your subscriptions. If that is one of the points of it then make it super obvious. It's not super obvious because it's showing me stuff I can't believe is in my Google reader. It's kind of fun though right now.

  9. This program crashed a web site I visit because it kept leeching files off the server, killing the bandwidth, effectively performing a DDoS.

    Nice work, Google.

  10. i'm totally with amir: this could be better if we were able to play our own subscriptions!
    and the comments option would be a great addition as well ^^

  11. come on guys this is a great innovation.

  12. Reading my subscriptions in play doesn't mark items as read back in reader. If I read a hundred unread items then close play and view stream in play again, it doesn't pick up where it left off, rather it loads the first unread post, which could have been hundreds of posts ago which I just saw in play.
    Where am I to find descriptions of what the buttons on the bottom do?

  13. I really, really don't want to come across anti-American, but I find that there's a lot of American-based information in GR Play. Don't get me wrong, I actually really like the fact that the information is random and you end up coming across some pretty interesting articles that you may have never searched for in the first place, but is there perhaps a way of altering the settings so that one may also come across more local/regional (or more international for that matter) blogs/articles?


  14. You all should realise that you can just click on the down arrow next to your subscription and only read that in reader play by clicking "view in reader play". So you all can stop complaining about seeing only american stuff. What annoys me is the same what OhMrMedia said, view in reader play does not mark as read back in reader. Stupid. Bug, google fix! Other than that, reader play is firggen awesome. I like how it pre-caches stuff so u don't have to wait for it to download. Sorry for you if that causes a DDOS. Bad site design maybe?

  15. Reader Play used to be a great source for new and interesting articles, but with the removal of Reader's sharing functionality, my "Recommended Items" feed has degraded into nothing but Lifehacker posts, with an occasional Engadget or XKCD comic. Really disappointing, especially considering how great of a feature it used to be.