We all know that there will be an onslaught of touchscreen computers this year and next. But the Internet really isn’t touchscreen friendly. It was designed for a mouse, not finger input. Google Reader Play is one of the early examples of a site redesigned for this sort of navigation with a slideshow-type interface and larger buttons.
I loaded up the demo on a Viliv X70 tablet computer and found it works quite well on the 9-inch tablet. The buttons could be a bit larger, but overall it’s one of the most touchscreen-friendly websites I’ve seen. Click through for a quick video demo.
The normal version of Google Reader simply doesn’t work well with touchscreen computers. It’s the buttons, really. They are the key to a good Google Reader experience.
Users need a way to star items, access different lists and navigate around the robust interface. Google Reader Play solves all those issues with a cleaner interface and larger buttons. There are still some things I would change, but Google Reader Play is likely still in beta like most other Google projects so I’m not too concerned.
I also don’t see the need to use Play rather than the standard version on a normal computer. It doesn’t offer anything more than a redesigned interface and you can’t add your own RSS feeds into it just yet. It might draw some new users into the RSS world, but most current Reader users probably won’t make the switch besides to see what all the fuss is about.