Overview

If you enjoy reading the news while drinking your coffee in the morning or while you take a break from work and you are an Android user, then I’ve got some good news. TwentyFive Squares has released a great new update on the applications currently considered one of the finest Android apps on the market on the 24th of December. The new version has addressed the syncing issues users complained about since July and it has managed to determine the logo image to display properly for certain screen densities.

Developer

As you might have expected, the developers of the Press Google Reader are busy people who wanted to find an easy way to keep updated while on the run. TwentyFive Squares, the name of the company in charge of developing and keeping Press updated, got its name from the location where this beautiful dream started, namely in Chicago.

Interface

In spite of the fact that users might feel tempted to believe that Press is just an enhanced copycat of Google’s first party reader client, there is more to Press than meets the eye. Diligently following Google’s specific guidelines, the developer managed to optimize the app and use all the top-notch Android perks available on the market. In fact, as many users point out, you can actually tell that Press has received a lot of attention from the developers, considering that it doesn’t not include the bundle of wasted features you are accustomed to nor the superfluous animations that made the loading take longer than it should.

A quick look at its main features

  • In order to use this app, you will need to create a Google Reader account for the RSS subscriptions sync
  • The article/news you are interested in can be opened in both the app and your favorite mobile browser
  • Because the interface disappears while you read, Press integrates a clean reading environment
  • The optimal reading experience is also conferred by the numerous default fonts available, such as Open Sans, Lore, Bitter, Roboto, PT Serif or Source Sans Pro
  • Users will be happy to learn that the app does not contain ads
  • The app includes an offline reading support service
  • Simple controls that allow you to quickly mark (read/unread/later read) the news you come across

Pros

As previously mentioned, the developers had two main goals in mind while designing this application, namely efficient design and an enhanced user experience. This is why the navigation is highly intuitive and implies 3 basic tabs to indicate if the file you are looking at has been read, not read or you just glanced at it. In addition, one feature that users found extremely useful is the interface of the app disappearing when they are reading the news.

The fonts are a further perk worth mentioning about Press, especially since you can choose from quite a few so that you can read perfectly without damaging your eyes. In regards to the fonts, it is necessary to mention that some users highlighted that this is among the few apps with default fonts that won’t force you to even consider changing the “factory” settings.

Cons

While a minor issue, the icons of the “read” and “unread” options can be a little confusing for the users. Because the unread sign implies a filled circle, whereas the read has a hollow red circle these indicators are in general counter-intuitive for old time users. As some people got used to the reverse sign indicators, it might be harder for them to get accustomed to the new symbols.

In a nutshell

Let’s be honest here for a moment, before the launch of the Ice Cream Sandwich, Android was way behind Apple mainly because it was lacking that special something that could boost user experience as well as design. However, from that point on, it was all smooth sailing for Android and the new updated Press received this winter holiday is an outstanding example of great design and general ease of use. Without denying the fact that this is just the beginning for this type of apps, it is necessary to highlight that for the time being, Press is and will continue to be the best Google Reader for Android, at least for the first months of 2013.

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