AOL Reader: Simple And Fast, But Hardly Groundbreaking

With Google Reader ready to tap out, it seems like everyone is keen to throw their hat into the feed reader ring. The latest offering is from AOL, and it’s simple, fast and lacking any unique features — although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

A simple RSS reader, it seems designed to make the transition from Google as straightforward as possible. Housed within a browser window, it’s simple, unfussy and certainly looks quite a lot like Google’s old faithful — although it’s a little more cluttered and has dark and light themes. You’re essentially looking at a column full of folders and viewing pane. And an ad. Obviously.

There’s a neat tagging function to collate articles, which could prove useful, and you can choose exactly how things are displayed from a selection of different views, like in Feedly. It’s also apparently rather speedy, refreshing quickly and loading articles in a snap. A couple of things do suck though: there’s no automated Google Reader import function, so you’re going to have to download an import an OPML file, and there’s no search function whatsoever.

All in, it seems like a perfectly respectable light reader — just with nothing setting it apart from the crowd. But in what looks set to be a tough fight, it’s not obvious how AOL’s effort will beat the likes of Digg or Feedly. But, hey, give it a try — its simplicity might be just what you’re after. [AOL Reader via The Verge]