I noticed last night that Google Reader got a facelift on the iPhone. The new version looks much better than the old one, in my opinion, but it changed some of the functionality that I use most often.
Before, your list of feeds or tags would be displayed with the ones having new items on top, in alphabetical order, with the ones that don’t have any new items listed below. A simple sorting that worked well – especially for people like me that have hundreds of feeds.
The new version just displays your feeds and tags in a pure alphabetical list, with “new” and “stale” items mixed together (see the photo). This is REALLY irritating, because you have to scroll around so much to find what you’re looking for.
It makes even less sense when you consider that you can’t DO anything with feeds that don’t have new items when looking at them on the iPhone. You can’t unsubscribe. You can’t view older, “read” items. It’s really quite useless, and I’d be pleased to see them just not display them at all, and only display items that are new and can be read.
They also got rid of the links at the bottom of each page that let you go back to the “tags” or “subscriptions” view when you’re done reading an item. Now, you have to scroll all the way back to the top of the page to go ANYWHERE. They could just duplicate the nice round “All/Subscriptions/Tags” button at the bottom of each page, and that would fix it.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m complaining too much. I’m offering what I hope will be good feedback to the Google Reader team, to make the product better. I do it because I care, and because I use Google Reader on my iPhone A LOT. And I really hope they fix these issues (that worked just fine in the previous version). I’d hate to lose functionality in this upgrade – that’s not how it’s supposed to be! 😉