Google prepares iPad friendly news reader

Google Reader Play could be the tablet's killer app

Google Reader Play might well be the new junkies app of choice for the iPad

Google Labs has announced a prettified version of Google Reader, which could well end up being a killer app for the Apple iPad or one of the many new tablet PCs set for release later this year.

Google Reader Play is essentially a more visual way of browsing through your RSS feeds, which might not appeal to news junkies with hundreds of feeds, but could well appeal to those wanting to kick back on the couch on a weekend to catch up on the sports results or their favourite book reviews and lifestyle features.

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It could well be yet another nail in the coffin of the printed newspaper, if Google Reader Play's interface is as easy to use as the company suggests.

If you are not signed in then you will be shown news from sites that are popular on Google Reader, navigating from page to page with right and left arrows at the sides of the screen, or selecting a site from the options at the bottom of the screen.

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If you are signed in then you can do the usual stuff such as starring an item for reading later, agreeing to be shown similar content in the future, and select to share stuff you like with friends.

Google's Garrett Wu notes on the official Google Reader blog that he is, "happy to announce an experimental product from the Google Reader team that makes the best stuff in Reader more accessible for everyone, while giving Reader users a new way to view their feeds.

"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."

Reader Play is an experiment and is launching in Google Labs for now.

Via Official Google Reader Blog