Google has been going through updating the look of its list of services since the launch of Google+. G+ set the tone for Google’s design language going forward with a heavy emphasis on white space and flat colors. The translation to Gmail and Docs was a welcome change for many, but the Reader, Google’s RSS aggregator application, transition hasn’t been quite as smooth.
The new Google Reader falls in-line aesthetically with the other updates, but the functionality has been pared-down. All previous social features have ben eschewed for a simple integration of Google’s +1 button. While this may not be a huge deal for many, there is a stalwart group that is not happy about the feature crunch.
This is obviously a move to integrate the Reader service more closely with Google+, but it’s a shame that so much long-term functionality had to be lost in translation. For Reader user who never bothered with the social features of Reader, this may be welcome update, but there has also been some outcry over the new design’s non-elastic design which precludes the use of screen real estate on high-res monitors.
With the reformed Reader also comes rumblings of an update to the reader Android app, which has been in need of a revamp for a while.
Source: Google Reader blog