The new Google Reader design hasn’t been received well. While the old layout wasn’t the most stunning way imaginable to present your feed, it didn’t need the cosmetic changes that Google made to ensure all its services and their interfaces blend well together. The new interface seems to be cleaner and incorporates the black Google bar well but Google Reader is still pretty cluttered. Google Reader Readable, an extension for Chrome, provides users with an extremely minimal interface for focusing purely on Google Reader articles. The extension is specially useful for people who tend to get distracted by sidebars and other content on Google Reader. It works by removing clutter and displaying articles in a neat and clean layout. Moreover, the left navigation panel only appears when you hover your mouse over the area, keeping it hidden so you don’t get distracted while browsing RSS feeds.
Google Reader Readable improves the readability of online articles by removing unnecessary elements from feeds, providing a simple and easy reading experience. Once you’ve installed the extension, it will work automatically when you browse articles in Google Reader. You will be able to view feeds in a clutter free interface, with more spacing between items as compared to the default layout. When you click a title, the article opens with a white background and larger fonts.
The left-sidebar is displayed only when you actually want to use it. The sidebar on the left hand-side remains hidden, allowing you to focus on feeds and articles, but it does show up when you hover your mouse over it. Unread items have a bold title and they are easier to read against the grey background. Read items are much harder to spot since the titles are not bold and the color changes to a very light and not so discernible shade of grey. You can still mark items as favorites.
Ads continue to appear within feed items as do the many options to share them on different sites and social networks. The extension is basically a clean-up of the interface elements and does nothing to help make the items themselves easier or less cluttered to read. Changing the Google Reader themes (choosing one from the default three that are available) have little effect on the way the extension renders Google Reader.
Google Reader Readable is an unobtrusive extension that lets you read Google Reader feeds and articles in a neat and clutter-free manner.