News readers News readers on test

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This article, News readers, was last updated on 01 May 2006 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.

Was reading new articles trouble-free? Our tester thought Bloglines was easiest on the eye. Headlines are displayed in large, legible type with alternating tinted and white backgrounds. Reading headlines on My Yahoo! was also straightforward; each feed is displayed in its own box that lists the top headlines from that feed.

Thunderbird comes into its own here. It's primarily email software and reading feeds works in much the same way. Headlines are all displayed in one panel and clicking a headline shows the actual website in the panel below.

By contrast, Google Reader was initially confusing – it's not obvious how to look at feeds one-by-one, but the stories are clearly presented and you can use your mouse's scroll wheel to sift through headlines. 

Reading feeds with Newsgator and Opera was also cumbersome. In Newsgator, headlines and summaries of the stories are displayed in the same small font. Compared to Thunderbird, Opera requires too many clicks to read individual stories and, irritatingly, you can't change this.


All the services performed well, despite their quirks, although My Yahoo! was slower than others during testing. It's easy to switch between different news readers, especially as most let you export your feed list into another program, so why not give a couple a try?

Bloglines came top for its range of versatile features which were surprisingly handy for a free web-based service, but we also recommend My Yahoo! Technology enthusiasts needn't discount Thunderbird, either – despite a relatively complicated set-up, it's very easy to read headlines once you're in the program.