BlogLines has launched the beta of Version 3. BlogLines beta looks pretty impressive with a new design interface (although not a finished product) and the way it has concentrated on making the reading of feeds easier for the users. Here are some of the highlights of the BlogLines Beta :
1. Start page to concentrate on important feeds : This feature has by far impressed the most. It allows you to drag and drop the feeds on the start page which displays the five new stories of each feed and when you click on them it opens up a small section where it displays the content of the story. This way you get the option to go through the important stories and not go through the ones in which you aren’t interested. Every time you log-in you are presented with the updated content of the chosen feeds.
2. Mark as read as you scroll through : Just like Google Reader, in this version the stories are marked as read when you scroll through them. Thus it saves your time where you don’t have to worry about marking the items as read. And, they’ve also worked on a feature where the folders are not marked as read automatically. Earlier when you clicked on the folders all the items were marked as read and in case you’d to go out then you didn’t have the option of going through the items which were still unread by you.
3. Various views for your reading convenience : There are many various views and you may chose from 3 panes view, quick view and full view to go through your huge list of feeds. Quick view did impress me as it allows to go through the headlines pretty quickly and allows to view the full content too by just clicking on the headline. I’m not a big fan of 3 pane view and that’s why it is good on their part that they didn’t force one type of view to users.
What else should have been incorporated before the launch of beta :
1. Starring or saving of the posts : It makes sense to incorporate this very basic feature. I went through some stories and wanted to star it (habitual of Google Reader) or save it, but couldn’t find any option.
2. Help or list of shortcuts : BlogLines Beta supports shortcuts but there are not listed any where. I tried the Google Reader shortcuts that is J for next item and K for previous item and they seemed to work. It would have been nice, if they would have put all that before showcasing this beta to the whole world.
All in all, BlogLines beta seems to be on the lines of Google Reader but it is the start page option and the quick view which impressed me the most and no wonder that after some finishing work and some required features, it may be able to drag many users from Google Reader.