As far as actually reading content from feeds goes, I’ve found it to be very usable in that respect, as well. Navigation is intuitive. Hitting the spacebar will scroll down in a long article. If you reach the end of the article, another press of the spacebar will advance to the next item. You can also use the up and down arrows to navigate through items. Alternately, you can use n and b for “next” and “back”. There are several other shortcuts as well, for actions such as adding a new feed, getting information about the feed you’re currently reading, etc. For command-line curmudeons like myself, this is what differentiates FeedLounge from most other web-based apps.
One of the coolest things, something that really makes FeedLounge feel less like a web page and more like a desktop app, is the way that certain actions will pop up what appears to be a modal dialog. The rest of the web page in the background is greyed out to indicate that it can’t be accessed until you either complete the current action or cancel it. And in fact, the mouse will not interact with the other portions of the page. Touches like this set FeedLounge above the crowd.
The main downside to a web-based aggregator is that you don’t get access to previously read items when you are offline. That’s one reason why I haven’t really tried other web-based aggregators, such as BlogLines or Kinja, before. But how often do you need to do that? Personally, I’m hardly ever without web access when I’m on a computer. On the plus side, with a web-based aggregator, the record of which items you have or have not read is centralized. I look forward to seeing what improvements will come down the pipe for this app. I’m going try switching to FeedLounge for my daily feed browsing for a while. It might just become a permanent switch.
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