Google messes with GReader: The new Google is soft and feminine

Google has launched a redesigned Google Reader (GReader) including new looks and features.

Collapsible navigation is now offered in the sidebar so users can now maximize or minimize all controls. Friend sharing gets an improved look in, with a dedicated section. Users can now turn off unread counts that according to Google cause anxiety, and “Feed Bundles,” the grouping of related feeds you are offered when you first sign up are now automated.

That’s the good part, and then there’s the looks.

Gone is the traditional Google hard but functional aesthetic into something out of a Jane Austin novel, well a Jane Austin novel interpreted by Sergey Brin anyway. It’s soft and feminine and you can’t switch back to the old version, or even customize it, which is a bit rough given Google has been rolling out customization options for iGoogle and Gmail. Some may like the new looks, and they are certainly more consumer friendly, but I live in GReader, and I liked it just the way it was thank you.