Monday, March 24, 2008

What's on my Blackjack: Newsgator Go!

Continuing my mobile apps series, the next app on my phone that gets a LOT of use is Newsgator Go!   It's a mobile RSS reader and so far, the best I've found on balance, though it does have its quirks.

Since you're probably already familiar with RSS readers if you're reading this, I'll jump right to the big advantages of Go! over other readers.  First, it's free.  Newsgator used to charge for this, but for some reason they decided to be nice and just give it away.  Great for us!  Second, it syncs up with their popular desktop reader FeedDeamon.  So, in theory, if you read something on the desktop reader, your phone will stay in sync and you won't see the same articles listed as "new" on your phone.  In theory.

Other cool features include the "clean up" menu option (which lets you delete posts older than 60 days and read posts from your device to free up valuable memory) and the "top posts" feature that shows you what's currently "hot" in the blogosphere.

Top Posts feature in Newsgator Go!

Here's where the quirks come in.  After using this app for a couple of months, I'm still not clear on how/when the phone and desktop readers get in sync.  Both have a "reset sync" feature that lets you force the two to be in sync, but even then it's not clear to me who wins.  Ideally, they would just always be in sync and would never require thought or human intervention. 

As for a wishlist, I don't have a lot to ask.  Just fixing up the synchronization would be huge.

Before this, my favorite mobile newsreader of all time was NewsBreak by Ilium Software.  I haven't tried their recent versions and I mainly used it on a Pocket PC in the past.  But the big thing missing from it for me was synchronization with a desktop reader.  Had they just added that simple feature, NewsBreak would still be my #1 choice.  Given that Go! is free and does a LOT of what NewsBreak does + more, it'd sure be nice of Illium started giving away NewsBreak.

Newsgator Go! is also available for Blackberry and in Java format for the rest of you.

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