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And My iPhone RSS Reader of Choice is…

I have decided to change the way I present my group reviews. In fact they wont really be group reviews as such any more. I will still spend a good deal of time looking at all of the available apps within a chosen group, but rather than take up space talking about the ones I wasn’t so keen on I have decided to cut to the chase and just talk about my preferred app.

I have recently been looking for a good free RSS reader. Why do I feel a twinge of guilt when I say I’ve looking for a free one? Anyway it couldn’t just be any RSS reader. I had a list of criteria that it had to meet.

Google reader synchronization.
I want to be able to add to my RSS feeds whilst at my computer so it was important that the reader app would sync with whatever I added to my Google Reader account.

Manually organize subscriptions into folders.
I wanted to have the ability to group feeds into folders rather than have a single long list of feeds or some sort of automated sorting.

Built in Web Page viewer.
I didn’t want to have to leave the app to view a feeds web page in Safari.

Look good and be easy to use.
It is important to me that an app looks good and is easy to use.

This criteria allowed me to draw up a short list of half a dozen or so apps. I couldn’t find an app that satisfied all of the above criteria, but Of those I looked at, two really stood out. iNews O by gdiplus and MobileRSS (Free Version) by Nibiru Tech.

iNews O is a very feature rich and customisable RSS reader. Notable features are its option of displaying feeds in a tiled manner rather like magazine thimb nails, the ability to customize the navigation bars and the impressive range of export options which include Mail,Instapaper, Read It Later, Twitter and Facebook. Despite these features it still lacked one important thing for me; The ability to arrange and group feeds into folders of my creation.

The RSS reader I finally settled on is the free version of MobileRSS. MobileRSS Synchronizes with Google reader and whilst I can’t manually create a folder structure, it does maintain the folder structure I create in Google reader.It does have a built in browser and it can display feeds for the small screen. Export and integration functions are quite good allowing you to send to Twitter, Facebook, ReadItLater, Instapaper, Delicious and Email.

In all these are two very good apps but I think it is the simplicity and clarity of MobileRSS that wins me over.

Link to the Proporta website

Link to the Proporta website

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Apple iPad – Its Not a Tablet PC I Think it’s Something Else.

The new Apple tablet, or iPad is now official, and true to the trend of the moment people are finding things to complain about. I was just reading the mass of comments following the coverage of Apples event by a major technology blog and it is a thick solid wall of whining. Have we been spoilt by amazing products in recent years? Do we just take it all for granted a bit now?

Perhaps it is because Apple have trained us to have such high expectations of new products that unless they contain a big dollop of unexpected magic and sorcery we are disappointed. Maybe it is a psychological thing that makes us want to knock things that are causing a stir, a little like the way we claim not to like a band when it becomes very popular. We don’t want people to think we are following the crowd after all.

Many negative comments however are actually directed at the apparent lacking of certain technologies; memory, processor speed, ports and so on. Looked at in isolation these components do appear to be lacking. I have no doubt that this product will also have its faults and individually, aspects of it can be criticized and compared to other products in a negative light. but I believe it is important to see a product like this in a more holistic way. It my be easy to complain about the processor or the keyboard but I expect as a whole it will be a very good product designed to perform certain tasks very well and at a good price point.

Yes it probably is just a big iPod Touch as so many people have mentioned. Is that a bad thing? I use my ipod touch a lot in the house, on the sofa, in bed. It’s somehow more convenient than my laptop but it is very small which of course is great for a pocket computer but when im sitting on the sofa wanting to browse the Internet, read an eBook, go through my mail, write a letter or whatever a big iPod Touch on the coffee table would be great.

I don’t think the iPad should be compared to a fully blown tablet PC. I don’t think that is what it is trying to be. I don’t think it needs a super fast processor, though it would be nice if it didn’t add too much to the cost. Cost is of course a key issue. It will be good to have a well made device with just the stuff you need at a good price rather than a super high performance tablet at a high price. That would be a different product that will probably come later. I think if we had an iPad kicking around the house it would be used a great deal.

On the whole I expect it will be a good but not mind blowing product. As with all these things only time will tell. What do you think of the iPad?

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