Tag: rss_reader

Windows Mobile Edition 6 – no RSS support?

Endgadget are reporting that Microsoft has announced Windows Mobile Edition 6 – Microsoft’s operating system for mobile phones.

According to the article, the major new features of WME6 are

  • HTML support in email
  • Windows Live for Windows Mobile
  • File transfer capability in Windows Live Messenger
  • New versions of mobile Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with rich editing
  • Remote wipe capability for stolen and lost devices
  • Call history in contact cards
  • Tight Vista integration
  • “Calendar ribbon” for more easily viewing schedule by day or week
  • New versions of .NET Compact Framework and SQL Server built-in

Some nice features in there alright but how about support for RSS? It would be great to be able to have an RSS reader built-in to the phone. This would make it trivial allow people to subscribe to podcasts, for example from their phones and do away with the need to be carrying a phone and an iPod.

There’s a demo of WME6 on YouTube.

OPML autodiscovery

OPML is a file format which is used to save lists of RSS feeds. Very handy, for instance, for copying your list of RSS feeds from one feed reader to another. I uploaded a list of my RSS subscriptions to an OPML file on this server so the Grazr plugin in the sidebar on the right can display them similar to a blogroll.

James Corbett, Ireland’s OPML ambassador, recently advised me to add autodiscovery of OPML to this site. Adding OPML is as simple as adding the following line to the head section of the site’s code:

Why would you want to add OPML autodiscovery to your page code? Frankly, apart from making finding your OPML file easier, I’m not entirely sure!

There’s a Firefox plugin, which lights up a blue icon in the Status bar when you browse to a site which has added the autodiscover code allowing you to view the site owners subscriptions.

Firefox OPML Autodiscovery plugin

There’s a bit of work involved in the management of OPML files. I’m always updating the RSS feeds in my reader adding new feeds and deleting old ones so any OPML file I upload is almost immediately out of date. If there were some way I could have my RSS reader synch with the remote OPML file, that would reduce a lot of the overhead.

Then again, I don’t want to publish all my RSS subscriptions (some are client sensitive) so I’d need some way of synching a subset of my feeds to my OPML file to ensure that the OPML file I’m publishing is an accurate reflection of my current reading.

Finally, an outstanding online RSS reader

I have had issues with Google Reader (Google’s online RSS/feed reader) in the past but in the latest update to Google Reader, released today most of those issues have been addressed.

Google Reader

Lots of people are posting opinions on this from Marshall Kirkpatrick on TechCrunch to Robert Scoble on Scobleizer to Richard McManus on the ReadWrite Web and all the reviews are effusive in their praise!

I’m not surprised. This time Google seem to have got it right. The old “Lens” look of the old Google Reader was, to my mind, sacrificing usability for looks. Now, you have a reader with a simple, fast interface not lacking in functionality. It even has a river of news option with an infinite scroll. And if you liked the old interface you can revert to that in the settings page too!

Added functionality includes the ability to create folders, bulk delete subscriptions, star, share, email and tag posts.

Several commentators have pointed to the continuing lack of integration with Google’s Blogsearch but personally with the dire state that is in, I think this is a good thing!

I have been slow to recommend online rss readers in the past but I think with the new Google Reader that has just changed.