RSS - Really Simple Syndication - is, contrary to popular belief, and according to my opinion, not dead, or in any state of becoming dead. At least, it's quite alive and kicking for the foreseeable future.
If you don't know as yet, RSS enables blog readers to keep up-to-date with all the blogs that they follow from a single interface (known as an "RSS Reader"). And the best reader out there at the moment is the Google Reader from Google. It's a web-based reader, and allows you to access your feeds from wherever you are, so long as you have a mobile phone with you.
But for me, Google Reader can become a little complex to access daily. What I wanted was a "flow" where I could access my favourite blogs from a clean, stylish Mac OS X interface when I'm at my laptop, and when I'm on the road, load up a lightweight reader that synchronises to the feeds on my laptop, so I can catch up with my blogs from wherever in the world I am.
So in this post I am going to tell you how you can achieve "RSS Zen", with a Google Reader account (free), a smartphone, and a Windows or Mac computer.
1. Get a Google Account
First things first: make sure you have a Google Account. This will give you access to Google Reader, along with a host of other really cool services.
2. Download the desktop RSS app
Next, you'll need to get the application that you'll use to read your RSS feeds on your computer with. Here you have two options, depending on your computer. If you're using Windows, you can download FeedDemon from NewsGator. If you're on Mac OS X, get the Mac version of the RSS reader from NewsGator, called NetNewsWire. With these apps on their respective systems installed, you can access your Google Reader feeds after providing your account login details when prompted. Both apps are synced to Google Reader through the Google Reader APIs by default, and so this is a rather painless process.
3. Download the mobile RSS app
Here comes the cool part: the mobile application for consuming your favourite blogs and staying in sync with the feeds on your computer. The application in question is called FreeRange, and you can download directly to your mobile phone by pointing your phone's browser to: http://mwap.at/. Once downloaded, need to create a free account with the providers of the app, so that you can later do a few quick configurations to make it all work.
To properly configure FreeRange to access your Google Reader feeds, you need to go to the FreeRange website, and log-in with your details that you provided when you signed up. (This is done on your computer, with your computer's browser).
Once logged in, select the link on the left sidebar labelled "Select Provider". Then choose "Google Reader", and enter your Google Reader log-in details. And you're off!
Now you can access your favourite blogs from your desktop with FeedDemon or NetNewsWire, all in the same interface with easy-to-use controls. And when you're on the go, you'll still be able to be in the loop with your blogs via FreeRange on your phone.
GigaOM reports that the Symbian foundation has announced it's latest version of the mobile phone OS, Symbian 3. Here's the Design Preview video from Nokia, a major Symbian partner.
Back in July 2009, after many months of research and convincing my parents, I finally received my Nokia N79, a mobile phone that promised me I could "share my passions".
Of course, being a blogger at heart, and a tech-savvy teenager, I was excited at the prospect of jumping on to the next generation of smartphones from Nokia, being able to easily connect to my digital social life. I'm an avid Facebooker, I tweet almost everyday, I need to check my Gmail on the go, and I follow many tech blogs that I need to consume RSS feeds for, so that I can provide the most updated, quality analysis here at Byte Lounge from a range of diverse, definitive opinions. And having GPS built-in doesn't hurt either.
In short, I was brimming with anticipation of taking my connectivity to new heights.
I was also excited to return to the Nokia brand, a brand I had grown up with, and that I respected and revered as truly connecting me to my world.
But then a shocking thing happened: the brand I had come to love had let me down. In fact, the way I see it, Nokia has let all S60 users down. And why? Because they've become so obsessed with churning out a myriad number of new devices, each worse than it's predecessor, and all for the sake of profitability. Of course, seeing how iPhone is killing the Finnish giant on it's own turf, one can expect Nokia to retaliate by attempting to regain market share in a once dominated territory.
But the real reason why I'm so mad at Nokia right now is not because they've become greedy, it's because the brand that I once loved has, as of current, refused to make a native S60 Facebook application for their Nseries devices, subsidise or support the creation of such software, or even intergrate Facebook into the social features of their devices. Let's face it, the generic Facebook Mobile site sucks.
Now of course Nokia is not responsible for actually developing these kinds of apps -- it's the duty of Facebook to do so -- I still feel that, if Nokia are loyal to their customers, and it they want to honour the commitment they've made of "sharing your passions", then they could collaborate with Facebook in developing this integration. It'd just make the whole Nokia experience more social.
Nokia has become obsessed with their Ovi offering, and while some of the service seems good, when compared to the might of Facebook and Twitter, it stands no chance. The mobile maker needs to wake up and realise that their little fantasy of owning a Web 2.0 social service site is just that: a fantasy. So they must acknowledge this, and build intergration into their current and new products. That way, we can all be happy.
I've been waiting for a native S60 version of Facebook for a long time now, and perhaps I speak for all you Nseries users as well, that my patience is running out. We S60 users need a Facebook application akin to Facebook for iPhone. We're being shunned, left in the dark, while iPhone and BlakBerry users can happily chat away on their slick social apps.
And Nokia wonders why their market share is slipping? Go figure.
Facebook this week released its much anticipated re-design, which seeks to create a more streamlined user experience.
One of the major noticeable changes to everyone's favourite social network is the dismissal of the toolbar at the bottom, which had bookmarks for favourite applications. This has been swapped for a minimalistic tab at the bottom right for Facebook Chat.
Notifications are at the top, next to the Facebook logo, and a major move toward the streamlined sees the discarding of the user's name in the top right, which had a duplicate link to their profile under the tab "Profile" in the previous design.
Personally, I quite like this new design. It's less cluttered, more informative - I can access my friend's social feeds in a more simplistic manner, and all my applications and pages are listed in an accessible way to the left.
The unnecessary clutter of tabs for "Home, Profile, Friends etc." are now replaced with more Web 2.0-esque icons, which I'm liking too.
Now we're not all alike, and a few people are already disliking the new design. But this same uproar was heard of last time Facebook introduced a new design, and I guess only time will tell how Facebook's millions of users take to the new look.
The Big Question:
Do YOU like the new design? Take our quick poll below. We'd like to know how this new design fares with the rest of us. You can access the results once you've voted, but the poll will close next week Tuesday at 11:59AM. I'll release the full analysis then.
With the dust settling on Apple's announcement of the iPad, as well as the publicising of the of the internal specs, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look a just what Apple is offering us. The iPad is powered by Apple's new A4 system on a chip, a chip that according to Steve Jobs, is made specifically for the iPad. It promises a more snappy interface, fluid video playback and all in all, an improved user experience.
The iPad is slightly smaller than an A4 sheet, and weighs in at 1.5 lbs (1.6 if you include the OPTIONAL built-in 3G). The multitouch LED screen has a resolution of 1024x768, and with a 9.7" diagonal, resulting in a pixel density of 132 ppi (pixels per inch). The 16GB model will cost $499, 32GB $599, and the 64GB version will set you back $699 (R3 700, R4 500 and R5 200 respectively - subject to change with conversion rates). The optional 3G modem will cost a further $130 (R980) on top of the base price. A pretty steep price, regardless of which model you choose.
The specs that Apple have given the iPad have the potential to make it a really powerful and versatile machine. However, that potential lays it foundations in one factor alone: the ability to multitask. That, unfortunately, is something the iPad cannot do.
Combining this with the fact that there are no Flash capabilities in the Safari browser, nor cellular features; and you end up with yet another failed iteration of the iPod.
With all that said and done though, I wanted to take a different approach with this one. I wanted to compare this iPad with a similarly specced Windows Tablet PC. The Tablet in question is the HP TC1100. A simple comparison of basic specs and features should be enough to show the product that has better value. Here it goes: