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Remote IT Support and Computer & Technology Help in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC

Every cloud…Bye bye AvantGo, hello Viigo!

Whilst smartphones now offer web access at decent speeds, pages can still be painful to read on the devices.  Small screens, inconsistent formatting and frequent zooming/scrolling/swiping all contribute to the need for an offline forced-format reader.

That reader for many people has been AvantGo, which has been around for years on most SDK-available PDA/smartphone platforms.  Recently however users have been surprised to see page notifications stating that downloadable content will cease to be provided after June 30.

Why?  It seems the reason comes back to the same smartphones which can now access web pages at decent speeds.  The need for downloadable offline-readable content had decreased.

That’s all well and good…unless you read content in locations where there is weak or no cell network coverage. That means commuters on trains underground or travelling through unpopulated areas.  This is probably one of the larger user groups of AvantGo’s offline service, reading the news services on the way to/from work.

So what now?  Cue RSS readers.  RSS is nothing new but finding a decent reader which pulls large amounts of offline-readable content is tricky.  I have now moved to Viigo, which crushes AvantGo both in terms of content availability and synchronization options.

Whereas I used to manually download AvantGo content daily, I have Viigo set to pull new content every 30 minutes.  News junkie alert.  Since most news sites have RSS feeds the amount of content you can pull is colossal and it is presented in Viigo’s consistent wrapper.

On the downside Viigo page navigation on touch devices is hampered by a lack of finger scrolling support.  I miss this greatly, but hopefully it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a natural addition for Viigo.  Some feeds also download in brief requiring you to go online to retrieve full articles.

So if the cessation of AvantGo offline content is yet another June raincloud, check out Viigo.  It really is a silver lining.

Neil Berman


Jun 28, 2009 - Posted by | Mobile, Reviews | ,

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