RSS reader for mobile review: Viigo

Last night I clicked over from GoogleReader, where I was catching up on some of my RSS feeds, notably blackberrycool.com, when I saw this promo on blackberrycool.com for ‘blackberrycool to go”:

Now I tend to try out at least one or two downloadble mobile apps a week, so i clicked through, put in my email and did a quick OTA (over-the-air) install on my blackberry 8700c. Not knowing exactly what it would look like, I was surprised and happy to see a very light-weight, fast RSS reader powered by a product called Viigo. (The blackberrycool version seems identical to the regular product – just a few extra pre loaded mobile oriented feeds)

So a quick review:

– ease of use: A+

– layout/format: A-. It supports images, and even displays Feedburner feedflares, but they aren’t really active

– connectivity: A. It downloads in the background so off-line use isn’t that bad. It doesn’t pull down images in the background, but other than that it feels snappy.

– RSS support: A-. Here is the funny part. It worked with EVERY feed I tried except when I tried to pull my own raanan.com RSS feed. My suspicion is that it doesn’t like the redirect I do from raanan.com/feed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/raanan. I use Steve Smith’s wordpress feedburner plugin which is great, but maybe Viigo can’t handle that. (UPDATE #1: Feedburner actually “adopted” this plugin a few days ago – props to the feedburner team for doing so. So I updated the plugin but still having the same problem. Need to do a bit more testing to see what the issue is.) (UPDATE #3: Viigo now supports the feed redirect, so my site and others that use this method are finally working — yey ! ) )

Extras: B+ A. It has delicious support built in ( very cool ! ), but no OPML import option. It also has a “full article” mode which strips out most of everything and pulls the full page — it’s somewhat useful. (UPDATE #2: Via the Viigo web account manager, you can not only import OPML, you can import your bloglines, and your MyYahoo setup )

Overall: A-. Definitely using this over the WAP/i-google mobile googlereader widget, which is what I was using up until now.

I posted earlier about going 100% mobile, and now I’m one step closer with this RSS reader. I’ve also been testing a killer mobile IM client that I will post about when it’s out of private alpha mode.

Update: So after 3 months of usage here are some ideas that would make this app even better:

– Instead of auto updating the feed every X minutes, the app should hook into a ping server to update the feeds
– Not sure the network providers would love this, but an option to download images in the background would be great.
– I obviously have lots of overlap with my web based Google Reader, and would like to see a way to sync back, so that any items that I read on Viigo would show up as read on Google Reader as well.
– Offline delicious support would be nice.   Right now you can only use delicious when online.
– Finding that I often want to follow a link — an option for links to open up in browser would be great.  Right now clicking on a link just brings up the menu within the app.
– Tag support.  example usage: would like to tag a few feeds as “sports” and then just read the “sports” feeds.
– Alerts.  Wold be great if it could alert me when a feed is updated via my blackberry inbox ( gTalk does a great job with this. )  For feeds with time sensitive info – like craigslist feeds – this would be a killer feature.

5 thoughts on “RSS reader for mobile review: Viigo

  1. Netflash says:

    Hello, have you tried pRSSreader 1.3.4? It’s very good also. You can have feeds organized by folders. Has cache system, loads images, opens links in configured browser, etc…

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