Tag Archives: widsets

iPhone Offline Feed Reader, at last!

Long time no post!

It seems that iPhone developers heard what I was claiming in my last post.

The iPhone users around the world are able to get in touch with their feeds even when far from Wi-Fi hotspots. NewsGator has released NetNewsWire for iPhone:

NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire

It’s only available for devices with software 2.0 (3G or not), because it can only be downloaded in App Store. It doesn’t cost a thing and, so far, woks pretty good. I’m using it with a ruge amount of data: a litte bit more than 2,300 feeds!

I continue thinking that Apple should include this feature in the next version of iTunes: Podcasts and text feeds side-by-side.

By the other hand, I still miss WidSets. I Wish I could use it on my iPhone. Imagine that awesome graphical dashboard in a multitouch 3,5″ screen!

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Good memories of WidSets

I used to be happy with WidSets

At that time, I could download my preferred feeds and read them everywhere offline on my Nokia Phone.

Now, using an iPhone, I have a bigger screen, Wi-Fi conectivity, a nice usability due to the multitouch screen and many other advantages of the Apple’s blockbuster. But I can’t read my feeds when I am not near from a hotspot. Ironically, I can download audio and video podcasts from iTunes, synchronize my device and listen/see them later. Why can’t I do the same with my RSS feeds?

There are many iPhone webapps to read RSS (even Netvibes has an iPhone specific version), but no one works offline. Unfortunately, neither WidSets will be the savior because it’s not compatible with iPhone (requires Java MIDP 2.0).

I’ve been looking for an iPhone RSS Reader that works offline. That’s my message:

  • If you know one, please let me know, leaving a comment; I will really appreciate it.
  • If you are a iPhone developer, that’s a good idea of a new application;
  • If you are from WidSets development team, it’s time to code a new version compatible to iPhone;
  • If you are from iTunes development team, feeds (as well as podcasts) downloading an synchronization would be really good feature.

In any case, I will really appreciate it.

Scientific American Math Feeds Widget

For those who appreciate to read math articles, and specially for who reads Scientific American Math Section, that’s a way to get in touch everywhere using your mobile phone: a brand new WidSets widget I created:

Sciam Math Widget

To add it to you dashboard, click the button bellow:

Add to my Widsets

If WidSets sounds unfamiliar to you, spend a few minutes reading an introductory post that I wrote about it.

Mashing up the MATLAB Central Blogs

Although there are many sites, blogs and other resources about MATLAB on the web, one is worth be the frequently accessed by users: MATLAB Central, an official exchange area for users community. Inside, there are 4 blogs I like:

  • Loren on the Art of MATLAB: Loren Shure works on design of the MATLAB language at The MathWorks. She writes here about once a week on MATLAB programming and related topics.
  • Doug’s Pick of the Week: Doug is an Application Engineer at The MathWorks. A MATLAB user since 1994, he gets paid to live, eat, and breathe MATLAB! Each week, he highlights a submission from the File Exchange that he finds useful or interesting.
  • Steve on Image Processing: Steve Eddins manages the Image & Geospatial development team at The MathWorks and coauthored Digital Image Processing Using MATLAB. He writes here about image processing concepts, algorithm implementations, and MATLAB.
  • Inside the MATLAB Desktop: The MATLAB Desktop team, comprised of eight developers, builds the main user interface for MATLAB, including the Command Window, the Editor, and the Current Directory browser.

Using pipes again, I decided to join the four feeds (what also includes some podcasts) into one:

MATLAB Blogs Pipe
http://pipes.yahoo.com/dilsonlira/matlab_central_blogs

If you use Netvibes, add it to your page:

Add to netvibes

To get this feed into your mobile phone, I also created a WidSets widget:

Add to my Widsets

Mobilizing the feeds with WidSets

I’ve been following the developments of Nokia Beta Labs very closely. I do that not only as a customer, but as an enthusiast of mobile computing and mobile communications. There are many interesting applications I’ve tested on my phone, some of them I continue using and some I don’t think they are so useful. So far, my preferred is WidSets: a Java application that aggregates feeds, simple games, web search tools and other widgets in a custom dashboard that can be managed on a PC. It’s a kind of Netvibes on a mobile phone.

Dashboard

¬†Widgets, aggregators, social bookmarking and all these web 2.0 stuff make our lives much easier when we are using a PC. Certainly, they are much more valuable on a device full of limitations: a keyboard is hard to type, limited memory and (in many cases) charged usage. It’s such a calvary to open up a mobile browser, type a url and, only for that point on, start surfing on the web. At least for me, 70% of internet time is spent accessing the same few sources, most of them could be (and really are) bookmarked and the updates read by rss feeds, not the website itself. So, in a mobile phone, much more than any other device, the content should be easily accessible. Considering this, WidSets fits very well.

It’s interesting to know that it’s not only compatible with Nokia phones, it’s free and there are thousands of available widgets and if you want, create your own. Supported by a growing developer community and a well documented API, you can download the SDK and start coding. But, if you are not a geek or simply don’t have time for that (including myself), it’s really easy to create a new feed widget with just a few clicks. After that, you can keep it private or publish to other users also enjoy.

I have already published some feed widgets (most in portuguese language) in my WidSets page, including this blog’s feeds. So, if you like to read my feeds on your mobile phone, become a WidSets user put Manoel Lira’s Blog widget on your dashboard.