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On Mobile RSS December 21, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, Mobile.
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Aplix Corporation and Sweet Inc have announced a partnership to develop a mobile RSS solution. Aplix licenses its JBlend J2ME platform to handset manufacturers (amongst others) and JBlend powers many of the phones sold for all of the networks in Japan (and they have an increasing presence overseas as well). Sweet is the subsidiary of Japanese mobile internet development/production company, Yumemi.

Aplix is developing extensions to JBlend (corresponding APIs) to handle mobile RSS applications and, and Sweet will be developing applications for mobile handsets which will use RSS.

Sweet already has a couple of carriers supporting the RSS reader applications created by them (NTT DoCoMo and Willcom).

The new partnership seeks to explore ways to make mobile RSS usage easier, currently the specifications surrounding Java applets on some phones (defined by the carriers) apparently limit the usability of RSS readers.

Some random thoughts around this issue follows….

Thinking about how mobile RSS will be used, I can’t help but think that a dedicated mobile specific RSS solution isn’t the goal. Even with a good mobile RSS reader, RSS feed management is likely to be a nightmare if you have hundreds or thousands of feeds. I certainly don’t want to go through resubscribing to feeds on my phone. My ideal solution is for a mobile interface which is synchronised with my PC RSS reader. Whilst web-based RSS readers are useable, I personally currently prefer a desktop reader, but it would be nice to have a solution which syncs to a web-based reader which also provides similar connectivity from a mobile device. For mobile devices, it seems some form of smart feed aggregation and distribution is even more compelling than for desktop use. By supplying the aggregation component, the problem of only being able to access one server per Java application (as is the case for certain carrier specs at the moment) is neatly circumvented. Being able to specify (or perhaps even better, for the server-side logic to work out what I want to read – based on user behaviour feedback) which feeds I want access to from my phone would be nice.  By integrating the mobile app with the PC web-based and desktop apps, it would make feed management a lot easier especially for heavy users who are likely to use a desktop PC as well as their phones to access the internet.

Thinking further along those lines, it would be handy to have email access which is similarly device independent…..

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Comments»

1. Vivek Puri - December 22, 2006

I think Newsgator has got that market pretty much covered up. Checkout –
http://www.newsgator.com/NGOLMobileJ2MEBeta.aspx
http://www.newsgator.com/NGOLProduct.aspx?ProdID=NewsGator+Mobile

2. fukumimi - December 22, 2006

Vivek,

Thanks for the pointers.

Re: Newsgator, I tried downloading the J2ME beta to give it a whirl on my NTT DoCoMo phone, without any success.

I did sign up for a Newsgator online account a long time ago but that is dormant as I found it more convenient to use a different RSS reader at the time. Maybe it is time I revisited it, but seeing the mobile reader isn’t working for me, there isn’t much point in switching RSS readers at this time.

3. Gen Kanai - December 22, 2006

Please feel free to expound upon that comment – “Thinking further along those lines, it would be handy to have email access which is similarly device independent…..”

Device-independent email access is critical and yet there’s no clear vision as to where/how/etc.

4. Jon Maroney - December 28, 2006

Hi Fukumimi –

Can you tell me what the problem was? I’m with FreeRange, the company that makes the J2ME reader for NewsGator and we’d like to figure out how we can make it work.

Thanks,

Jon Maroney
http://www.freerangeinc.com


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