My favourite thing this year is a little app called Byline for the ipod Touch. (Yes, I went with the iPod Touch instead of the iPhone but that’s another discussion for another blog post).
This handy little app lets me read my Google RSS feeds offline. It stores up to 200 feeds (with images) and keeps track of what I’ve read, starred, and any notes I’ve added. When I’m next online it syncs up with Google reader so I don’t end up reading things twice.
For such a simple and easy to use app it’s had a pretty big impact on how I read feeds. Too often I was falling into the “mark all as read and start over” method of managing my feed reader. I subscribe to lots of great content but the days are busy and I just wasn’t finding time to keep up with it all.
Over the past week I’ve used Byline while lining up at the checkout in the library, in a doctor’s office waiting room, and waiting for takeout Thai food. Situations that used to make me fidget with impatience now pass quickly as I can easily flip through a few posts and usually find something interesting to read.
And living in Toronto, where Starbucks provides free Wi-Fi for cardholders, means I’m only ever 3 blocks from being able to jump online and sync up to get another 200 posts delivered to my fingertips. (One downside of being offline is not seeing the comments and discussion; I just read the original post. I usually star anything I want to follow up on and when I’m next online I can quickly scan my starred items and click through to review comments or add my own.)
I must confess that I didn’t do much research before purchasing this $4.99 app. I watched the video overview (below) and at a price point of a few dollars figured it didn’t really warrant further research and was quicker/easier to just try it out. Glad I did as I’ve finally found a way to keep up with all the great content I subscribe to.