iPad RSS Reader Roundup

Feed reading is arguably one of the primary uses of the iPad, so making a good RSS client for it very important. Here’s a run-down of the five feed readers available now for the iPad.

NetNewsWire for OS X and iPhone Officially Released

NewsGator released todayNetNewsWire 3.2 for OS X. At the end of July, NewsGator announced the ending of its news feed subscription service and released a beta version of NetNewsWire 3.2 with Google Reader synchronization.

The way NewsGator handled the ending of its service and migration to Google Reader left a lot to be desired. After sending out an email advising people to immediately switch to the beta, it received many complaints due to the numerous bugs and the large embedded ad in the bottom left of the window.

The ad was removed for remaining betas — until today, when it was brought back at half the previous size. To remove the ad you must purchase a license for $10. I’m not sure if this is a special introductory price or not, but for me $10 is a great deal and buying a license was a no-brainer.

As well as many bug fixes and speed optimizations, the official release restores the much-loved Clippings functionality that was missing from the initial beta. On the OS X platform there are now a few options brewing for native Google Reader support, providing healthy competition in this area, from which we all benefit. Read More about NetNewsWire for OS X and iPhone Officially Released

Get Your Google Reader Fix Natively

google-reader-apps

Although much has been said about the death of RSS I, for one, still get most of my news via RSS feeds every day. I find Twitter to be filled with too much extraneous junk, and services like Friendfeed and Facebook still don’t offer the feature set I want from my daily news aggregator. My RSS service of choice is Google Reader (s goog), which should come as no surprise as it is by far the most popular RSS Reader out there.

Getting your Google Reader fix is as simple as navigating to the website, but what I really want is a desktop solution that offers all of Google Reader’s features while giving me a Mac-like (s aapl) experience and offline access to downloaded articles. A year ago the choices in this space were almost nil, but thankfully we’ve seen several applications jump into the fray recently. Let’s take a look at each of the contenders. Read More about Get Your Google Reader Fix Natively

NetNewsWire 3.2 Beta: Google Reader Replaces NewsGator

NetNewsWireIconThe folks over at NewsGator have seemingly given up on consumer news feed syncing and have ceded to the superiority of Google Reader.
First it was NewsGator’s Windows syncing feed reader Feed Demon that got the switch from NewsGator syncing to Google Reader syncing. Now its the Mac client’s turn and the esteemed reader NetNewsWire has now switched syncing services too. Yeterday’s announcement by NewsGator states that its will be taking its NewsGator Online news feed reading and syncing service offline by the end of August. This leaves little time for NetNewsWire to fast track a stable switch to Google Reader syncing, but yesterday the first public beta of NetNewsWire 3.2 was made available. Read More about NetNewsWire 3.2 Beta: Google Reader Replaces NewsGator

More Efficient RSS Reading

In my recent post about using Harvest to track my time, I discovered that I was spending too much of my time consuming information. As a result, I’ve been working on ways to further increase my efficiency, starting with some Twitter efficiency improvements, and I thought that a post about becoming more efficient at consuming blogs and other news content via RSS would be a good next step.

I love information and wish I could spend more time reading and consuming it, to learn more about a variety of topics. However, the harsh reality is that there are only so many hours in the day that I can spend reading and learning. I could take the easy way out and just read less, but my goal is to become more efficient at finding the content that I want to read the most. Read More about More Efficient RSS Reading

These Routes Are Made for Watching

[show=routes size=large]Unless you’re a big fan of Heroes character Mohinder Suresh, you probably don’t find explanations of genetics all that dramatic. On the other hand, the latest developments in genetic testing mean questions that were once mostly rhetorical — What diseases am I likely to get? What might I pass on to my children? — now may have concrete answers. In other words, understanding your own DNA might just change the way you live your life, which is quite dramatic, indeed. But can an exploration of genetics also be lighthearted, engaging and thoroughly entertaining? It can if it’s Routes, the new online docu-drama from England’s Channel 4.

Produced in association with UK-based charity The Wellcome Trust as part of Darwin 200, a nearly year-long program of events celebrating Charles Darwin’s bicentennial, Routes could have been as dry as it is ambitious. But it’s not, thanks to a cheeky attitude, a fun web site, and — most of all — the undeniable appeal of its star, Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan.

In Routes, Ryan — a two-time cancer survivor who was recently diagnosed with lupus — submits to genetic testing, kicking off an eight-episode journey into her own genetic map. Charming, vulnerable and irreverent, Ryan comes off as a nice, funny person who’s had a lot of bad luck, health-wise. So by the end of the first episode, we’re invested right along with her in finding out how much of that “bad luck” is luck after all, and how much more of it may be lurking in her future. Read More about These Routes Are Made for Watching

iPhone App Downloads Are Up. What About Their Usage?

The iPhone App Store is red hot: In its first month, more than 60 million software programs were downloaded, and it generated about $1 million a day in sales. That information comes from Steve Jobs in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. In his interview, Jobs says the developers took home $21 million in the first month, of which $9 million went to the top 10 developers. One of the biggest selling app: Sega Corp’s $9.99 Super Monkeyball game, which sold more than 300,000 copies in 20 days. (iPhone as a gaming platform isn’t such a crazy idea after all!) [digg=http://digg.com/apple/iPhone_App_Downloads_Are_Up_but_Not_Their_Usage]

About 10 million apps were downloaded in the first week of the launch of the Apps Store. Jobs said that Apple takes 30 percent of the total sales and that covers the costs associated with keeping the App store running, including the cost of credit card transactions. “This thing’s going to crest a half a billion, soon…Who knows, maybe it will be a $1 billion marketplace at some point in time,” he told the Journal. Jobs said that going forward, in the world of mobile phones, the differentiating factor is going to be software.

The big question about the Apps store is whether downloads are going translate into actual and sustained usage of these apps. Read More about iPhone App Downloads Are Up. What About Their Usage?

Free as in beer? More ways to offer somethin’ for nothin’

10041free-beer-here-posters.jpgThe latest cover story in WIRED, called Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business (authored by Editor Chris Anderson of The Long Tail fame) has sparked a long list of blog posts on every aspect of ‘free’. I’d like to list some of my favorite ways of offering something to the market for free. Of course, lots of start-ups are focused on selling advertising directly or through Adsense, but there are other options to consider. The list isn’t complete of course, so please feel free to comment with other ideas!

Offer products for free and extract data from its use to sell

The best example I think is Newsgator. Newsgator offers several RSS readers and services (Newsgator, NetNewsWire, FeedDemon) and used to charge for them – they had actual revenue by charging for their products! Recently however, Newsgator decided to offer all readers for free. That way they gather a lot more data, which they will aggregate and offer as ‘attiontion data’ to publishers, journalists and other people interested in buzz. A risky way of transforming a business, but also one that could inspire a lot of other start-ups to rethink their sources of income.

If you want to learn more about this concept you should head over to the podcast section of Educators Corner by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, where Mitch Kapor talks about his new start-up Foxmarks. Read More about Free as in beer? More ways to offer somethin’ for nothin’