AvantGo is a free mobile content delivery service for your handset. It’ll let you sync-up thousands of news feeds which are specifically made to fit your mobile device. AvantGo call these “channels” and they contain all your favourite news, weather and sports sites. They’ve now announced a new Smartphone version so even more people can enjoy this service.
To use, you first setup an account at AvantGo.com, which is free (don’t be put off by the dozens of questions), then you’re free to choose the websites you’d like to syncronise. You can choose from CNET News.com, BBC News, Guardian Unlimited, BBC Sport, The Times plus loads more. If you don’t see a channel you like, you can always add in the RSS feed of a website like this. Once you’ve installed the software (Pocket PC and the new Smartphone versions are available amongst others), it’s just a matter of clicking, “Menu, Sync All” and hey presto – all the latest gossip and news is delivered to your phone. You can even use AvantGo to create a mobile version of any site, even if it’s not got an RSS feed.
I didn’t think I’d get into this software, but it is truely excellent. It’s completely free all the way and has become an essential part of my Smartphone. Read on to see it in action..
Link – AvantGo.com
AvantGo for Smartphone (beta) needs Windows Mobile Smartphone 2003 or above with at least 999KB of free memory, plus additional space for data. It’s best to store / install the program on your Storage Card. The same goes for the Pocket PC version.
|Once you’ve signed up at AvantGo.com and logged into their website you’ll see a control panel which lets you add, modify and remove channels plus loads more.
On the left of the page is this panel, which lets you add channels or RSS feeds. I’m going to add the best news feed ever – the CoolSmartPhone one! :)
Once I’ve clicked on “Create RSS Channel” I just enter www.coolsmartphone.com/xml.php (click here for a list of the news feeds we do) and then save it. You can see a screenshot of me doing this here. Next I pick up my handset and choose “Sync All” from the phone. Ideally it’s best to syncronise whilst your device is ActiveSync’d up. You can use your data connection (GPRS / 3G / UMTS, whatever you fancy) if you wish, but I’m a tight-wad. Here’s the results..
I can do the same thing with my blog, which is at www.coolsmartphone.com.blog.php..
And that’s it! Normal AvantGo channels will appear like this one – the ITN News feed is shown here on the right. You can now keep up-to-date wherever you are, and even if you do choose to update your channels over GPRS then it’s not going to cost you a huge amount in the slimmed-down data transfer.