One of my interests is mobile computing.
I have a personal interest: I own a Windows Mobile Cingular 8125 phone/PDA. (See Cingular 8125- Cingular Wireless.) So, as I am starting to get “in” to blogging, it is only logical that I start asking “How can I take blogging with me on the road?”
I also have a more professional interest: I think one of the very clear trends of our industry is mobile computing. According to GLOBAL WIRELESS MARKET DATA: Worldwide Mobile Market Forecasts 2006-2011, there were 2.129 billion wireless subscribers at the end of 2005. By 2011, there will be 3.964 billion subscribers. According To In-Stat Strong Growth In Wireless Subscriber Base Resumes, the vast majority of the growth will be in Asia where I understand that wireless is not just a nice portable technology but one that allows a large population to receive information without a wired infrastructure.
So, roughly translated, between now and 2011, there are going to be almost 2 billion new wireless customers. It might be a good idea for me to know something about wireless computing.
It was with this in mind that I opened Internet Explorer the other day and started searching for RSS feed browsers for my Windows Mobile phone/PDA.
I ended up downloading AvantGo, which is a Microsoft partner. (See What is Windows Mobile?)
AvantGo is far more than an RSS feed reader. I would describe AvantGo as a portal specifically designed for the mobile platform. Content is delivered to you as “channels” to which you subscribe.
AvantGo’s business model is the now familiar one in which the basic software is free to the user, but the user sees advertising—of which Microsoft is one. You can subscribe for a fee to get greater capacity. In either case, you create a user id on the AvantGo site, and you manage the channels to which you subscribe from either your PDA or AvantGo’s site.
I have mixed feelings about this approach—placing such personally-identifiable software on my phone/PDA, but I am finding value in the software. The primary value is that I know that the content I’m receiving has been specifically aimed at the PDA.
I downloaded the 6.2 beta version—which I understand plays much better with ActiveSync than previous versions. (See http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/downloads/activesync38.mspx, notes at bottom of page.) I am syncing by my wireless connection, however.
My initial reaction is fairly positive: The RSS browser seems well-suited for the PDA screen. It is pretty cool to see Ward Pond's Blog and Bob Beauchemin's Blog on my PDA screen. Full text of the articles is downloaded on request using my wireless connection. The syncing seems a bit cranky at times, however.
I will keep you informed of my adventures.
I welcome your comments.