RSS reader and sharing

I am a bit in a middle ground these days jumping from one reader to another and also between sharing my favorite articles between two different services.

I used NetNewsWire (a Mac RSS reader) for almost 2 years now and I’m very happy with it. Joining newsgator also gave me a web (2.0) interface for free that is nicely integrated with the client. Since I really don’t go very far without my notebook, I never used it.

Recently James Pearce brought to my attention the beauties of the mobile version of Google Reader. The mobile version is very simple and effective at the same time. Like most Google products, it does it’s job efficiently. I also enjoyed sharing my favourite articles via Google (and also temporarily embedded them in this blog).

Nevertheless, I could never find myself entirely comfortable in the web interface, especially when I am on an airplane with no connection (if the feed provide the full articles, I can read them even when offline).
Anyway, the reason why I tried Google reader was to be able to access the feed on my mobile. I tried to access the website of newsgator hoping to use it with Opera Mini, but unfortunately their interface is too advanced for a small screen. Browsing around the web site (probably the first time in at least 1 year) I discovered that thanks to the iPhone-wave, they have launched a mobile version. So thank you iPhone!
Now I’m happily back to my Mac-client, have a mobile version and even found a way to share my favourite articles.

But of course there’s always something that’s missing. How do I add to my shared items pages and links that are not in my regular feeds? I still haven’t discovered this. So here’s a news item I wanted to share:
Red Hat and Amazon Team Up for Enterprise-grade Cloud Computing

Apple is clearly making money

Someone should probably create a statistic (I’m surprised there isn’t one, yet) that shows how lawsuits grow in number when company earnings grow.

I don’t agree with all Apple’s policies, but it’s a pity that many people try to make money out of them (and other big companies every day) with lawsuits.

See here new lawsuits against Apple.

iPhone: The Web Browser is the only user interface

I was reading this article @AppleInsider and thought that if Apple is thinking about extending Javascript to allow applications to access more of the features of the device and is going to provide more visibility for Web-apps, then maybe they think that the iPhone is a Web-appliance. This means that the iPhone is a pocket-web browser. It’s not a device to build applications for.

There are so many services that have moved from their original interface to a web interface. If you can use Javascript to access information on the device and you can store data on the filesystem (like Google Gears already offers) then why do you need to build your own UI?
See this older post I made on a similar topic and I think this rumor, if true, would confirm.

Is Apple aware of exchange rates?

Apple computers and all the accessories have always been more expensive in Europe than in the US. Once Apple computers were way more expensive than an unbranded PC, but they used different technologies and it was hard to make a real comparison. Today Apple computers are running Intel chips, IDE hard drives, have USB ports and most of the hardware is the same. Prices in the US have dropped and are not aligned with Dell and HP.
In Italy and in Europe they are still way more expensive. Prices are the apparently the same, what in the US costs 1199 USD, will cost you 1199 Euro in Europe (see the iMac’s). What strikes me is that today, 1 Euro is worth almost 1.4 US Dollars, so something that costs 1000 Dollars in the US should cost less than 750 Euro here!
The latest example of this is the iPhone that was just launched in the UK, it costs 269 Pounds that are about 390 Euro and also about 545 USD! Once again, the price in USD and Euro is the same it’s just that they are not the same currency.

There isn’t just ONE WebKit

Reporting from Surfin’ Safari Blog:

[W]e have a WebKit detection script that properly checks for the WebKit engine (not just Safari) and properly detects versions.

This script has now been updated to support iPhone and the new iPod touch. You can try a live version to see what kinds of results you’ll get on different browsers and devices.

For all those that believed that mobile devices are the same as desktop PC’s.

Read the full article here: WebKit Detect script updated for iPhone and iPod touch.

iPhone developers guidelines

Apple has posted the developers’ guidelines for content aimed to the iPhone.

It is good to see that they are telling developers to pay a lot of attention to the fact that the device is not a desktop PC and despite the fact that it supports web standards such as HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0, it still has some constraints like missing a mouse and a small screen.
I also appreciate very much the strong suggestion of sticking to the standards, you really want to keep things simple for the iPhone to process and using weird tags or strange constructs in your markup is not a good way to make the browser’s life easy.

Go ahead, get started with the development, as soon as you’re done reading Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone.

iPhone users buying AT&T services through iTunes?

At Appleinsider they have a new article entitled Apple says iPhone can be activated by users at home that says:

“Activating iPhone takes only minutes as iTunes guides the user through simple steps to choose their service plan, authorize their credit and activate their iPhone, Apple said. Once iPhone is activated, users can then easily sync all of their phone numbers and other contact information, calendars, email accounts, web browser bookmarks, music, photos, podcasts, TV shows and movies just like they do when they sync their iPods with iTunes.”

Wait a minute! I buy the phone in an Apple store, I walk home, plug the phone in the USB port, start up iTunes and… subscribe to AT&T? Select my preferred plan? You know what? This sounds a lot like I’m buying a mobile phone plan from iTunes. Sounds like I’m giving some money to Apple for this. Sounds like I will be able to buy more content and services from AT&T (or another operator) from the familiar interface of iTunes. Sounds like iTunes is turning into the centerpiece for buying media and services. Well THIS is an interesting new approach from Apple. This sounds innovative. This sounds like building more and more services around their iTunes platform.

iPhone+Safari+Web 2.0+Google=Mobile Widget

I was reading Zec’s blog and his latest post is titled “Google widgets on iPhone?” and you know what? I totally agree! He must have been reading my mind because in the last couple of days I have been thinking just that.

Apple announced that you can develop Web 2.0 apps for the iPhone.
Google has had Widgets for a while and recently launched Gears.

This sounds to me like a perfect match. You can’t really develop applications (yet), which is a shame, but at least you can develop tiny web 2.0 apps and Widgets and maybe with Google Gears you can add some off-line browsing. I can imaging getting online, using your favorite social network or whatever, get offline (in the subway, on an airplane, in a cave or in a dungeon), start up the Gears Mobile Widget, read your inbox, write some new messages or something like that, get back online, upload the updates.
The iPhone connectivity is certainly meant for a fulltime online usage, as much as broaband is today and personally I can’t wait for that day, but until the day you will have a REAL flat (that is also cheap enough), you can’t think of that. Once we have it, we’ll have the (i)phone always connected and the offline periods will be only limited. I just wonder how long will the battery would last, if you’re always online. Not very long, I guess. Where is a new battery technology? UMTS is certainly not sucking battery that GPRS and EDGE, so this is an issue!

Anyway, Google Gadgets, Gears and iPhone sound like a perfect match. Google and Apple and getting nearer every day. When are they going to share code between the WebKit and Mozilla (and maybe have full support for Safari in the many Google sites such as Blogger)?