As per my other articles on MakeUseOf about making the most of your cell phone such as using your phone as a modem, I thought I’d write a piece about getting your RSS feeds on your mobile. I have this set up because I don’t often use Google reader. I much prefer to catch up on blogs and news when it suits me such as when I’m on the bus or just lazing around; not bothered to fire up the PC in search of my fix.
There are several different cell phone RSS readers that you could choose; all of which are Java based. After testing a few, I’ve decided to go with RSSReader. I’ve decided this for two main reasons.
1. It’s reliable and it does a good job at collecting and organizing your feeds.
2. It’s compatible with almost any Java enabled cell phone (ie. basically any phone bought after 2004!)
First you need to go to this website to download the app. As always with my mobile app articles, I got it from GetJar because they’re a reputable directory for mobile apps. Up in the top right hand corner of the GetJar site, enter in what mobile phone you have. It may ask for your cell phone number to automatically identify it (don’t worry – they don’t charge anything to you or subscribe you to one of those annoying ringtone services!). If there is a Download button on the RSS Reader page then that means it’s compatible with your phone.
Having clicked Download, you’ll be presented with two options. The first is to use the download code as seen in the screenshot. Navigate to m.getjar.com on your mobile’s browser and click “˜Download Code’ at the bottom of the page. Then enter in the download code which has been provided to you. This will start the download on your phone which shouldn’t take more than thirty seconds.
The other option is to download the cell phone RSS reader to your computer and then send it to your phone using the USB cable that came with the phone.
Either way; once you have it on your phone and installed, you’re ready to add your feeds.
The first is to manually add your feeds. Select “˜Options’ and then “˜Add Feed’. Then enter in the URL of the feed. This part is kind of important so listen up. The URL of the feed is not the URL of the blog’s website. To find a feed’s URL you’ll have to do a little investigative work. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use Google Reader.
In Google Reader, simply select the feed you want to add (presuming you’ve already subscribed to it on your PC). In the top right of your screen you’ll see a link which reads “˜Show Details’. Click on it. This will open up a small panel at the top of the preview screen as shown in the screenshot. As you can see the feed’s URL is shown – I have highlighted the MUO feed URL in this demonstration.
Enter that feed URL exactly as it appears in Google Reader (or other RSS reader for that matter) and save it. You’ll now be subscribed to that feed and can download it on your phone. You can view the post headers in the app. You can preview the post by clicking on the header.
To update a specific feed simply click on it when on the home screen. This will load a list full of recent posts. Click on any one of these posts to read the full story. Enjoy your feeds on your mobile.
Quick Tip: Beware GPRS (mobile web) charges – probably best that you ring your network helpline and inquire about data charges. Most network have cheap plans such as a unlimited usage for $15 a month these days as GPRS use declines.
How RSS Reader looks will differ depending on phone. I tested it on three devices and it looked quite different on each – but the options and layout are all the same. If it doesn’t work on your phone – YourChannels is a more basic cell phone RSS reader that may be worth a shot.
How else do you get your daily dose of reading on your cellphone? Share with us!