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View RSS Feeds on an Android Mobile Phone Using Google Reader

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In the past I've never found much use for RSS feeds. I understand the theory, but have always been perfectly happy to just browse to the different web pages I read. Now that I spend a good deal of time reading articles on the train while fighting with spotty internet service, I've found RSS feeds to be very useful to me. I can cache the article stubs for all the sites I want to check out before I get on the train. If I see an article I want to read completely, but don't have reception, I can star it so I can come back to it later. I also don't have to spend time on the train browsing from news site to news site. I only load the articles I want to read.

I've installed Google Reader on my phone to manage my RSS subscriptions. I don't really have experience with other RSS tools to compare against, but I'll list the features I like here:

You can easily add subscriptions. From within reader you can type in the URL of a website and Google Reader will search for the feed for you. If a website has a RSS button, you can click that to launch Google Reader and add the subscription. I found that it was actually simpler to just give Google Reader the site's root URL and let it find the feed than to try to type in the URL for the feed itself.

You can subscribe to things other than RSS feeds. For instance, you can subscribe to specific search terms on Twitter or Google News and have related articles and tweets added to your feed. This is a nice feature since it allows me to keep track of news or comments about specific technologies I'm interested in.

You can star articles to bookmark them quickly. By hitting the star next to any article you bookmark it so you can read it when you have time (or an internet connection). This one is mostly useful to me when my internet connection drops during my ride. I can just star the article and read it later when my connection has recovered or when I get home.

Google Reader syncs with your Google account. If I want to, I can catch up with those starred articles form my laptop rather than my cell phone. My Nexus One is great an all, but if I'm at a laptop or desktop I'd rather read articles on a real monitor.

If you use your cell phone to read articles from multiple sites, I recommend using Google Reader or an app like it to help you browse through the content quickly. It will save you time and battery life.



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