AvantGo-like offline news reader yet?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by amysig, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. amysig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    #1
    I really need an offline news reader for my iPhone. There are spots where I have no connection to EDGE or WiFi and I'd like to read the news.

    I was a big fan of AvantGo on Palm devices from 10 years ago. Is there anything like this for the iPhone?

    I'm not a big RSS user so maybe I can accomplish this with an RSS reader on my Mac that can then send articles to my iPhone?

    I've looked at byline, a Google Reader frontend with some offline capability, but it seems that I have to go and tell it what pages/articles to download. I just don't have the time to do that.

    I want to set up my subscriptions once and have the content downloaded to the phone. Is this possible?
     
  2. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    instaPaper is great but is only for 1 time clipping. There are apps that will read Pluckr docs, that's your best bet for now.
     
  3. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    I'm the developer of Byline.

    The app downloads the full web pages linked to by items that you specifically star or note for offline browsing, but for all other items Byline does download the feed content, including inline images, so you can browse these items when you're offline.

    In addition, you can set Byline to download full web pages for new items, as well as starred items and notes.
     
  4. amysig thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the info but I'm still confused...When exactly does Byline do this download? Do I have to open the app to kick off the download process?

    My problem is that I'm forgetful. I won't remember to open Byline first thing each morning when I'm at home on fast WiFi. I will want to open it on the train or deep inside an office building where I have no signal at all--no Edge no WiFi.

    That was the great thing about AvantGo. It had a desktop companion app that ran every time you'd sync the device. So you were guaranteed to have new content on your device.

    I want something to download news and articles to my iPhone at 7am every morning. Then I take the iPhone off the cradle and I have offline news.
     
  5. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    Yes, you do. Third-party apps aren't allowed to run in the background, unfortunately.

    I'm afraid this isn't possible. Third-party apps can't sync over iTunes, and even if they could, this wouldn't help apps that need to sync with an online service such as Google Reader.
     
  6. dunamis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #6
    byline v avantgo

    Nutter, just confirming...

    Byline can be set to download offline pages of google reader automatically when synchronising without going through each page and selecting it first? Avantgo basically just syncs to the channels i have selected and they are all available for offline reading.
     
  7. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    Yes, that's right. By default, Byline archives web pages linked to by starred items and notes (as shown in the video tour), but you can set it to do the same for new items.
     
  8. Project macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    #8
    Why doesn't Byline allow me to access my Google Reader subscriptions individually? Or even my folders. It just pulls the latest 25 or so articles. Any plans to change this? If it was a client for Google Reader you'd sell tons of copies of the apps. But as it stands it isn't really a GReader client and that limits its appeal.
     
  9. mappyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Are you sure about that nutter.

    By default?

    You have to manually select the items one by one and star them first I thought. That's a lot of tedious starring.
     
  10. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    I plan to add the ability to browse by folder/tag within the next month or two. I'll also be offering the option to increase the number of articles downloaded for each list from the current default of 25. If you want to be notified of these features when they become available, you can subscribe to the Byline Release Notes feed.
     
  11. Asha'man macrumors newbie

    Asha'man

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    Hiya Nutter,

    One of the minor annoyances of the Google iPhone webapp is that it won't let you read your feeds oldest first. Since some of my feeds are for forum conversations, it's quite confusing to see the reply before the original comment. Does Byline support reading in both oldest-first and newest first?

    Also, let me add another voice for reading one tagged group at a time, rather than everything at once.

    Byline looks promising to me since I use Google Reader extensively, but it needs to pass a certain threshold of features in order to justify the $10 price over a free alternative. You're getting closer....
     
  12. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    Not yet, I'm afraid, but this too is coming soon. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  13. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #13
    This post is really to ask Nutter a question about byline!

    I am considering purchasing byline but can you tell me, I want to use it on the tube. I have never used google reader before but based on your video it looks like before I leave the house I open the byline app and it syncs up via my wifi? So far so good.

    However do I only get the headline of the news item and a line or two of info (bbc news as an example) and then if I want to read the full article I have to click star and it will download the webpage when I next connect to the internet. Is this right?

    If so will I not just end up reading a bunch of headlines on the tube and not the full story - unless I do all of this before I get on the train which to be honest no one has time to do - well I don't!
     
  14. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #14
    Can anyone confirm or deny this?

    By the way I am not having a go at the app - if this is what it does then great, just want to see if is for me or not.
     
  15. Asha'man macrumors newbie

    Asha'man

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    You are almost correct. The RSS feed may contain just a few lines of the full news item, or it may contain the first few paragraphs, or it may contain the entire article. The majority of the feeds I read actually provide the full text of the article within the RSS feed, only a fraction of them require me to leave Google Reader in order to see the whole article.

    I'm sure that Byline will show you all the information contained within the RSS feed, which is the same portion of the article that Google Reader will display for you in it's browser. I suggest you set up Google Reader with a few of your favorite sites, and see how much content you'll get. If you are lucky, you'll find that syncing Byline before you leave the house will provide plenty of reading material, without having to do any additional downloads.
     
  16. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #16
    Thanks. Just did this and can see that google reader varies from source to source.

    Mind you I think I might have been wrong initially. If it did download every article it would take forever so I guess this is a good solution.

    I will download byline and let you know how I get on - if anyone is interested!!!
     
  17. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #17
    Okay so I just downloaded byline. Anyone want to write a quick 'idiots guide' to using it. Please...
     
  18. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #18
    Ok - I'm the idiot cause I kinda figured it out.

    Thanks Nutter - great app - will leave you 5 stars on the itunes review
     
  19. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #19
    Great, I'm glad you like it!

    To answer your earlier question, if most of your feeds contain only a couple of lines of content, you might want to set Byline to download the full linked webpage for your new items as well as for your starred items and notes.
     
  20. sellitman macrumors regular

    sellitman

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #20
    You sold me. This will be my 1st "paid for" App. Thanks for your fine work. I too loved Avant Go an used it whenever flying.

    Cherio!
     
  21. shard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #21
    Hey Nutter,

    think you'll support any other online RSS readers like Bloglines in the future? Would love to see a client with this functionality for Bloglines!
     
  22. UKmacman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #22
    Okay heres a couple of points after using it a few times:

    I only have about 6 sites on my reader list but most are news and seem to produce loads of feeds.

    Every time I open the app it starts to download new stuff, do the existing items stay on the page until read and then when read they automatically delete?

    Yes I agree - the folders thing would be really good.

    And the ability to download more than 25 at a time

    And if it can be done what would be excellent would be a feature to only download the full articles when on wifi. I use the wifi at home and leave it running for a few mins before I go out but on the street I find 3g rubbish and it is off most the time so I have to remember to turn off 'download new' when I go back into byline to stop it struggling on gprs. Anyway just a thought.

    Cheers
     
  23. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    I'm afraid that's unlikely, sorry.

    Once you read a new item, it stays on the list until the next refresh. Byline will keep the 25 most recent items in each list, but there's a "Load More Items..." link at the bottom of the list, just like in Mail.

    The next version of Byline will allow you to increase the number of recent items kept from 25 all the way up to 200. Should be out by the end of August.

    This too is coming in the next update.
     

Share This Page