Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NewsBreak delivers news straight into my Treo

Keeping up with the most recent news around the globe has never been so easy now in digital era, in fact if you're not being selective, you'll soon get drown with too many news thrown at you.

But being choosy on what news you wanted to hear, see and read; is also imply to how and with what you wish to do all that.

How to get the news is a piece of cake to do for a mobile addict like yourself, that smartphone which is strapped around your waist or which is inside your pocket or purse, is more than capable to bring RSS news for you anytime anywhere. The biggest challenge is with which app will your smartphone going to do that?

There are plenty of RSS news reader apps out there in the market, some are free and some are required you to purchase a license, many are bad and only few are good. If you're not careful, you'll end up using a lowsy app that brings just half of the news (no pics & no podcasts), and irritates you with its bugs.

For me, having the best RSS news reader app in my Treo is a must. Reading news and hearing podcast news every day, is like vitamins I need to take to make me healthy each day. So that's why while on the spree of re-installing back apps into my fixed Treo starting a couple days ago, I want to share with you my pick on RSS news reader app for my Treo: Illium Software NewsBreak.

Don't be fooled by NewsBreak's modest user interface (UI), although I must say the UI got not that much to talk about. After launching the app, you'll be presented with a clean main UI. The main window shows RSS feed channels you've registered to, clicking on each one of them will take you directly into designated channel. There are two menu buttons at the bottom, they are Refresh option on the left and Menu option on the right.

Clicking the Refresh button will update all of the registered channels shown on the main window, while the Menu button will shows more options to choose on. Through the Menu option you can register for a new RSS feed, backup your registered feeds, change a channel properties, set NewsBreak to store podcasts into memory card, set auto-update, set notify for new items, etc.

With NewsBreak you can categorize every channels into folders, making the main window stay neat and clean if you have a bunch of RSS feeds registered. For each channels, you may download the default site's name, or you may rename it to your own liking. On the right part besides the channel's name, there'll be numbers representing the items that are unread and the total items available in that particular channel. For example: at PalmAddict channel, it has a total of 35 items available and two items unread (screenshot above).

If I choose PalmAddict channel, NewsBreak then shows the two items unread at most above, highlighted in bold words. There are more options to sort out the view of the items based on date, status (read or unread), keyword and combination of all.

If there's an item contain a podcast in it, you can order NewsBreak to download it by clicking the podcast icon, or you can set NewsBreak to always download and store podcasts automatically. To listen to the downloaded podcasts, NewsBreak provide a direct play so you don't have to hear it using other music/sound players. Later on, NewsBreak allows you to delete any podcasts you've heard to save space.

It is the ease of use, which made me so fond of NewsBreak. Like for an instance: when you're reading a news, you can jump to next or previous news simply by pressing the left & right of the D-pad buttons. This shortcut also works if you want to jump from channel to channel, you'll soon reading like propelled with the speed of a F1 race car. ;-D

With NewsBreak shortcut located at Windows Mobile's Today Screen showing the new items available for you to read, you won't be able to stop checking out your device screen and keep turning on the display to see if there's a new item to read or not.

The options available in NewsBreak are powerful enough to customized it the way you want it to be, but the options would not make you lost in it, you even soon start using the app with its full features on. No hassle, just the news you want delivered straight to you. Or I might just said: NewsBreak delivers!

If you're interested to try out the NewsBreak first before you buy it, then download the installer or CAB file that's compatible with your Windows Mobile device at this page. While you're there, you probably interested too in seeing the screenshots.

Ilium Software is offering Newsbreak v2.1 at US$19.95, but for you PalmAddict loyal readers, you can enjoy a US$10 OFF by punching in this promotion code: DC2XPA4D at the check out page. And that's not all, the $10 worth discount is elligible not only for NewsBreak, but also for any of Ilium Software's app titles!

So if you've been eyeing to purchase a license for Ilium Software's apps, then this is a good chance to use this great offering. Look for the appropriate apps for your mobile devices at this product page, but I suggest you better make up your mind quick because this offer will end next week.

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