RSS was invented for Android. There are many benefits of RSS for desktop users, but its true potential is realized on the Android mobile platform. Some readers may have never used RSS or even know what it stands for. Read along as I show you how to set it up and explain why you need it.
Really Simple Syndication allows web sites to easily share their updates in a standard format which users have the ability to subscribe. By signing up for multiple updates or feeds, the user has the power to scan a wide variety of sites and information on a single screen in a short amount of time. This is great for anyone who wants to have the latest information on a given topic, but does not have the time to visit multiple web sites.
Android is the perfect match for RSS because it allows you to get those same updates wherever you are. It also strips down website pages to pure text so the page load times are much faster over Edge and 3G. Once RSS is setup on your phone, you can read all the days news as it happens. Google has also included some unique features that allow you to book mark and share the news that is important to you.
I have been a Google user for years, but I realize many T-Mobile G1 owners are new to having a Google account and all the other services that they offer. Google Reader is Google’s RSS client and available in a mobile format. The steps to setting up RSS feeds on your Android device are as follows:
Point your Android browser to http://google.com/reader and sign in if needed.
- Create a new bookmark in your browser to the Google Reader page.
- Return to your Android desktop by pressing the home key.
- Long press on the desktop to add a new shortcut to your home screen.
- Select add shortcut and then select bookmark.
- Browse your bookmarks and locate the link to Google Reader.
With the bookmark now linked to your desktop you have easy access to your Reader. You are now ready to add feeds. You can either search for feeds inside Google Reader or you can visit your favorite sites and look for the orange RSS button. Our RSS link is located in the top right corner with text “Subscribe to RSS Feed“. After clicking a RSS link Google will give you two options: add to Google homepage or add to Google Reader. After several feeds are added to your reader you can tag and organize them into groups using the desktop client.
Speaking of the desktop client, you will be forced to use it in order to have access to all the options. The mobile version has several settings like setting your start page or allowing outgoing links to be reformatted for mobile browser, but that is about it. Hopefully, Google will be releasing a full featured Reader client for Android soon.
Google Reader also has some cool features like such as the ability to share your favorite items and add your own notes to them. Once you share a story, Google publishes the results to your profile page where others can view it. I have not explored this option too much, but I am considering several creative uses for it.
If you have had a chance to use the mobile Google Reader, please share your thoughts with us. What features that are missing would you most like to see? Are you content with using Google Reader inside your mobile browser or would you like to see a dedicated app?
Having trouble setting up RSS? Leave a comment or contact us and we will do our best to help.