Update: Post has been updated to reflect user feedback on the price point and updated recommendations.
More and more, Android users are using their phones as a way to keep up with the latest news and information that matters to them. As one of these users, I have been frustrated by the lack of a single application that will allow me to accomplish this goal without the use of the browser (which in my opinion defeats the purpose of “mobile”).
A few weeks ago, we received a tip about an application called eSobi Mobile which hopes to do just that. eSobi Mobile is an application that allows users to manage their news articles, RSS feeds, and podcasts from within a single application. eSobi Mobile comes preloaded with several of the standard things people read: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, PCWorld, BBC, etc. Anything else you could ever hope to subscribe to can be easily added via and RSS feed URL, or by adding sites to your Google Reader, which can be easily integrated with your eSobi Mobile application.
Having an application to manage your mobile content is meaningless unless it creates a pleasant mobile experience. Fortunately, eSobi Mobile fails to disappoint. The UI is clean and features every sorting ability you could ever hope for. In the week or so I have been testing eSobi Mobile, I have been impressed by the depth the application has, even though it isn’t much more than an organizational tool for all your mobile content. Clicking on an article will take you to a summary of that article, and if you want to read more it will launch an in-app browser to take you to the full story.
eSobi Mobile gives you access to the last 20 or so episodes from a selection of popular podcasts. Users can download entire podcasts right from the eSobi app to their SD card so you can listen to the podcast using whatever music player application you happen to like/have installed.
Now, it must be said that content does not update automatically as far as I can tell. Whenever I’ve selected a stream of content, I have had to click the refresh button to get eSobi to load new stories. The refresh button at least is conveniently located at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, so having to refresh manually is only a slight inconvenience rather than a dealbreaker.
As someone who has been somewhat frustrated with the lack of a single application to manage my entire news and blog stream from something outside of the browser, eSobi Mobile has the potential to be the one content management app to rule them all. Best of all: It’s free to try out for 30 days, but will set you back $5.99 if you want to keep it.
- Ability to manage multiple channels of information from a single application
- Google Reader integration
- Slick and easy to use UI
- Can manage content from the PC application which easily syncs with your Android phone.
- Have to manually refresh to update content
- Somewhat frustrating to add content on the Android phone itself.
- $5.99 price is a bit high for something that is free or better managed in other services.
If you’ve been looking for a single application to manage your entire RSS feed, and other apps currently available aren’t meeting your needs, this app is certainly worth a download to try out for 30 days. I personally think the application is a very good Android RSS reader solution, but find the $5.99 price point a bit difficult to swallow for this one. As usual, I encourage you to check it out for yourself today, as you might feel it’s worth the $6. eSobi is currently available for all 1.5+ Android platforms.