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Review: Viigo the free BlackBerry RSS Reader From Virtualreach

viigo1.jpg UPDATED: Check out the post here
Viigo RSS reader

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆ 9/10
Link: www.virtualreach.com
OTA Link: mobile.virtualreach.com
Cost: COMPLETELY FREE

This program used to be called Newsclip by VirtualReach but recently it has partnered with the wonderful guys at BlackBerryCool.com to provide the software for free. I just love the day when a product that I used to pay $30 a year for is now provided for free. The only thing that has been changed from Newsclip when they changed to Viigo is the green home screen icon and the ugly green borders on the application but this program shines even with the ugly aesthetics.

Viigo is a wonderful free offline RSS reader. When you first download the application from the link above you will have some default RSS feeds on your BlackBerry. You can add and remove RSS feeds from the home screen of the application. They also provide a pretty comprehensive listing on RSS feeds you can choose from if you select add from list. (Sadly my blog is not included in the list).

Now to get into what makes the program shine. In the options you will find a setting letting you select how many RSS items the software should have stored at a time. The default is 250 but you can change that to 1000 by clicking on that box and typing 1000 out on the keyboard. The software auto-configures your connection but if it is incorrect change it in the settings. You then need to change if you want the software to autoupdate every selected hours or to only update manually. This is a great feature if you are on a limited data plan. You can also set if you want the software to handle rich text and download images.

The RSS reader is great once it starts downloading the feeds every two hours. The reading pane takes advantage of the BlackBerrys scroll wheel to control what you are reading. I wish they customized the software to let you hit the Spacebar to scroll down in an item but as of now you can hit “N” to go to the next item and “B” to go to the previous. You also have the ability to send the article link by email from your address book. The only downside of that is that it only lets you email the first email you have on file for each contact, even if you select another email address. They just added new functionality to be able to add the item to your del.icio.us account.

Other added features of Viigo include tracking packages (Excluding UPS) by just entering in the tracking number. They provide this service through simpletracking.com. You can get to that feature if you click add a channel in the main menu and then click on services>track a package. They also let you create an RSS feed from search terms, an opml file or even a technorati search channel.

Last of all VirtualReach offers you the ability to manage your rss subscriptions from their website in a section called myViigo where you can add and remove feeds and edit them. Suprizingly the BlackBerry interface is much more powerful than the web interface in this regard.

In conclusion this is a great piece of software that I would have advocated even if it cost 30$ a year but now that it is free I urge you to go out to the link above and install this wonderful contribution from both BlackBerryCool and VirtualReach.

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