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Dear RIM, Why Are You Letting Viigo Die?

Viigo Dead One of the things that has really annoyed me since I upgraded to BlackBerry OS 6 was the lack of Viigo as a news reader. Viigo has been a mainstay on every one of my BlackBerrys for YEARS even since I paid for their original NewsClip app around 2005. Viigo may not have had all the features I wished it had and it had quite a few memory leaks but they were moving strong and adding features on a regular basis until they were acquired by RIM in May of this year.

Then Viigo fell silent. The app that earned a 5 star CNET Editors Choice Rating hasn’t been updated in ages. It has been months since BlackBerry 6 was released and still we have no support for Viigo. Viigo used to be (and probably still is) one of the most popular BlackBerry apps available. When RIM purchased it I was hoping RIM would fix any of the issues the product had and add loads of new features. Instead we got nothing. If anything users are worse off than they were before since there has not been a Viigo update since RIM purchased them.

I thought at first that the Social Feeds application bundled in BlackBerry 6 would be a viable replacement but sadly it is not. The RSS reader built into it feels like RIM baked it in as an afterthought. It has practically no options and is really only useful to the most casual of RSS users.

Currently I am happy using BerryReader with its Google Reader integration but I really find it sad that RIM seems to have killed off Viigo. I heard rumors that RIM is working on creating a new app using the expertise Viigo has brought to the table. The question is why would they not simply update the current Viigo release for their own latest platform at the same time. It is such a shame to see Viigo die when it had such potential.

It is really odd on RIM’s part to keep Viigo around yet not update the application for BlackBerry 6. Hopefully RIM has something in store for us and won’t let Viigo totally die from stagnation.

What do you think?

37 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Your commentary is spot on. This was my most used app on the Blackberry beyond the core functions. I’ve finally moved over to BerryReader, but it’s not close. Viigo had one thing I haven’t found in any other RSS reader: Absolutely excellent off-line support. Everything pre-loaded and just worked fast.

  2. They just need to update the Social Feeds app to the point where it has at least most of the functionality that Viigo had.

    I think most had the impression SF was the viigo continuation, problem is there’s been zero updates to it….

  3. 100% totally agree. While not perfect, Viigo MAY have been the best app for BB’s, and in my opinion was for sure THE best newsreader for a BB! Maybe Rim is reading this?

  4. I was under the impression the storm version of viigo works on the torch. I had it installed but hadn’t used it extensively.

    Either way, SF is a blatant example of how hard* at work they’ve been rewriting viigo. The RSS reader is SF is just a flashy version of the <OS5 Feeds function in the browser. I don't see anything viigo related except for the "full story" button…

    I wonder if rim is just sitting there waiting for someone to come out with a better app that will make viigo completely irrelevant

  5. I’ve asked the CEO of viigo via twitter but he’s not saying much of anything. Probably because he can’t.!/markruddock

    But yeah, I struggle with that POS of an RSS reader RIM built. Don’t get me started on the POS podcast app either.

  6. Viigo has been a mainstay on all my bbs. In my situation where 95% of my online activity is done on my bb I couldn’t survive with out viigo. I truly hope rim makes good on this app or someone develops a good replacement!

  7. I installed the Storm 2 version and it works fine… Only issue is see is that the pages doesn’t always autofit, but I just pinch zoom it into place.

  8. I’m absolutely agree with your comment. Besides core functions, Viigo was the most used app for me and my wife in our Blackberrys. In fact, still is in the Tour of her. With nostalia, I’ve move to Android and if anything says to RIM, I’s using Google reader but miising Viigo.

  9. Amen! Viigo explains why BB and not the other platforms are for me. Not flashy, gets the job done in the minimalist way possible. I have a iPod touch and NONE of the 1000’s apps do what Viigo does for me. Part of the reason why I hesitate to move on to a OS6 BB. (Btw, off topic, but you guys did a good job with ur mobile site. It blows my mind when other BB sites can’t get it right on the BB browser! I was quite surprised the space btn worked “correctly” when I entered my email.)

  10. exactly my words!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I too really miss Viigo since my OS 6 upgrade. I’m using the berry reader but it’s gone just as soon as we get a Viigo build ready for OS 6

  12. I have viigo running on my Torch!

    It got installed when I chose to let desktop manager copy my applications from my storm.

    It works ok but you need to tap the screen to resize an article.

    I guess it can be manually installed.

  13. Viigo v2.x was quite good.

    But, then they started to bloat the product with needless/useless functionality that made it bloated and unusable v3.x.

    There are alternatives out there…. Perhaps, Ronen will follow this article up with a comparison between the newer popular RSS readers (e.g. XPRSS, BeReader, Freerange, RSS Guru, Alisha RSS, Snaptu etc).

    You’ll find a post from me here somewhere when RIM purchased Viigo and at the time I believed (and still do) that it was money ill-spent.

    Whilst I have OS6 installed I normally do not install the SocialFeeds app as it is lacking in functionality. Perhaps, oneday the ex-Viigo developers will pull their finger out and provide something useful (as the Torch browser team actually delivered a great browser).

    I am quite sure alot of people will disagree with my views… 🙂

    • I have been thinking of doing a follow up article on the RSS readers out there but so far BerryReader is the only contender I have found and it is not free. What options have you found? I have tried XPRSS, RSS Guru, and Snaptu and not been impressed though XPRSS is decent. Freerange is also good but I don’t like their workflow and it is not under any sort of active development.

  14. It doesn’t make sense for RIM to buy viigo and not do anything about it.
    Viigo has been acting really strange on OS6. Usually the article text are stored in the device and instantly displayed when an article is opened. Now the whole article has to be downloaded first. Being with a small bandwidth, it is bordering on unusable now. Waiting for the article can be longer than reading the article itself.

  15. I use Viigo with my Torch but it’s a less than satisfying experience. When will RIM fix my Viigo?

  16. I won’t even consider going to OS 6 until they get viigo working on there for us. I am on it everyday whenever I have down time and use it religiously to post interesting articles to my facebook profile. So ill stay on OS 5 and never upgrade again until that is addressed.

  17. Yeah I am really missing Viigo on my Torch. BerryReader is OK and finally adds Google Reader integration but the offline features in Viigo were key for me. I am in the subway with no reception at least an hour a day and Viigo was my mainstay. Now it does not cache articles and needs to resize every single article.
    I just don’t get why RIM cannot update the app for BlackBerry 6. Its is pure idiocy to let such a popular app die.

  18. Im using Freerange myself and itll do until RIM figures out what the hell are they doing with Viigo.

  19. Ronen stop on for this post. If there was any one app I would never get rid of on my Blackberry, it would be Viigo. Non OS6 support for Viigo has been one of the main reason I stopped using the Torch, and haven’t loaded up an leaked version of OS6 on my 9700.

    I use Viigo twice a day, I ready articles during my morning and evening commute to work like a newspaper. Until there is OS6 support for Viigo, I just don’t want to move to OS 6.

    When I first heard of social feeds in OS6, I thought the tech from Viigo might have been incorporated into it. However when I attended the Blackberry Torch event in New York, I ask one of the reps about this. They said the tech wasn’t and couldn’t give me any information about Viigo.

    If RIM brought Viigo and then decide to do nothing with it, this would be truly sad. Above any other app, I love Viigo the most. So much that I have kept in touch with the then CEO or Viigo and various other employees. If Viigo gets killed off, this would be a shame indeed!

  20. I agree with everyone. But maybe it’s the fact that they can’t seem to get Social Integration down pat. They probably couldn’t get Viigo to post from RIM app structure to Facebook. Lol.

    Or maybe, it is a work in progress and they thought the browser was more important to bring first in OS6.

  21. Viigo was an excellent app. I am using social feeds as a substitute. The fact that all the programming work was done and a change in the viigo GUI could have made social feeds a decent app. No porting of the viigo link shortening service into social feed was also disappointing. I am using a Curve 3G and was able to download the OTA viigo for the 8520 however the articles did not render correctly. There is also no way to import the viigo feed database in social feeds

  22. Yeah. I hate the fact that Viigo seems to be just quietly dying off like this. Torch and 9780 was just released here in Singapore but I opted to renew my contract with a 9700 instead because of 0S 5.0…

    … because of Viigo.

    Social feeds? Don’t make me laugh! Make me laugh! Make me laugh!

  23. Cool, it let’s you port all of your Viigo subscriptions. Let’s see what happens.

  24. its basically viigo.

    im super pumped because i didnt want to update to os6 solely for lack of viigo support. its, honestly, the most used (non-core) thing on my BB.

    there are a few things missing : save an article, email article to me, custom titling of feeds, date breaks, delete prior and the ability to delete without confirming a second time. the fact that the ‘full article’ option just opens in the browser instead of in-app text display really sucks since you lose what you’d been looking at in the browser window, but that could be fixed by making ‘full article’ launch in a new tab in os6. oh, and everyone seems to really care about google reader support, which i dont really care about but, whatever, enough other folks do.

    im sure theyll add most, if not all, of that stuff soon. remember, its supposed to be a beta.

    mention whats missing in the review area on app world and leave feedback at

    they cant fix/add anything unless we let them know what we want.

  25. I miss Viigo but had to move on to BerryReader due to the massive memory leaks in Viigo essentially crashing my Storm.

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