Daily Archives: 2004-01-19

Bloglines for PDAs

I’m still using Bloglines as my aggregator and have found it quite useful. Yesterday they released Bloglines for Connected PDAs which is a version optimized for small devices. If you connect to the main page (www.bloglines.com), it will automatically redirect to the mobile page if it detects a PDA browser.

I tried it on my Tungsten C (802.11) and Tungsten T3 (Bluetooth) and it worked well in both cases. The PDA-optimized pages are really fast, in part because the icon for each channel has been removed, meaning there are practically no graphics to download. Sample screenshots are shown below.

Subscription list (Tungsten C)   Item details (Tungsten C)   Subscription list (Tungsten T3)

Overall this is a great addition to Bloglines. After playing with it for a bit, I did have a few points to mention to the Bloglines team:

  • There is probably some more room for optimization. The subscriptions list is nice and tight, but when you click on a given channel, the channel header is still there and on a small device can take up much of the screen. Some of this channel info could probably be shortened or removed completely. See a sample screenshot below.
    Item details showing channel header (Tungsten TC)
  • There doesn’t appear to be a way to add new subscriptions in the mobile version. This would be nice to have.
  • On my Tungsten T3, the “auto detect” feature doesn’t work when conneted to the main page. I assume this is based on the User Agent string passed by the web browser. The T3 uses Palm WebPro v3.0 and I suspect it uses a UA string that closely matches a desktop browser. In any case, pointing to the true mobile page (www.bloglines.com/mobile) works fine.