As a predominantly mobile user, I use a variety of internet-connected devices to work, research, blog, interact and entertain myself. My mobile, device-swapping, online-lifestyle has necessitated the use of various technologies which utilise cloud services, granting me some degree of data storage device-independence.
DropBox, with its multi-platform clients and open application programming interface (API), provides easy access to my notes, meeting minutes, product information and so-forth, allowing me to view or modify these from my Linux netbook, Windows laptop and iPhone when on the run. In its most simple form, the ability to share folders with others allowed my family to share a ‘Shopping List’ between us, so any family member can update the list via any device with a DropBox client, which means you always have the latest list when you hit the supermarket.
On the media-consumption side I have been a long-time user of Google Reader, once again due to its open API, allowing many different vendors the ability to create their own clients and interfaces, saving me the trouble of subscribing to many RSS feeds repeatedly from my multitude of devices. When I discover a new site, blog, or news-source I wish to read regularly (my Google Reader stats show that Dr. Phil Plait’s simply wonderful ‘Bad Astronomy’ blog is my most oft-viewed source), I simply add the site’s RSS feed to my Google Reader account, and then use my favourite Google Reader client on whichever device I’m using to read or view content.
My feed-reading activities have become a little more enjoyable this week, with the release of the latest version of Espresso Reader, an Adobe Air-based cross-platform Google Reader client, which presents feeds in a clever, visually pleasing ‘magazine’ style (see below).
Whilst I’ve used Espresso Reader before, the latest version has blown me away with its responsiveness, running smoothly even on my low-powered Linux netbook. On my Windows 7 laptop, with its large screen and clear graphics, the effects are truly stunning, providing a beautiful view of my various news sources. I’m now quite a fan of two Adobe Air-powered applications – Espresso Reader, and TweetDeck, which adorns all my machines.
In addition to the eye-pleasing magazine view, a toggle switch allows switching to a standard ‘list’ view, which is also automatically activated when a specific feed item is viewed.
If you use RSS feeds to consume content or stay informed, I highly recommend you try this stunning application. Your eyes will thank you.
Here’s another, more detailed review of Espresso Reader.
- Google Desktop RSS Reader with EspressoReader (madrasgeek.com)