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The internet is made of tubes

GLOBAL – I read my news feeds on the way to work. But finding the right app to do it with has led to a lot of experimentation since the Nokia Lumia phones landed late last year.

My needs are quite specific. That’s why, though there are dozens of RSS feed readers in the Windows Phone Marketplace, I’ve only found one that is exactly right for me. I need an app that:

  1. Synchronises with Google Reader. On the desktop, this is the tool I use to read the news from blogs and news sites. So my mobile equivalent has to (i) work with my existing feed list; (ii) remember which stories are read and unread; (iii) allow me to Star or share particular stories.
  2. It has to work well with a large number of feeds. This is where a lot of the other feed readers available fell down. They looked great when they were first loaded. But once they were chewing down a couple of hundred busy RSS feeds, they quickly became a disorganised mess.
  3. It needs to support offline caching. I’m not too worried about the bandwidth used, but navigating London’s public transport means that quite a lot of the time, I don’t have a 3G signal. Also, caching obviously improves performance if you’re flipping through dozens of stories every morning.

But anyway, I’ve found an answer in the form of NewsSpot. It does all the things I’ve asked for above, and has a few other clever tricks up its sleeve, too.

the main screen

 the article list

Most notably:

  • There’s a choice of visual themes. Go for white text on a black background if your battery is low.
  • It uses Instapaper to create mobile friendly versions of blog posts. As well as ‘Starring’ a post, you can also share it to Instapaper for later reading.
  • You can also share posts direct to Twitter, Facebook and other accounts.
  • You get a lot of control over when and how to synchronise your content, to make the most of WiFi when you’ve got it and to be more cautious over 3G.
  • Live Tiles for folders – this can be useful if you just want news headlines, for example, or are only in the mood for reading stuff from comedy blogs.

Developed by Fourspot Project, aka Bernhard Thielen, NewsSpot is available in ad-supported and paid versions. I immediately upgraded to the paid version once I’d assessed that it would meet my needs. It cost £1.49 – less than a cup of coffee.

What are your feed-reading solutions on your mobile?

30 top apps for Lumia smartphones.

image credit: Mr. T in DC