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May 20, 2008

Origami Experience 2.0 Part 2: RSS

Two weeks ago, I talked about the new Web Browsing capabilities in Origami Central, one of the three apps in the Origami Experience 2.0 software. That was Part 1 of a 4-part series showcasing the new features of the Origami Experience 2.0 software for Ultra Mobile PCs. Here in Part 2, I am going to talk about the new RSS features also in Origami Central.

In browsing the web in Origami Central on my UMPC, I can quickly subscribe to a RSS feed on any website.

Origami Central uses the Windows RSS Platform and the Common Feed List from IE7 for its RSS feeds. Feeds I subscribe to in Origami Central or in IE7 will appear in the Common Feed List. What this means essentially is that Origami Central and IE7 share the same RSS feeds.

When accessing my subscribed feeds in Origami Central, I’m brought into the All Feeds screen. The UI uses large graphic icons making it better to use the touch features when navigating between feeds and folders with feeds inside them. The black icons are folders with feeds inside them and the white icons are individual feeds. Origami Central comes pre-populated with feeds in the Origami Experience folder. I also get a toolbar similar to the one in the browsing experience except the title bar for the RSS experience does not auto-hide. On the toolbar I get a circular-arrow-type icon I can click on that will refresh my feeds.

When I browse to a specific feed, I am presented with the unread posts within that feed in a UI other than a simple list. Instead of a simple list of unread posts – I’m presented with “squares” for each post.  The toolbar at the top lets me know how many unread posts I have for the specific feed. And on the top right-hand side I have a button to mark all as read if needed.

When I read an unread post – the post then becomes grayed out showing me it’s been read.  

For a specific post – I can read it right in the RSS experience of Origami Central or browse to the post in the browsing experience in Origami Central. But I never have to leave the Origami Central application.

For audio and video podcasts subscribed to – the RSS experience in Origami Central will play both audio and video directly within the Origami Experience software making for a great experience with podcasts. Here I am looking at NBC Nightly News which is a video podcast:

When I am reading feeds – I can flag a specific post I want to read later on.

I then went back to the All Feeds page (via the link in top toolbar) where there is a folder for any post in a RSS feed that I’ve flagged. Here you can see my flagged posts:

With Origami Central – I get all the great basic RSS feed reading features as well as the ability to view audio and video podcasts and being able to flag posts. But I never have to leave Origami Central application. RSS feed reading is another new aspect of the Origami Experience 2.0 software.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I look at the Media capabilities of Origami Central.