July 21, 2009

My AllTop On My iPhone: A New Way to Consume RSS?

In March, when Guy Kawasaki's AllTop service introduced the ability to customize pages to include personalized feeds, I finally dove in and checked it out after years of ignoring the product. This weekend, Guy followed up and let me know that the team had made "major" changes to the iPhone version of the customized pages, going so far as to say, "I think this is the best way to manage RSS on an iPhone." And while I'm still partial to Google Reader for mobile and desktop, it is indeed a new way.

While my customized AllTop is clearly configured for laptops and desktops, the new iPhone-optimized version does away with the three column layout, returning individual blog feeds in a single column format, with your first ones at the top and so on.

My AllTop on My iPhone

Each feed, like on the personal AllTop, lists the last five stories, and every story is clickable, opening Safari (on the iPhone) to its original source.

Checking Out Additional Feeds

In contrast, Google Reader lists each story in the chronological order it was received in the main Reader pane, not necessarily in the order you decided - just like its big screen counterpart.

The new look and feel for My AllTop on the iPhone is not revolutionary, and won't have me switching, but if you like a handful of feeds and want your favorite or most important to be at the top of your screen always, bookmarking your own customized AllTop on the iPhone could be a good alternative. To get there, just go to the URL you have set up on AllTop using your iPhone.