AvantGo comes back to life

I just learned that there’s a recently activated AvantGo Beta program and decided to give an old friend another chance… I was hooked on AvantGo early in my Palm days and even used VirtualPC to sync it before there was a proper Mac conduit. There’s still no proper Mac conduit directly from the source, but it’s simple for non-Windows users today if you use a wireless device (you can do it over the air) or on Mac OS X you can use Missing Sync with the MAL conduit as I’ve done.

The latest beta is version 5.7 Build 26. I am not completely certain, but I think it’s the first real release since the company was acquired by iAnywhere. I had given the previous version 5.5 a run, but was really not that psyched with how it worked on my Treo – limited 5-way support and it just did not look all that great.

This latest release fully supports the Treo and allows for much great account management on the device itself. You can now fully customize the display order for channels and even browse the entire collection of available channels from your device which is a very nice addition and enables mostly computer free control. While you can choose to surf or sync the channels you have selected (or any site actually since it is a browser after all) with a live connection, you will be more impressed if you use AvantGo in an offline capacity as the speed in which pre-cached content loads is great.

AvantGo existed before RSS came into the mainstream and it looks like it just might keep on pushing to bring professionally formatted content down to your device with each sync. You can easily read news or site updates from a variety of sources during your commute or simply just killing a few minutes. You’ll need about 2MB of free space in order to install the required .prc files and store content from your account. If you’ve paid for the premium level of service you can keep up to 8MB of information — assuming you have that much free space.

3 Replies to “AvantGo comes back to life”

  1. I used to love Avant Go back in the days when broadband wasn’t as pervasive. Now, that we’re connected so much, it’s usefulness has been limited.

    One aspect I always liked was the ability to sync map and direction information to it. When I went to Europe a few years back I had all my city to city, address to address directions laid out and downloaded to the Pocket PC. Worked great, even with some of the Euro centric mapping companies.

    I always felt that was an underpromoted feature..

  2. I did that stuff as well using mapquest which I believe is still an available channel.

    I hear you connectivity making this a tough road for AG, but when you really think about the available content that’s formatted appropriately for the small screen, it’s hard to beat. The main issue is that live updating and syncing of all your channels can be pretty slow without wifi. A page or two is no big deal…

    I still have a ton of stuff pushing to me in my mail client … converting RSS feeds I want to read more often. This is stripped though and AG gives you images and even tabled layout which just feels nice.

    I just don’t know how much I’ll really use it, but for now I just have to leave it activated to get updates each time I sync which is nice. Next time I am standing in line somewhere or on the subway (without a connection) I’ll have something other than the eBook I am carrying on my Treo.

    I’m all about the options… đŸ˜‰

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