Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Offline Apps: ByLine

My main focus on my iPod Touch/iPhone is to have as rich an offline experience as possible. To that end, I'm going to be sharing routinely any noteworthy apps that I come across- and bear in mind, they might not always be the newest thing on the block since I am somewhat late to the iPhone party.

One of the best apps I have found is ByLine by PhantomFish. This app does 2 things that I like, and 1 thing that I absolutely love. It performs a two-way sync with Google Reader and also caches articles-including images!- for offline reading. And what I love about it- it is fast! The entire process of syncing and caching takes only a few moments for my 100 latest items, and thats it!

Once the update is complete, you also have an unread count tied to the icon on your homescreen. This is invaluable- you can tell at a glance whether you'll have enough reading material during the day.

I've really been enjoying using Google Reader for the past few years, and its exciting to see an app that makes the transition seamless and prevents me from having to keep track of what I read where. My wishlist for Byline is never going to happen, as it involves being able to perform the sync on its own. But, I know this is more a limitation of the iPhone OS than the failure of this wonderful app. Byline is available in the AppStore for a reasonable $4.99.

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