Ive never been able to put my finger on why I cant get into using an RSS app on the Centro. I check Google Reader on the desktop all the time, but so far, every mobile newsreader app Ive tried has found itself uninstalled before long. Checking news on mobile websites is something Ill do in a pinch, but have never been able to make a sustainable habit.
LineUp doesnt completely fill the void, but is a more satisfying experience for surveying fresh content than newsreaders or browsers. LineUp offers better content layout by taking a widget-based approach to information gathering and rendering
LineUp is a solution from PDA Performance, bundling their Saguaro mobile widget engine with a couple of dozen widgets. In principle, these widgets can be as diverse in functionality as those you would find on Apples Dashboard. For now, most widgets are essentially content channels, allowing you to browser headlines from the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and other sources. Also available is a Weather widget, and a couple of novelties like Magic8Ball and FortuneCookie.
- CNN News
- CNN Money
- CNET News
- E! Online
- The New York Times
- FOX Sports
- FOX News
- Sky News
- BBC News
- The Wall Street Journal
- FOX Business
- Los Angeles Times
- The Seattle Times
- Sky Sports
- USA Today
- The Washington Post
- Magic 8-Ball
- Fortune Cookie
The widgets look ultra-slick, especially if you use the aesthetically similar third-party Palm UI, UltimatePhonethe two mesh exceptionally well. Each widget is manually added to the Palm as a prc file; then added to LineUp by tapping its button. Widgets are selected by scrolling on the bottom row with its arrow keys or the 5-Way button.
The headline layout is terrificmuch better than a typically RSS app, and certainly better than looking at the front pages of news sites in Blazer. Alas, once youve read the headline (and the first sentence or two in a LineUp page), tapping on it opens your browser for the rest of the story.
Widgets take up a huge amount of memory. 400kb is typical. The prizewinning memory hog is Weather, which devours a whopping 2,060kb. Ive kept about 10 widgets in my LineUp for evaluation purposes, and will probably pare this down by half.
If PDA Performance can outfit LineUp with more utility widgets down the road, then it will become a powerful platform. As a news updater, I prefer it to mobile RSS feed and websitesbut having to read a full story in Blazer rather than directly in LineUp is disappointing, especially for a $30 app. But LineUp is still a more effective front end for surveying news and information, and Id definitely recommend at least test driving the trial version.
Gorgeously slick interface
Broad selection of mainstream content channels
Denser headline layout than mobile news sites
|Large file sizes for widgets
Complete news stories must be read in browser