We’ve all seen how beautifully the iPhone renders web pages. It really is something. But there really are two major problems with the iPhone:
- It’s still too frickin’ small to surf the Web on until you zoom into to a readable level. Unless you really enjoy straining your eyes, you’ll find yourself reading “Printer Friendly” pages on it. The human eyes are the new printer.
- I don’t own one…and neither do 99.9% of you.
Number two is really a deal-breaker here. While I doubt I’ll ever find myself spending hours a day reading on my phone, I do enjoy the occasional read in bed or while waiting somewhere…and alas, I don’t own an iPhone.
The kids at Arc90, in their infinite altruism, have put together a killer tool for browsing news on the Internet. It’s called Rio and it’s a dead simple way to read some of the most popular news sources on just about any Internet-enabled mobile phone. We’ve tested it on a slew of mobile phones including Blackberrys, Treos, Razrs and Windows Mobile devices, and yeh it looks pretty awesome on that iPhone thingy.
Just point your sub-par mobile phone to http://rio.arc90.com and bam a lean, mean mobile surfing machine is at your disposal. You can do one of two things here. You can either enter a news source or topic in the search box (like “lacrosse news” or “recipes”) and you’ll get the most popular news content for that search, all scrubbed and cleansed for your mobile reading pleasure. Alternatively, you can pick from the list of 50 or so popular news sources on the default Rio page. Once you find an article you fancy, simply click through it and it’ll also be stripped down for mobile consumption.
Rio is the product of a wonderful mixture of RSS (RSS is a great way to deliver content to smaller devices – it’s already stripped out the web junk), Live.com’s excellent feed search (pretty much nothing out there like it) and Google’s excellent little mobile web view. Rio is inspired David Winer’s River of News style of news reading.
Awesome work by the Arc90 team on this one. I no longer need to pretend friends are SMS’ing me. You can learn all about Rio by visiting the Arc90 labs page.