APP OF THE DAY: Flux review (Windows Phone 7)
RSS is dead, isn’t it? Well, not if Flux has anything to do with it. It’s a simple, but advanced Google Reader for Windows Phone 7 that allows you to say up to date with your feeds on the go.
With a new friendly Mango update, is this the reader to have on WP7? We’ve been playing with it for the last couple of weeks to find out.
- Windows Phone 7
Load up the app and you are presented with two screens. Your feeds appear in a nice list order that is easy to access, and there's a “What’s new” panel that merges everything into one, in order to give you a quick glance.
Tracking hundreds of feeds that generate thousands of stories every day, we personally found the What’s new area a bit of a waste. We can easily see how it could be useful, however, if your subscriptions were in the tens to hundreds rather than hundreds to thousands.
Each tile represents a story, gives you a picture and a headline teasing you in. It is simple, and therefore can be avoided, if you must.
But back to the main focus of the app; once you’ve connected it to your Google Reader account everything is synced and streamed in accordingly.
And that’s handy as it automatically picks up your unread count tally if you’ve started reading elsewhere. Plus, in the settings, you can opt to only show unread, what to sync and how to sync it.
Feed folders are listed and can be accessed by scrolling through them via a quick swipe left or right.
Pick a feed to read and your stories are listed with an optional picture, the headline and first couple of lines of the story.
Here, you get further filtering options including unread, starred and all. And there is an option to pin that feed to your start page as an interactive tile - which is great if you follow a selection really closely.
Depending on what the feed gives you will depend on how much the app shows you.
You start with the preview pane, but can easily slide across to a mobilised view of the story, or a full view via the apps in-built browser.
The mobilised version is really handy as you can change the font and font size for better readability. It's almost as if you were reading it via a Kindle.
Stories can, at any point, be opened in Internet Explorer, sent via email, added to Instapaper or to Read it Later. There are also the abilities to share it via social networks, share in reader, share to delicious, save to pinboard or save to diigo.
With an offline mode, easy to use interface and plenty of support for sharing, we've really enjoyed using Flux on our WP7 handset, and would highly recommend it to anyone.