Okay I stumbled into a very cool application today which I believe has a great potential but needs some serious work on the development side to make it happen. The concerned application is called bNews and it has been created by Sobees.
I currently use Google Reader and I am pretty contented with it but I have always fantasized about a RSS reader with newspaper like layout. Of course there are some RSS readers which come with that kind of layout but the look and feel of bNews comes closest to my desires.
bNews look like this:
and I have highlighted the keywords in yellow at the top which are being searched and thus shown by bNews. Actually, I was under the impression that bNews would be an application where I could read all the news feeds in one place but later it turned out that it will only search for the keywords you want to know about. bNews finds the data from across the web regarding (and the web here means google, flickr, wikio and twitter) the searched keyword.
Everything is okay with it, I mean the guys have done the foundation quite well but the whole thing still leaves a lot to desire. You can see in the image above that I have subscribed news for three keywords ( EA fifa 2008, Twitter, geek) and the reason behind this is that you can not subscribe for more keywords than that. I personally don’t like this kind of limit and it is reason enough for many to deprive themselves from using this desktop application.
Further installation was not the smoothest because it requires .Net 3.5 and it was not available on my PC. I also feel that there are some changes that could be brought about to make this application more useful. The limit of maximum three alerts must go, it should also give me complete article on the bNews page instead of the link of the story or image.
I would also appreciate integration of RSS feeder into it so that I can read NY Times or Techcrunch directly in here. I don’t think that guys behind it would like to do so but it would be great to have my news and other feeds in such a layout. I have tried and later discarded some RSS readers which have that newspaper like feel but nothing comes close to bNews.
Scobees actually has an application which is a dedicated RSS reader; along with some other desktop applications but they are not open to public beta so I am yet to try it, but whatever I have read about it, one thing is sure that it doesn’t look like bNews.
One more thing that bugs me about this application is that users can not read the same news or story twice. I would have liked to write about the videos but you gotta watch them before you say about them. For some reason the videos opened in a separate window but there was nothing like media player in that window. I checked the internet connectivity and it was actually buffering the video but how would I know unless they have some media player which says “buffering…” or something like “your video is being downloaded.” All I got was an open window with nothing inside.
I really like this application and I think it’s like some “geek love at first sight” for what it looks like but then there are more reasons to keep me away from using it. It is half baked product right now and it needs some more work into it. May be you would like to try this and see if it does nice job for you.
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