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Product Review: Read this on the go with NewsBreak

Rich Site Summary (RSS) provides a great way for sites like WatchGuard Wire to deliver the latest news right to your desktop. However, like most IT staffers, you probably don't spend much time at your desk -- you're too busy running around extinguishing your users' computer-related fires. How can you check the latest security news when you're always on the go? Ilium Software has designed an answer with their Pocket PC and Smartphone-based RSS reader, NewsBreak.

Being on-the-go myself, I tried NewsBreak on my trusty Dell Axim Pocket PC. Installing the app is a breeze. Just connect your Pocket PC or Microsoft Smartphone to your PC and run the installation wizard. After installation, NewsBreak immediately treats you to a convenient configuration wizard. Using the wizard, you can easily select RSS feeds from a range of preset defaults, manually add your own RSS feeds, or even import a special file (OPML) that already contains your favorite feeds. I selected a few of NewsBreak's default RSS feeds and then added a few of my own.

With my favorite RSS sites configured, I browsed the app and found that NewsBreak excels at efficiently displaying your RSS feeds in an uncomplicated manner. At a glance, I could see all my feeds and drill down into whichever one I desired. With a touch, I could sort feeds into categories, quickly finding the one I wanted. NewsBreak also supports user configurable keywords, which allow you to highlight topics that interest you. You can even set your Pocket PC to notify you if it receives articles containing keywords (for example, "virus alert").

Overall, I'm impressed with NewsBreak's ease of use and how well it manages the limited Pocket PC display to present RSS data efficiently. NewsBreak is a version 1.0 product, however, and I would love to see the next version ship with extended offline viewing capabilities. Although it automatically downloads and stores the latest headlines and article summaries, NewsBreak doesn't offer entire articles unless you have an online connection. Smartphone users won't have any problems, but Pocket PC users without 24/7 Internet connections could use a feature that caches entire RSS articles for offline viewing.

Is NewsBreak for you? If you want your Wire on the run, give NewsBreak's 30-day free trial a spin. -- Corey Nachreiner

WatchGuard Wire writers review security-related software, and products that make an IT administrator's life easier. If you have a product you'd like us to review, e-mail us at lsseditor@watchguard.com.

Copyright© 2010 WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. You may copy and distribute this article freely in any medium as long as you copy and distribute the entire article without change and preserve this copyright statement and notice.