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Have you checked out Mippin yet?

I’ve been using Mippin like no tomorrow whilst I’ve been in America. The service acts like a web based feed reader. Before you roll your eyes and scream ‘NEXT’, hold on. Mippin was born out of the (restricted) success of Mobizines.

Mobizines is a fantastic downloadable application that repackages web content beautifully for devices. But Mobizines is restrictied in terms of popularity… because it’s a download. Getting applications on to handsets can be a troublesome experience, particularly for users of mainstream handsets like RAZRs and Sony Ericssons that don’t lend themselves to easy application installation or compatibility. You’re fine if you’re providing a technical service to semi technical people. But if you’re aiming to deliver content to users on their handsets, the easiest and least painful method is to dump the application and head for a browser-based service. Which is exactly what the Refresh Mobile team did.

Enter Mippin. Simply type www.mippin.com into your handset’s browser and you’re done. You can now browse hundreds of freely available content sources across a whole range of categories (news, gossip, tech and so on). Mippin takes the site’s RSS feed and standardises the interface giving a guaranteed quality of service, whatever the site.

If you don’t find your favourite site in the directory, simply type in the domain name in Mippin’s search box. If Mippin can find an RSS feed at that domain, it’ll repurpose and display it on the fly.

The importance of this can’t be understated. Mippin finally unlocks the mobile web for normobs (“normal mobile users”) who don’t really care what ‘RSS’ is, who have found their on-deck carrier news sections entirely wanting, who want to read the latest about Liverpool Football Club, Posh Spice and the news headlines on their mobile while they’re sat on the bus… but who can’t be arsed to remember the individual mobile addresses of each service. Or, more likely, the services they like to consume online don’t have a proper mobile version.

You can create a login if you like. That way Mippin will remember exactly what you like looking at. This is what I’ve been doing whilst I’ve been here in America. When I’m sat in the back of a taxi or if I’m in a restaurant and don’t have a newspaper — and because I’m on my own a lot, I’ve been entertaining myself with Mippin.

It is a breath of fresh air to use. Previously I’ve been visiting mobile sites individually which is rather annoying. I like having it all in one place — and in one guaranteed, consistent interface.

In fact, here’s a pic I snapped of me at The Grove’s Cheesecake Factory yesterday. I made sure to get the Apple Store in the background 😉

17102007(001).jpg

I think I spent about an hour browsing across the service now and again. It’s great to easily access a whole raft of popular sites from just one starting menu. Put Mippin in your device’s bookmarks and the next time you have a moment, flick it up and try it out — and tell me what you think.

There’s a lot more to Mippin — I’ll post more shortly. For now, top work to Scott and the team!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

7 replies on “Have you checked out Mippin yet?”

Hi Ewan.

I dont really share your excitement over Mippin. I just tried it. OK its slightly easier for Joe Bloggs than bloglines but its still re-formatted RSS (XML) -> HTML via a browser. What i’m looking for is a decent,thin client-side application that reads XML from a collector. Much the way the the Gmail java applet provides the fastest email experience on any mobile device. Much the way that a google reader java applet would. (Oh what a dream!). Would be much faster than relying on a relatively heavyweight HTML process.

To me its just another bloglines mobile. No?

Steve

Steve, I don’t think so, no. I don’t think it’s another bloglines per se. I really, really enjoy the way Mippin is presented. I like the ‘catalogue’ nature, I like being able to revisit the Mippin homepage and see headlines from many different feeds — and being able to dip into them as I like. I also like the dynamic presentation system — no arsin around typing in RSS feed addresses, just search for the dotcom address and Mippin does the auto-discover in real time.

HI.
I tend to populate my online feed reader with my desktop/UMPC so I never have a problem with feed addresses. Just click the RSS icon. To me its a major problem if you have to set up the system via a mibile phone browser. Too slow. I tried using a small screen UMPC with mippin and it just re-directed me out to a front page. Its the first time i’ve had a full browser return less functionality than a mobile version of a site!!
I guess you can import feeds lists into Mippin though?

Regards
Steve.

That’s an interesting issue you experienced — what UMPC device were you using, Steve?

My key interest with Mippin is the ability to browse not only my regular feeds, but also be able to quickly access a whole weath of other content that I wouldn’t necessarily have in my feeds at all. I’m not sure if you can actually upload an OPML file to Mippin though.

Hi Ewan.

Any UMPC (x86-based) will give the same results as a desktop as its…a desktop! (Runs FF2, IE7.)
I guess my mobile internet is just a little more advanced than Joe Ave but in a few years we’re all going to be running ‘real’ internet. These tailored services are just short term solutions AFAIC

Steve.

Hi Steve,

I see where you are coming from. Bloglines and Google reader are fantastic products, but they are desktop RSS readers with mobile interfaces. They are designed for and appeal to RSS users. While we see RSS icons all over the web and all us hardcore web folks use it, most people have no idea what RSS is or how to use a reader.

Mippin uses RSS as an enabling technology. RSS isn’t the product. It’s a subtle difference, but underlines what Mippin is really about and who its for. We’re trying to grow the market of casual mobile web users by making it easy for them to connect with their favorite web content on their phones. This market represents 80-85% of mobile phone users in the US and UK alone.

The reason you were redirected to the Mippin web site and not the mobile site, is that your UMPC’s browser looks like a full size PC browser because it is 😉 Mippin will look OK on your your UMPC, but those devices aren’t our focus. We’re solving problems for mobile phones, which have much more restrictive screen real estate.

You can go directly to the mobile interface on your UMPC by going to http://m.mippin.com.

Best,
Prashant

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