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 😉
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!