I HAVE NO PROBLEMS with FreeNews. I knew I wouldn't because before I buy anything, I Google for problems about the product. Googling for "FreeNews problems" brings up 33,700 pages and after scanning 30 results, I discovered that people were having no problem with the service. So I bought a $20 subscription (updated: $19.95 annual sub) and that got me an Over-The-Air installation that gives me broadband browsing speeds for my SonyEricsson P910i mobile phone. In fact, it's faster to read news items by using the jog dial of the P910i to scroll down the list than it is to scroll down through a news aggregator with a desktop web browser. As a certified infomaniac, my frequent daily news trawls cost me an average of €80 a month in mobile phone charges. With FreeNews, I've increased my reading while capping the cost.
FreeNews has converted both my P910i and my Nokia 9500 into a bespoke newspaper, weather channel, wiki monitor and blog reader. I get all this information in one easy interface and never have to open a browser to see things. I avoid all advertisements, over-sized images and irritating decorative effects.
It seems as though the service scrapes the sites I designate every hour. This means I often see updates faster than Planet of the Blogs publishes its summaries of Irish bloggers. This is important because often the first indication of a blog site or wiki going down is the lack of a newsfeed.
I can use FreeNews to stay abreast critical information while standing in the rain, distracted between meetings and underway in Ireland. Because it caches its feeds to my phone, I can read blog extracts, news headlines, and wiki updates while airborne in all phases of flight.
I can use the nickname system of FreeNews to send links to interesting content back to myself where Yahoo! mail filters the content according to preset rules in place. This kind of remaindering has changed the way I work and it has accelerated the way I distill information.
I know this posting will attract FreeNews competitors and I'm certain I'll test drive many more mobile phone news readers this year. However, FreeNews has set the bar exceptionally high for other software developers.
Right so--FreeNews is not free. It costs me $20 (updated: $19.95) annually.
Free Range Inc -- Try or Buy.
Bonus Link: Read FreeRange Feedback if you actually want to see current problems and the disposition of issues concerning phones, website control panel, and RSS feeds. The developers share the frustrations of users with all comers.