The Nokia Asha Touch smartphones are terrific devices for keeping yourself informed of the latest news and information.
I’ve spoken in glowing terms before about the awesome CNN app and, of course, many people nowadays get their news fix from social networks such as Twitter or Facebook.
Then, of course, there’s the Nokia Xpress Browser with its cloud compression technology that makes surfing the web both faster and cheaper. It’s a portal to all the news websites you could ever want.
All of these apps work magnificently on your Asha Touch but there is another way you can follow the headlines on your device: The Nokia News Reader.
Nokia News Reader
It’s easy to overlook the Nokia News Reader. It comes pre-installed on Asha Touch smartphones and perhaps amidst all the excitement over setting up your emails, signing into social networks and downloading 40 free EA games, it swiftly gets forgotten about.
News Reader delivers your news provider’s latest feeds and stories direct to your device via RSS (multiple RSS and ATOM formats are supported).
It is a highly efficient and cost-effective way of getting the news because you’re not downloading full web pages; you can even decide not to download images and set a maximum number of stories you’re downloading.
Adding your Feeds
Before you can enjoy these benefits though you have to set up the News Reader app and the first thing you’ll need to do is add your RSS feeds.
The first time you launch the app, you’ll be prompted to do this. The screen will have the following message:
Tap the Add button to enter your RSS feed. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be adding the BBC News top stories feed to the News Reader on my Asha 311.
However, you should be able to find the feeds for your favoured news website or blog without too much difficulty.
Many providers, particularly the larger organisations, divide their feeds into separate categories such as news, sport, entertainment or technology. You can add as many as you like.
You type in the RSS URL (in my case http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/rss.xml) and tap the ‘Tick’ to confirm.
It’s as simple as that! It’s probably also worth mentioning that you only need to add each feed once so you won’t need to keep on entering the URL.
Reading the feeds
The feeds themselves are very easy to read. In fact, it looks like a mobile version of the feed provider’s website.
You get all the information you want – a headline and a first paragraph to tell you the main facts of the story. You’ll notice that unread stories have their headlines bolded up too.
You can refresh the feeds at any time by tapping on the reload button in the top right corner.
Tapping on the icon in the top left corner will give you options to add more feeds just like you did at the beginning, access the settings and manage your feeds library.
Within the settings you can:
Control the loading of images
Choose how many stories you want to download, 50, 100 or 200.
Set the font size.
In the feeds library you can disable some feeds – this is useful if you’ve set up several sources and feel some are no longer relevant.
For example, if you’ve got a football news feed you can turn it off when the season is over and then turn it on again when the new season starts.
Nokia News Reader really does bring the latest news directly to your Asha.
It’s superb for bringing several different sources into the same place, it’s fast and it has a minimal impact on your data usage.