AvantGo, in the pre-connected PDA/Smartphone era, was THE way to get internet content on your device. I used it quite a bit on my Palm IIIc and on my Zire 31, though to a lesser extent on that device. AvantGo was a free application for Palm OS and Windows CE devices. You set up your ‘account’ via a browser on your computer and then select the ‘channels’ that you wanted. Everything from the New York Times, ESPN and other popular sources of news and sites. I had about ten or so that I had set up. You would then sync your device. During the sync process, the sync conduit for AvantGo would pull down the stories-with photos-and sync them to your device. It was a pretty good way to get internet content on these dis-connected devices.
Alas, the company is shuttering that product. Users now get a nice page with huge lettering to let them know that AvantGo is shutting down. They direct you to a new product called Snac.
Snac is a Java-based application that does something similar to the old AvantGo application, but does it over the air, via an internet connection. It will work on any mobile device that can run Java applets. However, they do state that it does not work on Palm or Pocket PC devices. Interesting, since they are the primary users of AvantGo.
Snac promises ‘fast access to news from The New York Times, USA Today as well as access to services like Facebook, Twitter, the weather and much more!’ I think I will pass. That shiny new Palm Pre should be able to access these sites with out anything other than the browser. I think that is the problem Snac will face…who needs an application when you have a browser?