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AvantGo Shutting Down, Changing Markets 36

Posted by timothy
from the oh-fickle-fate dept.
codebudo writes "AvantGo, the once ubiquitous application for all PDAs, is shutting down its web sync service. Users of the service have just begun to see banners stating, 'Starting June 30, Avantgo will no longer offer mobile web content.' According to parent company Sybase, AvantGo will transition from a mobile web service, to an SMS advertising and content delivery system."
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AvantGo Shutting Down, Changing Markets

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  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:18PM (#28199637) Homepage
    Back when I had my first Palm Pilot and the modem was a dial-up modem it was unrealistic to view the internet any other way than to sync up a load of content to take with you.

    These days that's just backwards and unnecessary. So I'm not surprised they're giving it up.

    Their service was awesome years ago and I was very grateful for it.
    • It was a great service, yep. I loved using that. It seemed so futuristic and exciting.

      Now I can access all the content from my iPod... But I'll always have a soft spot for my Palm's crappy little screen.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Now I can access all the content from my iPod

        So without something like AvantGo or perhaps a prefetching RSS reader, how do you sync web pages to your iPod so that you can read them while away from Wi-Fi?

    • by tepples (727027)

      Back when I had my first Palm Pilot and the modem was a dial-up modem it was unrealistic to view the internet any other way than to sync up a load of content to take with you.

      These days that's just backwards and unnecessary.

      Why is that? Is it because 3G is available? I'm not yet convinced that over $700 a year to the (U.S. based) phone company for 3G data service is worth it unless your boss is paying for it.

  • I still use AvantGo on my iPaq. That's how I get the news to read at work. :(
  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:24PM (#28199699) Journal

    for data storage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sockatume (732728)
      Do you even know what Avantgo is? It's a service that downloads web content and then allows you to save it to a device which has no internet access (Palmtops, generally) to view later. It has nothing to do with data storage or, indeed, "the cloud".
  • by Chysn (898420) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:29PM (#28199743)
    Back in 1998, when I actually used AvantGo with a Palm m100, I was annoyed by the need to sync, but I knew that it wouldn't be long before handheld devices could access the internet on their own. AvantGo had a pretty decent service for the time, and they should have been pretty well-positioned for handheld internet a long time ago.
    • by homer_ca (144738)

      I had a Palm IIIxe and actually used one of the free alternatives, Plucker. Offline sync was a good concept back in the day of expensive or non-existent mobile data (remember the Palm VII?), but technology passed it by. It's pretty easy to find mobile-friendly websites, or use skweezer.com.

      • Offline sync was a good concept back in the day of expensive or non-existent mobile data (remember the Palm VII?), but technology passed it by.

        What country are you talking about? In the United States, mobile data is still expensive.

  • AvantGo was one of the first things I killed on any of the Treos I used to have. Junkware of the first order. Now they are even worse: SMS advertising and content? Who is dying, I mean just waiting for the hour they can start getting text ads and content?
  • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:30PM (#28199749) Journal

    "...from a mobile web service, to an SMS advertising and content delivery system."

    We'll spam you till you cry mommy, and then we'll spam you some more. All you suckers (snicker) that used our services at some point have a 'pre-existing business relationship' with us, so we're free to spam your ass. We pwn3d your PDA. For a small ... 'fee' we can ... 'opt-you-out' of our 'service.'

    • "...from a mobile web service, to an SMS advertising and content delivery system."

      I was just searching the comments to make sure someone picked up on this...But I see you've covered it.

  • I used this for years on my palm pilot and later on my palm treo to read the news on the Subway, when I would be without cell phone service (NYC). Once I moved to an Iphone I never found any RSS reader that worked quite as well, but I guess technology has moved on.

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:34PM (#28199815)

    Text GO to AVANT (28268) to get the hottest ringtones, the sickest backgrounds, the funniest jokes, personalized horoscopes, and the latest celebrity gossip DAILY!

  • They let down their avantguard? Will they become avantGONE, or can they stick around because they simply know how to avantgo? If they switch into art, then can become avan(t)goh, DOH!

  • AvantGo was a really good thing for devices like the Palm. I used it quite a lot on my Palm V, syncing in the morning before heading out the door.
    Of course, nowadays it is much easier to go online anywhere, and the Palm is now in some corner, mostly forgotten.

  • We don't have generally available wireless access where I work, so I use AvantGO. I'm going to miss it! Are there alternatives with similar functionality?

    • For snarfing web pages and similar for reading offline on a palm(also supported on other handheld OSes), Plucker [plkr.org] is worth a look. Longer term, this conceptual area is basically being taken over by RSS.
      • by rimugu (701444)

        Plucker looks good, by why they don't include sw for nokia S60 and S40. They are by far more popular devices than those covered. I know many people use the phone internet connection, but there are still lots of places where the rates charged for that are obscene.
        I which I could find one place like avantgo for my Nokia S40.

  • just as well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:47PM (#28199997) Journal

    Avantgo hasn't been working right for a long time anyway. I used to have it on my original Palm Pro and on every Palm device since then. It was great because it would give me content to read on the plane that didn't require wireless. But it was always quirky on the Treo and even more so on the Blackberry. When free content like Heavens Above disappeared, and sync problems increased, I finally lost interest. I had a good experience with Avantgo in the old days, but I guess their time has passed.

    But, an SMS service? Sounds like another number I have to lock out of the family phones. $100 in charges to kgbkgb in one bill (kids!) has absolutely killed any interest I might have had in SMS services. They're for suckers. They're this century's AOL -- offering for a fee what anyone with an ounce of sense could get for free on the internet.

    I think there is a use for fast, simple, text-only information services, but I don't think sms is the proper mechanism. If web designers would stop trying to make wap pages "a rich experience" and just provide the damned information in a simple and fast-loading manner, mobile web services would be a heck of a lot more practical.

    • by Nazmun (590998)
      Meh, I'm using a family plan and chose one with unlimited SMS in it and it only costs about $20 more then the regular plan. Just got to find the right plan to use SMS, usually it's a rip-off if you use it as an add-on or worse pay per use.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by roc97007 (608802)

        You don't understand. I've been on an unlimited plan for a couple years now. My daughter's phone sends and receives over 2,000 text messages a month. I am not kidding. Without unlimited SMS I'd have to sell the house.

        This is what I'm talking about: kgbkgb (http://www.kgb.com) is a pay sms service that's apparently a fad with the kids right now. You text a free-form question to # 542542 (kgbkgb) and receive an answer via return SMS. It costs 99 cents a question. 101 questions to kgbkgb costs $99.9

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:49PM (#28200037) Journal

    AvantGo will transition from a mobile web service, to an SMS advertising and content delivery system

    Just what we all need: someone spamming our goddamned cellphones with junk SMS. Die in a fire, AvantGo.

  • AvantGo created an incredibly powerful, platform independant web browser that was years ahead of it's time. It had features that still aren't in many of the browsers available for hand helds (HTML 4.0 compliance for one). The only downfall was that it converted the DOM into a proprietary storage format and never implemented the ability for the device to read raw HTML. AvantGo management steadfastly refused to allow on device conversion of HTML because they wanted to sell licenses for their server to do t

  • Good riddance. I switched from AvantGo years ago to Plucker [plkr.org] on the Palm, fed by Sunrise XP [mobileread.com]. The combination is a bit harder to set up initially but you're no longer limited to the feeds that AvantGo offers.
    • by dankirkd (1106703)

      Thanks for this info. I used to use AvantGo for various things, to provide versions of sites I created for PDAs, and more recently to read the paper on my commutes, creating my own channel for the Seattle Times by scraping their text-only version into a format that was better suited for my Palm Vx.

      I've not been interested in pay services since the days I used to pay for OmniSky wireless access. I find the price points just too expensive and it couldn't compete with free.

      Hopefully I can get Plucker and Sun

    • How much coudl the old Avantgo servers actually be worth, anyway?

      I'm not sure what the advantage of Sunrise is? Is it faster than just defining the channels in plucker? Plucker is pig slow.

      Sunrise, however, was only able to load the Christian Science Monitor for me (granted, with only using the point-click-drool install method and the canned 'showcase' channels) despite downloading many meg of channels which it claimed would land on the device after sync. But only CSM. And in a layout that's a pain on th

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