FeedFinder Browser

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multiFEED version 2.0 adds a dedicated browser for finding and selecting RSS and Atom feeds. Although it is not as common as it should be, many web sites use special hidden code to advertise one or more feeds and the URL that retrieves their XML document. On the desktop, some browsers, such as Opera, detect these feeds automatically and alert you with an RSS icon that they are present. Other browsers, like Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer offer similar functionality via plugins. With either method, once an advertised feed is detected on a page the user is able to subscribe to it with just a few clicks. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry 10 Web Browser not only doesn't provide this feature natively, it also doesn't support plugins, so there is no way to make it notify you when you visit a page that advertises feeds. To overcome this limitation, multiFEED incorporates a dedicated browser that alerts you when a page is advertising one or more feeds, and make it easy to subscribe with just a tap or two.

To use the FeedFinder, open the Settings page and tap the magnifier button to the left of the feed URL field you want to populate with the result of your search. Note that if you tap the FeedFinder button next to a field that already contains an URL, it will be replaced with the newly selected one unless you cancel the FeedFinder.

When FeedFinder opens, it defaults to the Google search page, but you can change this if you like (see below). Enter a search pattern and submit, then navigate as needed to find feeds. As you begin you will notice that the Subscribe button on the action bar is disabled, but if you reach a page that is advertising feeds, the Subscribe button is enabled and a small checkmark is added to it to indicate it is ready to subscribe to the selected feed. At the same time, a Drop Down appears at the top of the page, telling you how many advertised feeds there are. Choose one from the Drop Down and tap the Subscribe button on the action bar, and you are returned to the Settings page with the chosen feed in the URL field.

If you want to jump straight to a web URL rather than use Google to find feeds tap on "Go To..." on the FeedFinder overflow menu, or Alt+G on a keyboard device such as Q5 or Q10. At the top of the page a field will appear where you can enter the target URL. If you change your mind, tap "Go To..." again and the field will disappear. As of multiFEED version 2.2.0 you no longer need to type in the "http://" portion of the URL, as multiFEED will now do it automatically for you if you don't explicitly enter a protocol.

Unfortunately, many sites that offer RSS and Atom feeds don't advertise them using the special tags. Sometimes the only way to determine a feed's URL is to navigate to it in the browser. In this case, once you have the actual feed XML file open in the FeedFinder, it is easy to subscribe with the "Subscribe to THIS page" button on the overflow menu. Just like subscribing to an advertised feed, tapping this button will return you to the Settings page and insert the feed URL into the chosen field.

FeedFinder is not a full-fledged web browser, and as such, lacks advanced browser features, such as bookmarks and downloads, but it does allow forward and backward navigation, reload, and "go home". As stated earlier, the default Home page is Google search, but you can easily change this to whatever page is currently loaded using the "Set As Home" button on the overflow menu. Also, like the embedded viewer and QuickView, you can use the appropriate buttons on the overflow menu to quickly zoom the page to fit the width, height, or both dimensions into the physical screen dimensions.

IMPORTANT: Just because a web page advertises a feed URL doesn't mean that URL is valid. Unfortunately, many sites don't bother to check whether their feed advertisements work, and sometimes the URL points to an HTML page rather than XML, or points to an XML feed that doesn't actually exist. In the former case, multiFEED will report the incorrect URL target in the BlackBerry Hub when it tries to download the feed, if you have this feature enabled. In the latter case the feed download will simply time out, and again multiFEED will report the error if possible.