Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Webaroo: It's like a Tivo for the web!

I know you're sick of hearing me talk about the Wall Street Journal, but since I can't link to the article I read there, here's one from PC World.

A service called Webaroo is allowing users to download websites for use offline. I have heard of such tools for a long time now, but apparently the key differentiator is that Webaroo downloads quickly and automatically. According to the Journal:
Webaroo users will install the company's software on their computers and then indicate specific sites or subject matter they want the software to collect from the Web. When the computer is connected to the Internet, it downloads the corresponding Web pages.

In other words, it's kind of like your Tivo at home, except then you can take it with you, to view any time you want. Yes, the world is supposed to be all wireless now, but you and I both know that reality hasn't yet caught up to the huge expectations out there.

Just think, you could download stuff before going on a plane, or going camping (although technically you should be going camping to get away from your laptop -- bad nerd!), etc.

Anyway, just thought it was a neat idea. I also think that the idea is just more applicable now that laptops and other portable devices are ubiquitous while wireless isn't quite where it needs to be.


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Hmm, isn't this service a little late in the game? There's not many places you couldn't access the Internet anymore.

I can reach sites on my phone now.

My laptop can go wireless in tons of locations but I can also plug in my broadband mobile network and be fine too.

You probably thought of the only place I would see this being useful and that's on a plane. That's sure to change soon too, if not already.

Hmm, I'm not being very constructive in this comment. Let me take it back: I love Interstractive! It's the first thing I'd load up with my Webaroo! =)

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

I understand your position and like I said, the world is SUPPOSED to be wireless everywhere and for those who are upgraded to an EV-DO or similar access, it truly is, but believe me, after plunking down over a grand for a laptop, plenty of people are not going to want to spend another $250 for the EV-DO capability, plus the what, $50/month for the service? In addition to their home broadband?

I realize that the applications of this tool are not very wide reaching. To be honest, I'm not sure if I'd ever need it very much, but it's nice to know that it's there in case I do have a need for it.

Here are some other examples, btw, of uses for it (keep in mind that I'm trying to think of the plight of the everyman, not those who can afford EV-DO and all the wireless services that are available): Say you're going to Vegas with your buddies and there's this great website with a ton of recommendations for good nightlife. You don't want to print out 20 pages, so you download the website and take it with you on your laptop. That way you don't have to pay for wireless/internet access in the room. This, of course, applies anytime you just need a couple of static sites and you don't want to pay $15 to access them once on a trip. This can also apply to downloading travel guides when you're going to a foreign country, etc.

Another example is when you're up in the mountains where even wireless sometimes has problems. You can download a few sites at the Internet cafe then read about great hiking trails that night in your tent.

How about people who commute in trains (tunnel-problems)?

My guess is just that even though in your normal life there are plenty of wireless options, there are plenty of times that it would be nice to have a solution like this. We just haven't thought of them yet. You probably didn't realize how much Tivo would change your TV habits, but it probably has DRASTICALLY changed them forever.

All I'm saying is that you never know.


Post a Comment

<< Home