AvantGo Going Away

AvantGo LogoAvantGo, a popular offline browser for PDAs and smartphones, will cease to exist as of the end of June. Sybase, AvantGo's parent company, has announced that it will close down the service at the end of the month.

AvantGo has been around since the days of the first Palm Pilot's. The service provided mobile formatted online content channels with an offline browser and desktop synchronization client. It started out as a Palm OS service and was also ported to Windows Mobile PDAs and Symbian Phones. PalmInfocenter published a review of AvantGo v3.3 way back in April 2000.

AvantGo was founded in 1997 and was based in San Mateo, California. It quickly grew to nearly 400 employees and went public on September 28, 2000. The IPO price at the time was $12/share and it closed the day up $8 at $20/share - with a market cap of nearly $1 Billion. On Dec 12, 2002, the company was sold to Sybase for $38 Million. (Per Wikipedia)

The AvantGo website now states:

"AvantGo is changing! From June 30, 2009, AvantGo will no longer be providing mobile Web content."

The site recommends a service called Snac as a replacement, however they do not offer Palm OS or Windows Mobile (Pocket PC) support.

Palm OS users could try one of the many RSS reading applications such as Resco News, Pocket Express and Quick News. A similar service for multiple platforms called iSilo is also available.

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They are still around?

cstamper @ 6/17/2009 12:39:35 PM # Q
Wow, this brought me back to days of my old m500. :-)

I used to *love* avantgo.

RE: They are still around?
CFreymarc @ 6/17/2009 12:45:28 PM # Q
This was a great service that I think got replaced as handhelds became more of a general Internet device. When you could not run a regular web browser on a PDA, Avant Go was the man for you.

That all has changed. There was opportunities left and right to improve it but now just conjecture. I hope they do something fun for their last text send. Prehaps, some variation of "What hath God wrought?", the first Morse code message.

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Goodbye AvantGo

justauser @ 6/17/2009 3:12:33 PM # Q
Goodbye Avantgo and thanks for the service. I discovered PalmInfocenter via Avantgo (only Palm channel I could find). But when I got a tether cable to my mobile for my PalmIII, an offline browser hardly seemed necessary - I still kept it running for a couple of devices...

In any case, it was a great service at the time. Hope they have some more innovative plans for the future.

RE: Goodbye AvantGo
2klbs @ 6/17/2009 4:18:07 PM # Q
Thanks for the memories..if I counted up all the time I used to spend on AvantGo. I was so excited to leave the PQA's behind...

I seem to recall some time ago they began to position themselves to move away from what started as a quasi-RSS reader for PDA's to more of a focus on specific enterprise application, mostly relating to databases. Now that I see the Sybase connection, it makes sense. It's good to see that a company can transition to a new model as the Intertubes and the devices that use it evolve.

Perhaps some parallels with Palm in that last vein.
End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

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Thanks for the years of service

JSNovinski @ 6/17/2009 4:26:35 PM # M Q
It will be sad to see this get utility go away. It made it very easy over the years to sync a device before going to an area without phone/internet service (ie subway or airplane). I use continued to use this instead of RSS feeds as you can flip through the stories that interest you without having to wait for it to link you to it, saving time.
This was also the way that I found PIC.

Palm IIIc -> M515 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> maybe Pre?

RE: Thanks for the years of service
hkklife @ 6/17/2009 7:08:05 PM # Q
Yup, I thought AvantGo was the most amazing thing ever back in '00/'01. In fact, until I got my first BT-enabled cellphone and could do (slow) BT DUN to my Tungsten T, I would faithfully do an AvantGo sync at least 2x or 3x throughout the day when time permitted. And you could actually even use it as a cumbersome online browser and in some instances it would render a troublesome page better than WebPro or Blazer.

They really seemed to lose their footing starting with the OS5 release, as it took them AGES to get a fully OS5-compatible client released and then even longer to get the bugs worked out. Of course, shortly thereafter is when the Treo began to take the world by storm and the rest is history.

I actually discovered a number of interesting sites & stories over the years using AG. And my father (who still uses a Palm OS PDA since he has no need or desire for a smartphone) still used AG until quite recently since he could never get the hang of managing RSS feeds.

AvantGo, you will be missed but (mostly) fondly remembered!!
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Thanks for the years of service
He||Raiser @ 6/17/2009 8:01:37 PM # Q
Wow, I probably spend hundreds of hours reading items on Avantgo back in the days of my IIIc. It definitely made the slow parts of high school go a bit more quickly. Sure, people looked at me funny as I walked around town reading off my PDA, but little did they know that only a few years later they all would be doing the same thing.
RE: Thanks for the years of service
LiveFaith @ 6/17/2009 9:34:24 PM # Q
More love here too. I remember doing almost all my daily reads on the the Vx and then m505, even TT3. What a great tool it was in it's day ... and free for basic goodies.
Like Khris, this was my first experience using an online browse. I had a modem form fitted for my Vx, actually came from the IBM workpad (remember those?) and I would browse websites at some killer speeds like 14.4 or 28.8K or something. Hey, it got me out of a bind or two when on the road tho. Used to grab e-mails with that combo too. Even got a little port that converted the Vx connector to the stupid new one on the m505. Made that Vx modem + converter block + m505 work if held gently. Thot I was on the cutting edge with the T3 going EDGE thru my SE T637 later on. Fun stuff.
Thanks AvantGo for the killer app and service. I'll miss syncing my favorite sites to my PDA while doing other tasks, then having instant "online" speeds when I read them later on. :-)
Pat Horne
RE: Thanks for the years of service
DrewT3 @ 6/19/2009 9:13:31 PM # Q
I used AvantGo every day while commuting on the subway for several years, on my PalmV, then the Treo 180 and finally the T3. It was a great app for downtime,especially when a wireless signal wasn't available.
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sford @ 6/17/2009 7:22:30 PM # Q
The end of an era. I was still using it, actually, for stuff you can't get any other way. Gonna miss it!
Since 1996: Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650
RE: *sniff*
twrock @ 6/17/2009 10:58:12 PM # Q
You might look into iSilo (actually, iSiloX). I'm not sure what you were using it for, but I've used iSiloX to drop webpages onto my Palm for many years, particularly web pages of reference data that doesn't change a lot.


Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: *sniff*
alanh @ 6/18/2009 9:44:59 AM # M Q
I would also recommend Plucker with SunriseXP.

I used that with various PalmOS devices without internet and then continued using it with my Treo because it was better than waiting for Blazer or OperaMini.

The iPhone and Pre finally have a good and fast enough browser that I don't feel like I need the offline content.

RE: *sniff*
sford @ 6/18/2009 7:47:03 PM # Q
Thank you for the suggestions!
Since 1996: Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650
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Adieu, AvantGo

Dan Georges @ 6/18/2009 5:16:32 AM # Q
AvantGo, so long.
It was a great run, good bye.
Sync and go - now gone.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."


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So long and thanks for all the fish!

dday @ 6/22/2009 4:55:46 PM # Q
Oh, that's too bad. I guess that I fall into the same category as everyone else. Now that we have Internet access on ordinary cell phones AvantGo is not necessary. I used it religiously until about 4 years ago. Each morning I would put my Palm (Clie) into the base, hit the HotSync button and jump into the shower. I could not stay in the shower such a short time that it would still be syncing when I was already dressed. The fly in the ointment came when my kids became old enough to want to use the computer 24 hours each day.

I fell into the habit of using my cell phone to read mobile versions of various web sites (all bookmarked in Phone Faves, thank you very much) and stopped syncing with AvantGo so regularly. Life changes and so habits follow it.

What's the next incarnation for AvantGo? It was a company with vision and with talented engineers. I hope something good comes next.

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AvantGo Replacement

JudithS @ 7/9/2009 8:08:35 PM # Q
I've loved my Palm M505 so much that I've never been tempted to put it aside. It's a brilliant product and it still holds it's own against many of the newer devices on the market. But now AvantGo is gone!!! Has anyone tested the alternatives and have any experience and advice on the best replacement for synching with web pages for an M505?
RE: AvantGo Replacement
cstamper @ 7/10/2009 11:24:07 AM # Q
Try mobipocket. It used it on my m515 for years.

It syncs RSS feeds very nicely, and even downloads the whole article. If you really want to download static webpages (not news) try out plucker.

(Both are free)

RE: AvantGo Replacement
Gekko @ 7/10/2009 3:23:17 PM # Q

yes! and don't bother upgrading to a car! that horse and buggy you drive works just fine!!!
RE: AvantGo Replacement
twrock @ 7/10/2009 5:31:58 PM # Q
Gekko wrote:

yes! and don't bother upgrading to a car! that horse and buggy you drive works just fine!!!

I can't believe that after your "upgrade" experience with the Pre, you have the audacity to keep making that comment. Sometimes, "old" just works better.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: AvantGo Replacement
Gekko @ 7/10/2009 6:17:58 PM # Q

apples and oranges. now stop being silly.

RE: AvantGo Replacement
twrock @ 7/11/2009 5:37:36 PM # Q
Gekko wrote:

apples and oranges. now stop being silly.

As are someone's M505 and your "new" Centro. Sometimes "old" just works better.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

Reply to this comment

Avantgone. Vindigone.

joad @ 7/11/2009 1:30:30 PM # Q
The writing was on the wall for them as soon as the Treos became ubiquitous. Though the formatting was nice, it was dead slow in real time and hogged up a lot of the thin hardware resources Palm provided. R.I.P.

On a related note, they have followed the demise of Vindigo, an equally old app that just recently closed doors (but somehow the server still syncs some channels). In the early days, Vindigo used Avantgo's sync technology before they built their own. Vindigo IS still relevant in the age of the Smartphone - still better than anything I've seen written for the iPhone so far. Local OFF-LINE content for movies, restaurants, bathrooms, shopping, directions, and more. It was fast, well organized, affordable and had an ugly-as-hell GUI. Avantgo was essentially replaced by Blazer and just died slowly - If anything needs mourning, it's Vindigo.
Treo 755p FTW!!! (sorry, Preh).

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