PDA

View Full Version : River of News RSS Reader is now available




DylanG
Aug 19, 2010, 12:29 PM
River of News is now selling for $2.99 (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/river-of-news/id386534091?mt=8)

River of News is an RSS reader that syncs with your Google Reader account. It's a crowded category but the difference with River of News is it that brings infinite scrolling or the "expanded" view to the iPad.

It's not based on drilling down levels of hierarchy and then back up and back down. Nor is it trying to replicate the dead tree model of laying articles out in pages of columns. Your news sources are streams and River of News lets you scroll through them that way. Why should you have to jump back and forth between header and article? Why be forced with every article to make a worthiness decision based on a little picture and a couple of lines of text? Why hit a little button or have to pull?

Why not just scroll?

Scroll up and down within a stream. Swipe left and right to change streams. Simple.


Feel free to ask any questions or post comments in this thread.



ThanatosId
Aug 19, 2010, 03:28 PM
Holy crap! Out of nowhere! You absolutely nailed this app! I am a complete snob when it comes to rss readers and unfortunately have bought all of them.

The UI, speed, ease and usablity of this application is second to none. I have you side by side with Reeder and way above all the others (pulse, slide reader((top of the second class)), flud, times, newstand, mobile rss, etc. etc. etc)

The beauty of his app is on par with culture code (things). Thank you for a great front page app.

P.s. I am not at all affiliated with this developer...just very impressed!

DylanG
Aug 19, 2010, 03:42 PM
You made my day. Thank you. :)

ThanatosId
Aug 19, 2010, 05:32 PM
Glad to give a smile when one is deserved. 2 heavy hours with the app and it has been nothing but stable, so I have no negative feedback. I would, however, love to hear if you have a roadmap with future additions planned. Even though the app is great as is, it's always cool to hear that a developer will continue to improve and keep something outstanding ahead of the pack.

DylanG
Aug 19, 2010, 09:06 PM
There is so much more I want to do with the app but first I need to see how people respond to it. The feedback will tell me what I should do next.

Probably the first feature to add is support for the rest of the Google Reader services. Right now River of News will keep your read status and starring synced but I intend to add Like, Share and Tags.

That's the low hanging fruit. Beyond that it's a question of whether I add features or refine the navigation. The challenge is to do this while maintaining the simplicity. It was my overriding goal to de-emphasize the UI. River of News is about immersing yourself in the content. You can do the primary navigation in the app all with scrolling and swiping instead of tapping buttons and picking things from lists.

I'll try to figure out what's most important to people. Offline reading? Content discovery? More gestures and navigation shortcuts? I have some cool ideas for all of these.

If the app is successful then I'll probably make an iPhone version.

Linchpin
Aug 19, 2010, 10:11 PM
Just bought it, was a Reeder fan up till now... Pretty nice app, makes flying through feeds a breeze! My only compliant/suggestion would be that the "river" starts to load the next articles before you get to the last one... I find myself waiting for a few seconds every time I get to the bottom of the currently loaded articles in the river.... This takes away the flow and intention of the app IMHO.

iFerd
Aug 19, 2010, 10:19 PM
This thread convinced me to give it a try. So far, I'm pretty impressed. If I hang with it, it will likely replace Feeddler for me. I've been using Pulse off and on, but haven't really warmed up to it like I thought I would. I'm not sure why; it's very attractive to look at.

Edit: I'm back to report that after a full session of going through my feeds, this is a terrific reader. Off line reading would be nice, but at the very least, how about support for

Edit again: As the developer says in a post below, it already has support for Instapaper. My mistake.

mye
Aug 19, 2010, 10:47 PM
You made an app where the "large" text setting is actually large and not a few points above "tiny". Thank you so much!

It's a lovely app. I think it will replace Reeder for me.

DKatri
Aug 20, 2010, 03:28 AM
So this thread tempted me to buy, so far its really nice, think it might end up replacing reeder for me aswell.

The one thing that I am missing from reeder is the shared feature, I use it as a read later kind of thing for videos and mp3 stuff.
Also one thing that loads of RSS apps are missing is Digg sharing, something I would love to see.

If you need a beta tester at anytime let me know and I'd be more than happy to help.

QuarterSwede
Aug 20, 2010, 03:47 AM
There is so much more I want to do with the app but first I need to see how people respond to it. The feedback will tell me what I should do next.

Probably the first feature to add is support for the rest of the Google Reader services. Right now River of News will keep your read status and starring synced but I intend to add Like, Share and Tags.

That's the low hanging fruit. Beyond that it's a question of whether I add features or refine the navigation. The challenge is to do this while maintaining the simplicity. It was my overriding goal to de-emphasize the UI. River of News is about immersing yourself in the content. You can do the primary navigation in the app all with scrolling and swiping instead of tapping buttons and picking things from lists.

I'll try to figure out what's most important to people. Offline reading? Content discovery? More gestures and navigation shortcuts? I have some cool ideas for all of these.

If the app is successful then I'll probably make an iPhone version.
I'd say offline reading is a must especially since there are a lot of non 3G iPads out there. Currently, for my iPhone, I won't even look at a RSS reader if it doesn't include that (sadly that's most of them).

Another would be speed of syncing. People really complain when they have to wait for it to sync up especially if you add offline viewing. I went from Byline to Reeder simply because Reeder is so darn fast.

If you make an iPhone app, I may look into it as well ... not that I'm not happy with Reeder, it's fantastic, you just never know what may make things that much easier when trying to digest over 100 articles a day.

Anyway, good luck. This looks like a great start.

cadillac1234
Aug 20, 2010, 09:46 AM
Very nice app. I've been looking for a good google reader interface that allowed for Instapaper integration with a clean interface. The $2.99 price point made it an easy decision.

Offiline reading would be a nice feature. I like the visuals of the new Pulse type of interfaces but at the same time, it's a bit of a headache to navigate the Pulse feeds. Unless you can come up with the best of both worlds I'd stick with your clean UI.

DylanG
Aug 20, 2010, 01:22 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback and kind words.

My only compliant/suggestion would be that the "river" starts to load the next articles before you get to the last one

It does load the next articles but only when you're not scrolling. It's a challenge to keep the scrolling smooth while doing heavy background processing. But this is something I plan to work on and I think I can improve.

Off line reading would be nice, but at the very least, how about support for Instapaper?

Instapaper is supported. At the bottom right of each article is a sharing link that has Instapaper and many others. Some clear feedback I'm taking is that this share button is too hard to find. Many are missing it.

You made an app where the "large" text setting is actually large and not a few points above "tiny". Thank you so much!


This makes me very happy. You can thank my Mom for this. I watched her struggle to use most apps on the iPad because of the small fonts and I decided that my app would be an enabler, like the Kindle, for those with less than perfect eyesight. How is the rest of the UI working for you?

The one thing that I am missing from reeder is the shared feature, I use it as a read later kind of thing for videos and mp3 stuff.
Also one thing that loads of RSS apps are missing is Digg sharing, something I would love to see.

If you need a beta tester at anytime let me know and I'd be more than happy to help.

Both requests noted.

Send me your email in a PM and I'll put you on the list for my future betas.

iFerd
Aug 20, 2010, 01:41 PM
Instapaper is supported. At the bottom right of each article is a sharing link that has Instapaper and many others. Some clear feedback I'm taking is that this share button is too hard to find. Many are missing it.

Actually I just returned here to correct my previous post about Instapaper. I did have trouble finding it, but it is there as you say. This is a first class application. Best three bucks I've spent in some time.

Linchpin
Aug 20, 2010, 02:14 PM
It does load the next articles but only when you're not scrolling. It's a challenge to keep the scrolling smooth while doing heavy background processing. But this is something I plan to work on and I think I can improve.


Ah, OK, I wondered why it sometimes did it and sometimes didn't... Must have depended on whether I'd paused to read an article whilst scrolling.... It's only a minor niggle - I guess I should clean out the feeds where I'm not pausing to read articles :D

ThanatosId
Aug 20, 2010, 03:29 PM
Congrats so far on what seems like a great start to some strong success in the app store (You're already the #6 app in the News Section and had a great review on Macstories.net;)).
I really like the roadmap you noted. I agree that your focus should be on keeping the interface simple (that's really what makes it beautiful and different). For that reason I'd love to see what you may do with additional gestures. I like it when a developer introduces an app and than adds the tricks later for more depth (a very Apple way of doing things). Some caching or offline reading would be very welcomed and I will gladly give you more money when you release that iPhone app.
I too would love to beta test new versions of this app and any future projects you may work on. I'll PM you if that's alright.

Beau10
Aug 20, 2010, 04:41 PM
I've been using Pulse off and on, but haven't really warmed up to it like I thought I would. I'm not sure why; it's very attractive to look at.


I find Pulse to have a terrible UI interaction mechanism, kinda the antithesis of the reader in this thread. 2d scrolling mechanism to consume your news, everything the same size, with no way to see items marked as read or reviewed? What a mess. Same with the newspaper type apps for a different reason - with no curation built into the app (something along the lines of PostRank), a nothing article can be a feature story and vise versa. It's like they took the bad of the medium (kitsch) without offering the main advantage of the format.

Alright, another Reeder fan that will be checking this out tonight. Like the idea, sounds like the execution lives up.

iFerd
Aug 20, 2010, 07:09 PM
To the developer: whatever you do for further development, don't make it complicated to use as you add other features. It's a great experience now. Don't mess it up. It's a terrific combination of visual appeal and ease of use. (I echo the earlier poster who appreciated the flexibility in font size.)

DylanG
Aug 20, 2010, 10:41 PM
To the developer: whatever you do for further development, don't make it complicated to use as you add other features. It's a great experience now. Don't mess it up.

I should frame this...

It's a tough balance.

nanohits
Aug 21, 2010, 07:42 AM
With so many overwhelming reviews, have to check it out. Man I have like a zillion news readers already.

jfm010
Aug 21, 2010, 11:04 AM
Been using River a few days now and I must say I really like it :)
Some request for future versions:

- The Done-button (when going into web-mode) is located in the top left corner. Would really like to have this in the top right corner. Somehow this feels more natural when using the right hand for navigation.

- Page down-function. When using Google Reader I tend to use the spacebar for page down. Is it possible to somehow implement this (for example doubletap)?

Thanks for a great app!

nanohits
Aug 21, 2010, 11:27 AM
been playing with this for the last few hours and its quite good. The only problem is if there is a feed with say 50 to 100 items, its a lot of scrolling and would be nice to see a snapshot of the news you want to read. Otherwise we are scrolling and scrolling and sometimes its too slow as it takes a while to come to the next news items.

The other thing I would like to see is an option int he settings to change the colors of the interface so it can be a bit more flexible. Overall I like it.

Beau10
Aug 21, 2010, 03:10 PM
So the one major criticism I have - it doesn't appear the articles are marked as read as you scroll past. Googles web reader interface does this pretty gracefully. At least if we have to mark the whole lot as read, give the option to not have two clicks (Reeder for iPhone has this option, but not iPad).

Otherwise it's a nice start. Some odd latency bugs when scrolling backwards in a feed but the concept is good.

iFerd
Aug 21, 2010, 03:35 PM
So the one major criticism I have - it doesn't appear the articles are marked as read as you scroll past.
You did discover that the default is not to mark posts as read when you scroll trough them? You have to turn on that option in the settings. If I misunderstand what you're saying, never mind.

bigrobb
Aug 21, 2010, 05:50 PM
I really like this app reeder was my favorite but this one is right there with it.

Beau10
Aug 21, 2010, 07:39 PM
You did discover that the default is not to mark posts as read when you scroll trough them? You have to turn on that option in the settings. If I misunderstand what you're saying, never mind.

Hmm... first off thank you, and secondly (last but certainly not least) my apologies to the developer :) On both of my criticisms there appear to be options to change that behavior. Deactivating the confirmation message can be done in the preferences pane. And turning on marking during scrolling is done in in-app settings. Bravo.

That said, since the prime motive of this reader to essentially get out of the way, maybe the defaults for these should be flipped? There might be a few people that are irate at this, but I think this suits the main demographic. Just a suggestion.

DylanG
Aug 21, 2010, 07:56 PM
Hmm... So I see you can deactivate the confirmation on the mark all as read.. Apologies to the developer, criticism on that point rescinded. :) But the issue of marking things as read as you scroll still is there, is there something I'm missing? I'll scroll through a whole feed and not see the count change.

Tap the gear icon up top to access the feed settings where you can turn this on. I really need to add a help graphic to guide people to the features.

http://riverofnewsapp.com/images/p-settings.jpg

Beau10
Aug 21, 2010, 08:02 PM
Hey Dylan,

I just edited my message as you responded. This is awesome.

That said, you're clearly trying to cater to my type. Sometimes we just lazily assume things - when we see something that at first blush speaks to us, that it just works that way out of the box, getting out of the way and all. So I agree a help graphic would be welcome, but maybe even changing the defaults?

At this point my only criticism is speed. I know future updates will make things better. I really love what you've done though. For now I'll toggle between this and Reeder, and once it's blazing fast probably ditch Reeder.

DylanG
Aug 21, 2010, 08:03 PM
That said, since the prime motive of this reader to essentially get out of the way, maybe the defaults for these should be flipped? There might be a few people that are irate at this, but I think this suits the main demographic. Just a suggestion.

Everyone has told me that and I've been stubborn. It's because marking as read is kind of a destructive action like deleting. I don't want someone to get in the app and start flinging away scrolling and not understand why all of their articles disappeared. But even I forget to turn it on every time I delete and reinstall the app for testing.

Beau10
Aug 21, 2010, 08:10 PM
Everyone has told me that and I've been stubborn. It's because marking as read is kind of a destructive action like deleting. I don't want someone to get in the app and start flinging away scrolling and not understand why all of their articles disappeared. But even I forget to turn it on every time I delete and reinstall the app for testing.

I understand the desire to not piss people off. But consider you're essentially catering to a certain demographic that shares your philosophy, so the people who would be irate would be the minority, and those you are speaking too, it would elicit that "wow" experience out of the box. Also consider Google Reader does this and has done this for years (at least as a long time Goog reader user I'm not aware of a way to change this behavior?), so it's not unexpectedly destructive.

cadillac1234
Aug 21, 2010, 10:12 PM
Being able to change the background colour scheme would be a nice addition.

DylanG
Aug 22, 2010, 06:27 PM
It's been a fun weekend! I peaked at #3 in the News category and #87 overall. I'm thrilled by the response to the app. It's very rewarding.

I'm listening to everything being asked. The most common requests fall into two categories.

1. Add the Google actions for Keep Unread, Share and Like. I'm trying to come up with a way to add these that doesn't distract too much.

2. I'm going to broadly categorize this one as a desire for a faster way to scan article headers. People say it in a lot of different ways but I think that's what it boils down to. I know that's not a usage model supported especially well by the app today. There are faster ways to scan high volume feeds that are mostly junk. I concede that to the other 20 RSS apps that are based around lists of headers.

But is there a way I can satisfy this while staying true to the concept of River of News? I think so. I have two ideas.

Show an overlay with the article title that fades in only when you are scrolling quickly. Sometimes it's hard to scroll fast because you go faster then iOS can tile in the content. (This rendering delay is wildly inconsistent and out of my control, unfortunately.) An overlay would allow you to know what's scrolling by without having to stop and wait for it to render.

The other addition would be a gesture that does a fast scroll to the next article. Let's say it was a two finger tap. Then you could stare at the same spot on the screen and just tap, tap, tap to scan the headers. During development I experimented with buttons that did this. I pulled the feature because I didn't like the buttons. They added clutter and buttons are never in the right spot for everyone. I think a gesture is a better way to do it. But what gesture? Two finger tap? Two finger swipe? Suppose you scroll with a thumb? Double tap? (Double tap kind of sucks)

So there's some insight into what I'm planning to add and I'd love suggestions. I bet someone out there has the killer idea I haven't thought of.

moviedan
Aug 23, 2010, 08:48 AM
Hi Dylan, I tweeted you about doing a two finger swipe to skip to the next article.

I didn't really think of it to fix the high volume feeds issue, I've had a few articles (notably a "here's 50 pictures of birds for wallpaper" one) that were painful to get to the end of using the current implementation. In that instance, it would have been very natural to perform a two finger swipe to jump to the end of the article.

One idea I had was maybe to do the scissors pinch gesture (or a double tap or maybe more) to collapse a feed into _just_ the title, ie no body content at all. Then you could very quickly skim through a large volume of headers without having to "suffer" the content.

I strongly feel that gestures haven't been embraced properly on the iPad yet. You've got so much more room to interact with the thing, that multiple finger gestures feel very natural.

I love the approach though. I'm using RoN in preference to Reeder at the moment despite the first release niggles (pop in and performance have been a bit bad, but I appreciate there's perhaps not so much you can do about that).

I'd love to help out with beta testing if you need it. I subscribe to quite a lot of feeds, so I'd probably be a good "high volume" tester :)

ThanatosId
Aug 23, 2010, 11:47 AM
One idea I had was maybe to do the scissors pinch gesture (or a double tap or maybe more) to collapse a feed into _just_ the title, ie no body content at all. Then you could very quickly skim through a large volume of headers without having to "suffer" the content.

+1

I think this would be a great way to hit the masses while keeping the integrity of the app. I would vote on the pinch gesture.

Another good location for the pinch gesture would be on the folders side in landscape. A quick pinch in/out to collapse/open all of the folders.

My picky, stupid request: change the "settings" and "Mark all as read" icons. They look a bit cumbersome compared to the rest of the app. Sorry, I know that is a ridiculous request...

iFerd
Aug 23, 2010, 01:22 PM
I "think" (but probably can't prove it) that most apps allow you to hold down a tap to avoid opening a link you encounter by accident. It this one, there is no stopping if I touch a picture or a headline while scrolling though a list of posts. If there is an alternate way to deal with this, I'd be interested in seeing it incorporated.

JTravers
Aug 24, 2010, 05:44 PM
Everyone has told me that and I've been stubborn. It's because marking as read is kind of a destructive action like deleting. I don't want someone to get in the app and start flinging away scrolling and not understand why all of their articles disappeared. But even I forget to turn it on every time I delete and reinstall the app for testing.

Perhaps a pop-up dialog the first time the app is installed and opened that asks the user what behavior they'd prefer?

DKatri
Aug 25, 2010, 05:15 PM
Just a quick note,

I was watching MacBreak Weekly (Ep 209) today and Leo Laporte's pick of the week happens to be River of News!

Pretty big endorsement. Congrats.

DylanG
Aug 25, 2010, 06:21 PM
The pinch idea is great! I'll see how well I can make that work.

The MacBreak podcast review has sent River of News climbing up the charts today. I was busy all day and it was quite a surprise to check my rank this evening and be in the top 50.

It's about the 1:25:00 mark
http://twit.tv/mbw209

srl7741
Aug 25, 2010, 07:00 PM
I made the purchase after MacBreak's short demo and I'm happy I did. It's a great App and wish there was an iPhone version also. Food 4 thought?

Others have already pointed out some great ideas for future additions so I won't add to the list. I'm a big Reeder fan for many reasons but RoN is splitting my time and could take me away from Reeder.

Great job with this App :) hope to see an iPhone version. I love seamless Apps it just seems that much better when you can use either device and see the App you like on both.

nanohits
Aug 26, 2010, 09:10 AM
Ive since shelved this app for Reeder and NewsRack as I found that waiting for the feeds when scrolling to be most irritating. So till there is a fix for that, it will stay on the iPad but wont be used.

mamema
Aug 26, 2010, 10:23 AM
Could it be that a lot of RSS feeds in google lead to crashing of this app? I didn't get past the launch screen with the "Select a feed" box. Nothing else is shown......

DylanG
Aug 26, 2010, 10:51 AM
Please download the latest version from the app store if you experience crashing. I'm sorry about that. It took Apple 5 days to approve it.

debudebu
Aug 26, 2010, 03:14 PM
Being able to change the background colour scheme would be a nice addition.

Great app. And agree with above.

hmmmm
Aug 27, 2010, 02:34 AM
Love the app.

The interruptions when scrolling & loading new articles is annoying. If anything could be done to fix this it would be a big deal, as this is the one thing that would cause me to go back to other readers.

Some feature suggestions:
- Definitely make the "send to" link clearer, I didn't realise it was there until I read this thread.
- It would be nice if in settings we could set a default email to address & subject prefix

Other than that it's pretty much perfect as far as I'm concerned!

DylanG
Aug 27, 2010, 02:08 PM
Development has begun on some of the features mentioned in this thread. I'd like some fresh blood on my beta team. If you've sent me a PM already then I've got you on the list. If you haven't and you'd like to beta test please send me a PM with your email address.

When development is active I push out releases to the beta team every few days and sometimes every day. Often times you get half baked features though I try to be conscious of always giving you something that works, even if it might be rough around the edges. To install the beta builds you have to sync with iTunes on your computer so I ask that this be a process you can do regularly.

Thanks for your interest.

yuanmoons
Aug 27, 2010, 03:13 PM
Just brought river of dreams.

I was using & happy with Pulse & Reeder combo but thought I'll go ahead and buy ANOTHER app :eek:

First impressions are positive..... but ...... It's also different to them (obviously?). I'll use it over the weekend And see how I go.

Is this a 'bug'? In the services menu at the bottom I turned off all but delicious & Instapaper but when I press the button I get only the delicious option and the "more" option - surely with only two services ON i shouldn't need to have to select more to get to Instapaper ..... Fix?

And secondly the font is good but would it be possible to include an extra small font?

As others have said - pls add offline viewing.

Edit - the services all show up now.... Strange, maybe it needed a restart.

cadillac1234
Aug 27, 2010, 07:52 PM
Just saw that it made the new and noteworthy section in the App Store

Congratulations


Made Gizmodo as well

yuanmoons
Aug 28, 2010, 04:38 AM
Update : I like it

But it doesnt show 'open in safari' in the actions/service menu - it seems unnecessary to have to go to another "more" open up screen to access the actions..... can/is this going to be improved?

Update : worked out you need to use the service for it to then show all the time....

chrisf82
Aug 28, 2010, 06:04 PM
Let me say first that I love this app and Reeder has been deleted from my iPad. Just two very minor "bugs" I've encountered. the folders tabs are kind of finicky. Very hard to get it to expand the folder versus selecting the folder sometimes. The second is that the name of the first feed under each folder section is usually chopped off, only has the first letter, or doesn't have any name at all. These are both minor bugs and don't preclude me from using the app at all. Just wanted the dev to know about them. Fantastic app!!!

Usually I post on toucharcade, but I look forward to posting here as well now!

sparkomatic
Aug 28, 2010, 06:38 PM
Very nice app. I was using Reeder primarily but this has just taken it's place. They're both different (where Reeder just gives you the summary) but they both have very nice design elements to them. River of News I feel goes one step further and it's been great to use so far. Excellent work!

bobinnv
Aug 28, 2010, 06:40 PM
First, let me make it clear that I really like this app. I don't even mind the lag that sometimes occurs when scrolling, since Google Reader does this too.

But a couple of things. First, a bug: once in a while the last article in a folder stops scrolling before I've reached the end, so i miss the last part of the text, and can't get to the icon to save to Instapaper. This only happens rarely, and I don't know how to reproduce it.

Second, for my taste, the headlines are too big compared to the text. For instance, using the 'modern' font, 'small' seems plenty big for the article text, but the headline seems huge.

And a question - is there a way to force a refresh to update the unread counts? I didn't see one..

TangoDown
Aug 28, 2010, 07:09 PM
My first ever news reader. Superb app. Well done Dylan, it's totally spot on.

lindmar
Aug 29, 2010, 08:28 AM
I'll bite and try it. I'm a diehard reeder user but for 2.99, Ill check it out.

Congrats on all the success!

Kajover
Aug 29, 2010, 03:34 PM
Cache function and badge notification are missing. Other than that, great app.

DylanG
Aug 30, 2010, 12:06 PM
Thank you for the compliments. Even if I don't respond individually to your requests, be assured that I read and track them.

There is no manual refresh button for the unread count because "it just works". It will never be more than a minute out of date, usually much less.

I'm looking into the issue with the feed names being truncated in the list.

Testing is going well on the addition of keep unread, share and like plus some other little things. Thanks for the interest but the beta program is full for this round. Apple only lets me register a limited number of devices in a year that I can authenticate for builds outside of the app store.

lindmar
Aug 30, 2010, 12:23 PM
Thank you for the compliments. Even if I don't respond individually to your requests, be assured that I read and track them.

There is no manual refresh button for the unread count because "it just works". It will never be more than a minute out of date, usually much less.

I'm looking into the issue with the feed names being truncated in the list.

Testing is going well on the addition of keep unread, share and like plus some other little things. Thanks for the interest but the beta program is full for this round. Apple only lets me register a limited number of devices in a year that I can authenticate for builds outside of the app store.


REALLY liking the software. Seems like a more logical way to read my feeds then Reeder. And I've always loved Reeder.

It has crashed on me maybe 2-3 times when watching YouTube videos, but for the most part I'm really digging it.

Thanks and Good Luck!

DylanG
Aug 30, 2010, 12:47 PM
YouTube playback is just buggy as hell. I can make every non-Apple app crash that plays videos in web views. I'm hoping that the 4.x release for the iPad fixes this along with some other things that I had to work around.

lindmar
Aug 30, 2010, 12:48 PM
YouTube playback is just buggy as hell. I can make every non-Apple app crash that plays videos in web views. I'm hoping that the 4.x release for the iPad fixes this along with some other things that I had to work around.

Yeah not blaming you. It's what crashes reeder too.

Thanks again, I love the app.

aadb
Aug 30, 2010, 01:03 PM
Have just downloaded this now. I have 20 or so readers installed on my iPad, will give you feedback once I have had a proper play :)

yuanmoons
Aug 30, 2010, 02:14 PM
20 readers? One for each feed?;)

aadb
Aug 30, 2010, 02:16 PM
lol, always on the hunt for the next best thing :D

cakbar
Aug 31, 2010, 10:26 AM
Love this app. I've been flipping back and forward between different RSS readers but never quite found one that I was comfortable with. This one just feels right. I'd be quite happy if the only updates were performance tweaks.

cadillac1234
Sep 4, 2010, 11:48 AM
One more request...
When sharing an article on Facebook, is there a way to auto add the title of the article (and possibly the corresponding thumbnail pic) to the comment box. It just sends a 'posted by newsriver' line and a blank comment box now

DylanG
Sep 4, 2010, 08:20 PM
Version 1.1 has been submitted to Apple. Release notes:

Your most requested features just two weeks after release. Keep the suggestions flowing to support@idylliccode.com.

- Keep Unread, Share and Like with Google
- New "Tiny" font setting plus smaller titles for all settings
- Links are less sensitive
- Performance improvements for large feed lists
- Bug fixes

DylanG
Sep 4, 2010, 08:36 PM
One more request...
When sharing an article on Facebook, is there a way to auto add the title of the article (and possibly the corresponding thumbnail pic) to the comment box. It just sends a 'posted by newsriver' line and a blank comment box now

The comment box is empty but the link w/ title should be posted. Did it not post that?

I agree that thumbnail pics would be nice. Last I checked Facebook didn't provide the interface they do on their site to pick a thumbnail. Would you be OK with it always posting the first image from the article or web page?

cadillac1234
Sep 4, 2010, 10:00 PM
The comment box is empty but the link w/ title should be posted. Did it not post that?

I agree that thumbnail pics would be nice. Last I checked Facebook didn't provide the interface they do on their site to pick a thumbnail. Would you be OK with it always posting the first image from the article or web page?

I just checked it again and it did put the link with the title in under the comment box. Not sure what happened but I posted a couple of links yesterday and they showed up blank. Just a bit of a glitch that seems to have resolved itself.

I think the first image would work fine in the article for a thumbnail. To me articles look a bit strange on FB without a thumbnail next to them.

Thanjs and I look forward to the new update

DylanG
Sep 10, 2010, 05:35 PM
I'd like to hear from Ggogz or anyone else who would like River of News to have a badge on the home screen icon with the unread count. It's not possible for the app to download in the background and show an up to date unread count like the Mail app. The best I can do is make the badge show the unread count at the time you last closed the program. Is this still valuable to you?

DylanG
Sep 17, 2010, 11:54 AM
Version 1.1 (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/river-of-news/id386534091?mt=8) is finally live in the app store! That was a painful wait.

If you like the app please give a new 5 star rating. Thanks!

mtfield
Sep 20, 2010, 11:24 PM
I'd like to hear from Ggogz or anyone else who would like River of News to have a badge on the home screen icon with the unread count. It's not possible for the app to download in the background and show an up to date unread count like the Mail app. The best I can do is make the badge show the unread count at the time you last closed the program. Is this still valuable to you?

Yes it would be. If I'm not able to get through all the new articles in a sitting it is nice to know how many I have left for a later time.

roundsda
Sep 24, 2010, 04:11 PM
First off, let me say that I absolutely love this app. I have never been a fan of any type of RSS reading because it just felt like too much work. Your app + iPad has changed that for me. I use it many times a day.

For the most part, I the app is perfect for me but I would like to see two enhancements.

#1. I need to be able to use Twitter with multiple accounts. One for my work account and one for my personal account. I can separate my work life and personal using folders in Google Reader, but I need the option to choose a Twitter account to post to. For now, I have to use another app for work to make this workflow work.

#2. Any chance we could get integration to Evernote as a service? I actually know a ton of folks that would be grateful for that enhancement.

Although not an enhancement, I have to say that if you ever decide to develop a similar app for OSX, I would buy it in a heartbeat. With multi-touch being built into the mice and trackpads it would port to the desktop very well.

Thanks again for the great app.

DylanG
Sep 28, 2010, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I would like to add new sharing options and improve the sharing UI. It's all a question of time. Even a relatively successful app like River of News doesn't earn enough revenue to make a living. To give you some perspective, among iPad apps there are only about 100 that earn enough revenue from app sales to support a single person business.

Version 1.2 is in testing now. I've decided on an agile strategy of short release cycles so I can respond to feedback quickly and provide what my customers want.

I've been in react mode so far getting the things done that had high demand and I felt were unquestionably needed. With 1.2 I'm very happy with the state of the product and I have options moving forward. I'm now working on the longer term road map for where I want to take the product. I have so many great ideas and so few hours in the day.

I'll be putting up a survey soon to get a broader feel for what is important to people.

DylanG
Sep 28, 2010, 08:34 AM
I'm really proud of this article on GigaOM.

iPad App Design: River of News vs. Twitter (http://theappleblog.com/2010/09/27/ipad-app-design-river-of-news-vs-twitter/)

River of News has received some strong reviews which are, of course, wonderful. But this article uses River of News as a canonical example of iPad design along with the other best of breed independent apps available on the platform.

DKatri
Sep 29, 2010, 05:18 AM
I'm really proud of this article on GigaOM.

iPad App Design: River of News vs. Twitter (http://theappleblog.com/2010/09/27/ipad-app-design-river-of-news-vs-twitter/)

River of News has received some strong reviews which are, of course, wonderful. But this article uses River of News as a canonical example of iPad design along with the other best of breed independent apps available on the platform.

Great article!

Congrats Dylan, you've put a ton of work into this so all the praise is well deserved.

Fedorov
Sep 29, 2010, 07:20 AM
Yea well done - I only got my iPad last week and I bought River of News immediately after hearing so many good things, money well spent and you deserve any extra publicity.

BUY THIS APP!!!

DylanG
Oct 1, 2010, 07:05 AM
Version 1.2 has been submitted to the app store. Let's hope this one doesn't stall for 2 weeks in review.

Release notes:

Yet another fast release cycle making the product better for you. If you like the changes please rate the new version.

✭ Skip to the next article with a double tap
✭ Many more gesture options in the settings
✭ Faster startup
✭ Reduced data usage
✭ More responsive on slower networks
✭ Option to enable SSL
✭ Bug fixes and crashes eliminated

DylanG
Oct 14, 2010, 11:06 PM
I'm blogging now and I decided to start off with a doozy. I'm going to tell you how much money I make.

How much money can you make on the App Store? (http://blog.riverofnewsapp.com/2010/10/how-much-money-can-you-make-on-app.html)

ravenvii
Oct 15, 2010, 05:29 PM
So I went and bought River of News, since it's on sale for $2.99 currently.

It's definitely much better than the disappointing Pulse.

However, there seems to be some problems here. The unread number seems to be stuck on 10 for all feeds.

And a small feedback: the buttons on the sidebar (the list of feeds), in my opinion, doesn't feel deep enough when pressed. Perhaps make the selected feed a bit darker?

DylanG
Oct 15, 2010, 06:33 PM
What you are describing is how Google Reader handles newly subscribed feeds. The website does the same thing and I debated whether I should change it but decided that Google is kind of my "system of record" when it comes to subscription data and I was going to present what it stored. Once you mark all as read one time it will be normal for the future.

Thanks for the feedback.

iFerd
Oct 18, 2010, 09:56 AM
Version 1.2 has been submitted to the app store. Let's hope this one doesn't stall for 2 weeks in review.Seems like your hopes have not been met. I'm eager for the update. Did they send it back to you, or is it just taking longer than it should?

DylanG
Oct 18, 2010, 10:28 AM
Oops, I never followed that up. 1.2 was approved quickly by Apple and it's been live for a couple of weeks.

iFerd
Oct 18, 2010, 01:15 PM
Oops, I never followed that up. 1.2 was approved quickly by Apple and it's been live for a couple of weeks.Sure enough. For some reason I never received an update notice.

DylanG
Nov 2, 2010, 09:24 PM
How can River of News be better? I created a brief survey to collect feedback. It's anonymous and will take about two minutes. I respect your time.

This survey is for those who use and don't use River of News. Of course I want to hear from my happy customers. But if you didn't buy it or bought it and didn't like it I want to know that, too.

****************OfbD


I've also provided details about the upcoming version on my blog.
http://blog.riverofnewsapp.com

MSL
Nov 4, 2010, 08:56 AM
Pull to refresh would be a nice feature. And the app is a borked on 4.2 GM.

DylanG
Nov 4, 2010, 05:40 PM
It'll be updated to work with 4.2 by the time that version is publicly released.

debudebu
Nov 7, 2010, 03:01 PM
It seems like it was mentioned somewhere you can change the UI background colors, is this true? thanks

DylanG
Nov 8, 2010, 01:49 PM
River of News 1.3 is live.

* iOS 4.2 compatibility
* Save Images
* People you follow in Google Reader
* Open links in Instapaper Mobilizer
* Show unread badge in portrait view
* Show unread badge on home screen
* Email contents of an article
* Set a default To: email address
* New icon
* Assorted bug fixes

DylanG
Nov 8, 2010, 01:50 PM
It seems like it was mentioned somewhere you can change the UI background colors, is this true? thanks

Sorry, the article fonts can be customized but not any of the app's colors.

MSL
Nov 9, 2010, 09:00 AM
Great update. All the 4.2 bugs have been ironed out and it's running smooth as silk. :)

debudebu
Nov 10, 2010, 12:34 AM
Sorry, the article fonts can be customized but not any of the app's colors.

No worries, I bought it and the colors are good. The only minor things are I just wish there was a way to switch the background of articles that pull up full page after clicking headers. NYtimes articles are so stark white. Would be cool if there was a "readability" function on the full page preview as well.
Having said that, I've been using RSS since the start of Bloglines, but I'd go weeks without checking feeds out. Newsrack and Reeder were OK, but River of News is REAL good - I've been getting a lot out of it. thanks

DylanG
Nov 10, 2010, 05:44 AM
In the River of News section of the iPad Settings app you can turn on Instapaper Mobilizer. Then links will open with that by default. It's really nice. I'd never used Mobilizer before until people asked me to put it in the product and it's now my regular setting.

debudebu
Nov 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
In the River of News section of the iPad Settings app you can turn on Instapaper Mobilizer. Then links will open with that by default. It's really nice. I'd never used Mobilizer before until people asked me to put it in the product and it's now my regular setting.

For some reason I thought you'd jammed all the settings in the app itself. Mobilizer support is killer. :eek: If the API allows it, adding the ability for instapaper dark mode as default would be cool. Ability to send text to Evernote would be great as well. Saying that, phenomenal work, I'm loving it.

DylanG
Nov 11, 2010, 12:36 AM
Don't get me started on Evernote. I spent a bunch of time getting an integration working without realizing that you can't send generalized HTML with their API. Evernote uses some proprietary subset of HTML and strictly enforce their syntax. RSS feeds are full of markup. It's not practical for me to scrub them down to whatever format Evernote has made up. If I send the text without markup, a lot of feeds will come out as unformatted goo and that would be the worst thing I can do because I've led you to believe you saved it when, in fact, it's not readable.

So.... the best solution is to get your special email address from Evernote that drops notes in your account. Oddly, this service will accept general HTML and take care of reformatting it. With River of News you can email the contents of an article and even set up a default address in the sharing list so you don't have to type it in each time.

debudebu
Nov 11, 2010, 02:56 PM
Don't get me started on Evernote. I spent a bunch of time getting an integration working without realizing that you can't send generalized HTML with their API. Evernote uses some proprietary subset of HTML and strictly enforce their syntax. RSS feeds are full of markup. It's not practical for me to scrub them down to whatever format Evernote has made up. If I send the text without markup, a lot of feeds will come out as unformatted goo and that would be the worst thing I can do because I've led you to believe you saved it when, in fact, it's not readable.

So.... the best solution is to get your special email address from Evernote that drops notes in your account. Oddly, this service will accept general HTML and take care of reformatting it. With River of News you can email the contents of an article and even set up a default address in the sharing list so you don't have to type it in each time.

Ironically I'd filed away into Evernote that you can use a special e-mail address to send to - this works great with your app. Also, about the ability to change background after the instapaper mobilzer page is solved by pressing down and selecting the page so it goes a darker shade of blue. This works decent at night when I don't want to look at white backgrounds and mess up falling asleep. 5 stars. thanks

DylanG
Nov 11, 2010, 03:06 PM
iOS 4.2 provides quick access to the hardware brightness slider which I think will be the best solution for night time reading. Even if I provided a way to dim River of News I can't control the status bar or the overall backlight level. That can only be done by Apple apps. Apple's hardware control also has the nice effect of increasing battery life when dimmed.

ravenvii
Nov 11, 2010, 03:15 PM
A serious suggestion: With the advent of iOS 4.2, you *really* should consider removing the in-app browser and just open Safari when a link is clicked. In my experience, *all* of the crashes in the River of News app is related to the in-app browser.

Begin a YouTube video. *crash*
Begin a YouTube video... it plays... I switch orientation. *crash*
I scroll down the page filled with images too fast. *crash*
I scroll down, then switch orientation. *crash*

See the pattern?

Also, can you fix the awkward behavior when switching orientation? Currently the top bar switches, then the app does. Looks horrible.

DylanG
Nov 11, 2010, 03:26 PM
That's a good idea. I'll make it an option. The in-app browser is a pain in the ass. It may seem like my fault but there is really nothing I can do about how crashy it is, especially with YouTube. I have absolutely no control over YouTube playback or how a web view renders general websites. I would love to wash my hands of that problem.

4.2 trades the old crashy YouTube problems with new YouTube display problems. *sigh* It's no fun getting blamed and spending tons of time working around problems that are part of the OS.

I also have no control over the how iOS moves the status bar when changing orientation.

debudebu
Nov 11, 2010, 03:33 PM
iOS 4.2 provides quick access to the hardware brightness slider which I think will be the best solution for night time reading. Even if I provided a way to dim River of News I can't control the status bar or the overall backlight level. That can only be done by Apple apps. Apple's hardware control also has the nice effect of increasing battery life when dimmed.

Yep sbsettings brightness control is the only reason i'm jailbroken. I'll go back to stock after the brightness update. Left you a good review

Mikkis
Nov 16, 2010, 01:17 PM
Thanks for the great app.

Not sure if these have been discussed already but I ask anyway.

Scenario: You open an article which includes a video and you start to watch it and then you push close button. Pushing close button doesn't shut down the video or at least the sound of it but leaves it playing in the background and I haven't figured out how you can go back and turn it off. Is this a feature I don't know how to use or a bug? :)

Also a question, is there a plan to make an iPhone version? I like Reeder but I would prefer more sophisticated GUI of RON also in my iPhone.

DylanG
Nov 17, 2010, 10:35 AM
Oh, YouTube how I hate thee. YouTube playback is handled entirely by iOS and I have no way to make it better or worse. It's been buggy since the beginning. iOS 4.2 fixes some of the old problems but trades them for new ones. I wish I could do something about it.

Version 1.3.1 has been submitted to Apple to address a freezing problem in iOS 4.2.

http://blog.riverofnewsapp.com/2010/11/minor-update-coming-soon.html

Mikkis
Nov 18, 2010, 11:47 PM
If we take for example this link http://gizmodo.com/5693437/burger-king-employees-fired-for-printing-f+++-you-on-customers-receipt?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gizmodo%2Ffull+%28Gizmodo%29

I don't think it's a Youtube video (?) but it has the same problem not shutting down if you close the page.

JTravers
Nov 22, 2010, 02:20 PM
In the River of News section of the iPad Settings app you can turn on Instapaper Mobilizer. Then links will open with that by default. It's really nice. I'd never used Mobilizer before until people asked me to put it in the product and it's now my regular setting.

Any chance you could build in Readabilty (http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/) support, in addition to Instapaper Mobilizer?

Thanks.

DylanG
Nov 22, 2010, 09:53 PM
Try out the video in iOS 4.2.1 and see what changed. I haven't had a chance to install the final release yet. The betas traded the old video playback problems for new ones.


As for Arc90's Readability, I had planned to implement that instead of Instapaper but there are technical difficulties. Readability is client side reformatting and requires the entire page to be loaded before it can work. The bookmarklet expects that you manually click it after the page is loaded. I had a prototype working in River of News that was automated but it wasn't a very good experience. You'd see the page load in it's normal form and then would reformat itself. This could be a significant delay over 3g. That also meant it still downloaded the ads even if the final formatting discarded them.

debudebu
Nov 23, 2010, 09:20 PM
would be cool to see radbox.me support implemented like google reader here http://radbox.me/support/extras

Not a lot of people use their service yet, but it has a lot of potential to be the instapaper of net videos.

ravenvii
Nov 23, 2010, 09:38 PM
Hallelujah for multi-tasking! Now add that option to open links in Safari! :D

csnplt
Nov 24, 2010, 12:36 AM
I love this app! Keep up the good work.

DylanG
Nov 27, 2010, 05:32 AM
I'll take a look at Radbox.

Thank you csnpit and thank you to those who have recommended River of News in other threads here. (The rules are that I can't comment in those threads.) Word of mouth is the only marketing I have so it means everything to me that you tell other people.

DylanG
Mar 1, 2011, 03:28 PM
I've put River of News on sale for $1.99 (or international equivalent) to celebrate it's return to the news top 10.

debudebu
Mar 1, 2011, 11:40 PM
What's the future possibility of being able to enlarge pics and copy text from the main area?

DylanG
Mar 2, 2011, 06:27 AM
Enlarging pics is on the list of things I want to add.

Copying text from the main article view is tricky only because it interferes with the app's recognition of the double tap gesture. I'll revisit that and see if there is a solution but it might have to be one or the other.

kewlguy781
Mar 2, 2011, 11:43 PM
how long will this be on sale for? I am planning on getting ipad 2, and hope this sales doesnt go away when I get it.

DylanG
Mar 3, 2011, 08:28 AM
This is a price experiment and I'm not sure if I'll leave it up through the launch of the iPad 2. But you can buy it now using iTunes on your computer. Apple will know you've already bought it and won't charge to download it on the device or it will transfer when you sync.

PCClone
Mar 4, 2011, 12:36 AM
Here is what I need. Get up in the morning and get my feeds. Pick the 10 - 20 articles that seem interesting and be able to download the full article since I won't have a connection. Get on the bus and read the full article. If you can do this, let me know. Also, I want to put in my own feeds, not use googlereader.

Thanks.

DylanG
Mar 4, 2011, 07:24 AM
Here is what I need. Get up in the morning and get my feeds. Pick the 10 - 20 articles that seem interesting and be able to download the full article since I won't have a connection. Get on the bus and read the full article. If you can do this, let me know. Also, I want to put in my own feeds, not use googlereader.


River of News combined with Instapaper or Read It Later will cover your usage scenario very well. In River of News you can configure a two finger tap to send the article to your sharing service of choice. So you can quickly scroll through articles and when you see one that is interesting you have a one step way to send it to an offline reading service. No digging through menus or having new windows pop up. The source URL is sent to the sharing service so this works for feeds with truncated articles.

However, River of News does require Google Reader. There is so much benefit to Google Reader. It's so great to be able to access your subscription list and up to date read articles from any device with a web browser and from so many apps.

PCClone
Mar 4, 2011, 10:49 AM
River of News combined with Instapaper or Read It Later will cover your usage scenario very well. In River of News you can configure a two finger tap to send the article to your sharing service of choice. So you can quickly scroll through articles and when you see one that is interesting you have a one step way to send it to an offline reading service. No digging through menus or having new windows pop up. The source URL is sent to the sharing service so this works for feeds with truncated articles.

However, River of News does require Google Reader. There is so much benefit to Google Reader. It's so great to be able to access your subscription list and up to date read articles from any device with a web browser and from so many apps.

Thanks for the response. I will be buying this app tonight.

Mawal
Mar 5, 2011, 01:04 AM
Hi Dylan,

I just downloaded and installed River, I've been using Reeder before.


So far the good:

+ great concept

+ easy to use

+ setup was a breeze

+ Easy integration with facebook and Read It Later


The bad:

- horizontal swipes do not work very well, actually they s*ck royally, about 8 out 10 attempts to wipe horizontally will fail. And this defeats the whole purpose of the reader.

- no fullscreen mode in landscape: This totally annoying, when reading a feed, I just want to the see the fee. Nothing else, no obnoxious navigation bar.

- in Reeder I can send a link to Read it Later, so I can read a blog, and have look a the contents of the links later on in RiL, I miss that feature on River.


...and if I had to rate your app now, I would give it 2 or 3 stars. It deserves a full 5 stars. Fullscreen, working swipe, these ar basics. The ability to send links to RiL same. Hope these this improvemenst soon.

River has the potential of becoming a great product, but it is not yet there.

DylanG
Mar 8, 2011, 10:57 AM
You are the first person to complain about the horizontal swiping. Can you elaborate? I'm using standard iOS paging (like the home screen) for the swiping. I've never seen it perform in any way but what would be expected.

Your Read It Later comments puzzle me because you both praise the integration and then complain that it's missing. River of News has Read It Later sharing from both the feed and web browser views. I don't understand what is missing.

Full-screen feed viewing in landscape is an interesting discussion. It was an intentional decision not to offer it. I'll explain my reasons and then I'm interested in hearing feedback from my customers.


The split view UI is an Apple standard. In landscape, there is a list of items on the left and the content is on the right. In portrait, the content is full-screen and the list is exposed with a popover. I put a lot of effort in customizing the visual design but decided to mostly stick with Apple's standards in terms of user interaction. Apple is really good at UI design. People are used to the standard iOS UI models. I feel there has to be a really strong reason to go against what Apple has designed and people are comfortable with.
I don't see that compelling reason to have a full-screen landscape feed view. You can rotate the iPad to portrait and get a clutter free, full-screen reading interface that is better in every way to how it would be in landscape. Even if landscape was full-screen, the article width would be the same (or close to it). It's not comfortable to read text with excessive line lengths. This is why the ebook readers switch to a two column mode in landscape and wide format printed text is broken up into columns. A multi-column view doesn't make sense for the article feed so a landscape view would just be the same column width with lots of empty space on the sides. So why not just turn it to portrait where the screen real estate is used to display more article length?
It would require more UI elements and more complexity to provide a way to make the content full-screen in landscape. There would need to be another button or a dragging bar if users are going to discover the feature. It could be entirely gesture based but then there is no way for anyone to know it exists. Simplicity and lack of clutter were first order design goals and are often cited by users as something they appreciate. I have to feel it benefits a substantial portion of my users in a substantial way for me to add another UI element. I don't see that benefit here. These are the toughest choices I have to make as an app designer. The easy choice is to keep adding features to satisfy every request in my chase for another sale. I love adding features! But I believe the best software, and particularly mobile, is achieved with restraint. I'm inspired by Apple and I'm constantly asking myself if my design decisions are the ones they would make.

JTravers
Mar 9, 2011, 12:16 AM
Your Read It Later comments puzzle me because you both praise the integration and then complain that it's missing. River of News has Read It Later sharing from both the feed and web browser views. I don't understand what is missing.


I think what he means is that he'd like to be able to tap and hold a link from an article in River of News and be able to send that link to RIL; he doesn't want to send the article/blog post URL, which River of News can do already.

DylanG
Mar 11, 2011, 10:53 AM
River of News is on sale this weekend for all of you new iPad 2 owners. Get it while the gettin is hot!

MacDawg
Mar 11, 2011, 11:01 AM
Went to buy on my iPad and it shows $3.99
Is that the sale price?

DylanG
Mar 11, 2011, 12:41 PM
It should be $2.99 now. Sometimes the App Store can be slow to update.

blackNBUK
Mar 11, 2011, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the sale price, I've just picked it up! I'm probably being slow but how do you mark posts as read when mark as read while scrolling is off? I guess that the automatic mark as read is probably how River of News is meant to be used but I'm not quite ready to make that step yet.

DylanG
Mar 12, 2011, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the sale price, I've just picked it up! I'm probably being slow but how do you mark posts as read when mark as read while scrolling is off? I guess that the automatic mark as read is probably how River of News is meant to be used but I'm not quite ready to make that step yet.

No, you aren't being slow. A lot of people are confused by this. The lock icon at the bottom of each article toggles keep unread/mark as read.

I need to rethink this. There are 3 states that need to be represented:

Unread
Read
Keep unread

I should break these out into 2 icons. One that toggles read/unread and one that toggles keep unread. A check mark is the obvious choice to me for read/unread but, unfortunately, Google uses the check mark for keep unread on the Reader site and I fear that it would be confusing. I'm militant about not adding more buttons but I've come around to believing this one is needed.

blackNBUK
Mar 12, 2011, 09:04 AM
No, you aren't being slow. A lot of people are confused by this. The lock icon at the bottom of each article toggles keep unread/mark as read.

I need to rethink this. There are 3 states that need to be represented:

Unread
Read
Keep unread

I should break these out into 2 icons. One that toggles read/unread and one that toggles keep unread. A check mark is the obvious choice to me for read/unread but, unfortunately, Google uses the check mark for keep unread on the Reader site and I fear that it would be confusing. I'm militant about not adding more buttons but I've come around to believing this one is needed.

Good to know that I wasn't missing something obvious :)

I'm not sure that two buttons are necessary. My suggestion would be to keep the existing button but give it three states instead of two.

- Starting in
State 1: Post unread
- Tap on icon (or scroll past when that's turned on) takes you to
State 2: Post read
- Tap on icon takes you to
State 3: Keep unread
- Tap on icon takes you back to state 2.

Which images you use for the states is a bit of a tricky problem. The convention I've seen in other RSS readers is to use a filled circle for unread, an unfilled circle for read and a filled circle in a different colour for keep unread. I don't think those choices are particularly obvious but I did get used to them and I suppose they have the advantage that people may have seen them before.

pjac
May 24, 2011, 04:46 PM
Having played with the software a bit, I do like it. I do have a couple of queries/suggestions.

First, some of the news feeds I subscribe to only include tiny snippets of text - e.g. The first sentence of a news article. An option to fetch the text might be nice, but I guess you'd need to reformat the article for display? Not easy to strip off all the unwanted navigational elements on a webpage... but doable for the niche of an RSS reader for web comics.

Second, for some comics feeds in particular, I'd like to see the image larger by default. The dark grey background margins outside each feed article seem to waste too much space, especially in portrait mode where I'd halve them, or more. A little more space might be saved in the inner margin as well, but it is important to keep enough for the aesthetics.

Related to this, if I click on a link it opens in a popup window which is full screen in portrait mode (great), but very narrow on landscape mode. Please use full screen here too.

pjac
May 24, 2011, 05:05 PM
Related to this, if I click on a link it opens in a popup window which is full screen in portrait mode (great), but very narrow on landscape mode. Please use full screen here too.This is what flip book does, and probably other apps too.

ThanatosId
May 27, 2011, 01:22 AM
This is what flip book does, and probably other apps too.

This is actually an option in the settings (located in Apple's setting section) that the developer added for those that wanted full screen browsing in landscape. This is still my favorite RSS reader!

pjac
May 29, 2011, 05:08 AM
This is actually an option in the settings (located in Apple's setting section) that the developer added for those that wanted full screen browsing in landscape. This is still my favorite RSS reader!
Thanks - and you can choose to open the links directly in Safari :)