River of News RSS Reader is now available

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by DylanG, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    DylanG

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #1
    River of News is now selling for $2.99

    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.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    ThanatosId

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #2
    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!
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    DylanG

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #3
    You made my day. Thank you. :)
     
  4. macrumors regular

    ThanatosId

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #4
    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.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    DylanG

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #7
    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.
     
  8. mye
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 604

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    #11
    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.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    DylanG

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #12
    Thanks everyone for the feedback and kind words.

    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.

    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.

    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?

    Both requests noted.

    Send me your email in a PM and I'll put you on the list for my future betas.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #14
    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
     
  15. macrumors regular

    ThanatosId

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Downtown San Diego
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #17
    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.)
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    DylanG

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #18
    I should frame this...

    It's a tough balance.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #19
    With so many overwhelming reviews, have to check it out. Man I have like a zillion news readers already.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #20
    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!
     
  21. macrumors regular

    nanohits

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Downtown San Diego
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #24
    I really like this app reeder was my favorite but this one is right there with it.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Downtown San Diego
    #25
    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.
     

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