Building next generation apps for Windows platform.

All posts in ngreader

Hello friends, the new update (v1.11) is now available in marketplace, and if you’ve some extra time then do check out my thoughts on windows 8 and tablets in previous post.

First of all I’m really thankful to the users who’ve send me tons of feedback including crash reports which have helped me tremendously in improving the application. I hope they enjoy the update and I will keep on adding more important features in future as well.

Please find the details for next update below and hopefully it should be available in marketplace now or before you finish reading the post :)

Here’s the update summary: (followed by some screen-shots as well)

#) Improved edit mode:

  • selecting and marking multiple items as read/star/share is even more fast and quicker.
  • improved touch sensitivity while selecting an item i.e. tapping on left side.
  • improved scrolling and tilt effect.

#) Improved mobilized view:

  • full screen for reading article.
  • set default mobilizer from settings->ui tab.
  • google mobilizer with no images option.

#) future updates will preserve the user settings.

#) maintain aspect ratio while resizing images.

#) fixed multiple crashes and bugs.

124

As always, I’m continuously working on the application, so please feel free to send us feedback or features – you would like to see in NG Reader.

Cheers!

Related articles

Hello/Hola/Hallo to my English, Spanish and German friends and rest of the world.

First a huge thanks to everyone for the continuous feedback and helping us make NextGen Reader one of the best apps on WP7 platform. Personally I’m very excited about NGReader v1.10 as it brings a good deal of new functionality since we launched the application back in January. I know… I’ve taken a bit longer than usual update cycle since v1.9 but for future updates I’ll try to come up with a shorter three weeks cycle i.e. two weeks of development + one week for testing.

Okay, let’s get going and summarize the major changes/features in 10th update:

  • improved performance and battery life with up to 25% less memory utilization.
  • increased feed quota to 1000 articles.
  • new application theme with teal color.
  • new toast messages for various notifications e.g. sent to instapaper, read it later.
  • hold feed title to show quick toolbar in article view & single tap to resize images.
  • fixed multiple crashes seen during refresh or using back button to return to application.
  • many other changes and bug fixes.

12

105

You can also check the below post by Rahul Mathur (@weemundo) :-

http://www.wpsauce.com/2011/05/preview-of-upcoming-v11-update-of.html

As always you’re welcomed to send us more feedback on ngreader(at)live.com or @ngreader on twitter.

One last thing before I finish the post – “NextGen Reader is still a work in progress and long distance away from the experience I’ve in my mind for a perfect news reader client”. I hope … I’ll manage to solve this problem one day and create a wonderful seamless experience for everyone till then bye-bye…!

Cheers!

NG Reader

Hello there, it’s been long since I posted about v1.6 release and been busy developing and fixing NextGen Reader. Thanks to everyone for the response and continuous feedback which helps and motivate me to make @ngreader best RSS Reader for WP7.

Alright, so this week has been fantastic with details on Mango update revealed by Microsoft. I’m so excited and can’t wait for it to happen. With 1500 new API’s added I think WP7 has a great future ahead. Coming back to my app, now I’ll make sure that I blog more often at least whenever NextGen Reader gets updated. My last post was on version 1.6, since then NextGen Reader has been updated twice and today we have released v1.9. Let’s talk about this update first and the new features coming in future.

NextGen Reader v1.9 change log:
——————————————————–
– improved article view with published time and author name details.
– links within article now displayed in phone theme color.
– “read all” button to display checkboxes with all items selected.
– new mobilized view with toggle switch.
– fixed crashes and other bugs.

43

One of the important things about NextGen Reader is to be most productive client for Google reader. In version 1.9, I have made an important difference where “read all” action will show checkboxes just like official wp7 email app but with all items selected. This change brings many advantages for various scenarios mentioned below:

1. First of all, marking all as read requires only two taps as previously you would press “read all” appbar button and then select “yes” on message box confirmation. Now you have to press appbar button, it will select all items and display checkboxes. Tap again on first appbar button to mark them as read.

2. If you have marked all items as read by mistake then it’s easy to mark all as unread, since you can now easily select all items and then choose “keep unread” from the appbar menu.

3. Let’s say you’ve ten items in list and wanted to mark nine as read and keep one unread. First press appbar button to show all items selected with checkboxes, now tap on an item to de-select it and then simply press “mark read” appbar button to mark remaining items as read. Doing same thing earlier would have required twice the number of taps.

Another important change is new full screen reading view with toggle switch at top to enable/disable InstaPaper mobilizer. Also I’ve added smooth animations in article view when moving to next or previous article just like official wp7 email application.

Again thanks to those who have sent lots of feedback over the last month and it has helped us tremendously in improving the application.

Finally some sneak peak into NextGen Reader future: most important features coming to NextGen Reader in future updates are Live tile support, Youtube videos handling and increased article/feed quota limit. Apart from these, I’ve many other features in plan and will talk about them in future posts.

So please keep sending your feedback anyway you like – email, twitter or comments.

Cheers.

NextGen Reader v1.6 is now ready to roll in marketplace, actually it could have been available more sooner if I hadn’t come across the weird problem where “publish to marketplace” button doesn’t works from the “windows phone: my apps” list page. However a Google search later confirmed the problem: http://forums.create.msdn.com/forums/t/73198.aspx , and the simple workaround is to go to the application page first and then select the action to publish.

Now let’s quickly go through new features in this update:

  • Mobilizer: added instapaper mobilizer for quickly reading the complete article without having to leave the application.
  • Quick toolbar in article view – Increase or decrease font size and toggle image width to fit coloumn. (find out more in screenshot below)
  • New global setting to disable image width to fit coloumn.
  • Added support for Read It Later, in addition to existing InstaPaper support in app.
  • Improved download speeds while fetching articles.
  • and other bug fixes.

Toggle image width to fit column using quick toolbar is very useful if you happen to follow comic feeds, more important the setting remains effective in article view while you move to the next or previous item unless you go back to list view and select a new item, where it will restore your global preference.

Below are few screenshots showing some important features of NextGen Reader, and a video of NGReader v1.5 at the end.

1 2

4 5

6 7

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWfWwlgyvq8&w=448&h=336&hd=1]

I am really excited as the NextGen Reader update v1.5 is available in the marketplace.

Not-a-long-history, NG Reader was released on 22-Jan and since then it has been updated five times which means on average it’s been updated every six days. Not that I feel good about pushing updates so fast, but I was overwhelmed with so much positive feedback and number of feature requests; in addition to fixing some crash issues.

Okay let’s go through major changes for the update version 1.4 and 1.5:

  • The brand new tile and UI gives app a beautiful visual experience.
  • “Sync changes only” feature: Being an offline reader, NG Reader allows you to mark items as read, add stars or share articles at anytime. The important thing is NG Reader will smartly sync the changes in background at specified interval, but if you don’t have network available, it won’t complain or drain your battery. However, when you launch the application next time and do “sync/refresh”, it will update your changes to server and then download new items.
  • Fixed crashes, more stable and improved performance.

But many a time, I felt the need to just sync changes and not to download new items, since I was moving to Google web reader or another application on my PC or Tablet.

So with NG Reader, now you have the ability to sync only changes and not fetch any new items, before moving to your PC or Tablet. It’s very simple but again very useful feature.

See the NextGen Reader v1.5 highlights in below video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBcVpilAlN8&w=448&h=336&hd=1]

On Frequent Updates: I don’t like to push frequent updates, unless until there is a critical bug. The fact that great user experience comes from thoughtful design & clear thinking and so do in our case, I desire of NG Reader to always provide a great experience with simplicity and performance.

Also I really appreciate the feedback in any possible way, so do tweet us or write an email about the features you want or discuss new ideas on our group. Find the contact points below:

Twitter: @ngreader

Email: ngreader at live.com

Forum: http://groups.google.com/group/ngreader

Thanks

-NG

I am excited to tell that NextGen Reader v1.2 is now available in marketplace. Below is a quick summary on changes followed by detailed description on back button design.

  • Completely integrated hardware back button. (no separate back button on application bar)
  • Change theme within application. (set light theme in application while keeping dark theme in OS)
  • Improved UI and enhanced performance.

    More ways to connect: I have created a new Google group to discuss about new features or change existing ones or report bugs. The group will help us in tracking similar requests as well as the different opinions.

    Please join the group here: http://groups.google.com/group/ngreader

Back Button Philosophy:

Since NextGen Reader release; which was just ten days ago, I have received lot of feedback around the use of hardware back button and a separate back button on application bar. The design followed the approach where if you select any feed or folder and later wanted to go back you will have to use back button on application bar and whereas for leaving the application use the hardware back button. The design was based upon the WP7 guidelines that the hardware back button should be used only for navigation between pages or dismissing any popup’s. However there can be exceptions to above rule as well. But due to multiple reasons and for the first release, I decided to follow the guidelines strictly to pass the app certification without any problems.

However the feedback received indicated clearly that back button was a common issue and resulted in poor experience for many users. Thus i decided to fix it immediately and the good news –> update is available now as i am writing this post. In fact during the update submission, I gave a detailed description about the scenario in testing notes so that application passes the certification successfully.

TIP for WP7 developers: I would like to share this as a tip for other developer’s on WP7 platform, that they should make good use of “testing notes” field available during submission whenever you are doubtful about a feature or feel that the tester might not understand the scenario completely. This way you have good chances of passing the certification rather than having to re-submit the application.

I am sure that the new update will make the experience top-notch for existing users and easy for those who install the application first time.

Cheers

– NGReader

I am happy to say that NextGen Reader v1.1 is now available in marketplace and it is a crucial update based upon the early feedback received. We managed to fix the issues reported within a single day. Overall it took four days to deliver update including the certification time and also I am very satisfied on application submission and certification from Microsoft side as well, they always responded quickly to my queries.

Three main changes done in v1.1 are:

– An important fix for login issue (multiple users reported that they were not able to login).

        – Improved scrolling (i.e. no scroll jump) when less no. of items in the list view e.g. 10-20 items.

      – Change of font in list view from “Cominc Sans MS” to standard “Segoe WP” for consistent design and easy reading.

    In future you can expect some good enhancements in updates which will also be delivered on shortly basis. I would really love to get tons of feedback from you guys, so please write to us.

Thanks

– NGReader

Mail: ngreader at live.com

Twitter: @ngreader

A Google Reader Client for WP7 engineered for performance.

Download fully functional Trial Version with all features except share via tweet at Zune Marketplace

Features :
# works in offline mode.
# completely secure – your login details are encrypted and stored on phone only.
# full metro UI support for dark and white theme.
# select multiple articles just like Official WP7 email client.
# breeze through feeds, folders or friends-shared items in most intuitive way.
# share articles on twitter and support for url shortner.
# send to Instapaper.
# visually differentiate between read/unread, starred or shared items in list view.
# recently starred and shared articles just a swipe away.
# tap and hold to see context menu for frequent actions.
# share, star or email articles.
# mark articles as read under feed, folder or all items in one step.
# sync articles as per choice – all or unread only.
# smart sync marks multiple changes in background at specified intervals.
# view feeds in landscape mode and change default font-size.
# open full page in embedded browser or go to internet explorer.
# can lock your device during refresh.

Some Screenshots of app running on my WP7 [Samsung Focus]:

altaltaltalt
altalt
altalt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also recorded a video, hope you like it*

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBcVpilAlN8&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact via @ngreader on twitter or e-mail ngreader at live.com for support or feature requests.

*More updates & hands on videos coming soon

Happy Sunday to all – NG