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Today, Nextgen Reader gets a bunch of great improvements in its latest update to version 3.1. Let’s take a look.

screenshot of new subscriptions hub

Above is a screenshot of new subscriptions hub with featured section, and gone is “my feeds” section. Yes, we’ve moved all the feed management functionality to main screen itself i.e. you can pin/edit/delete a feed by simply using tap and hold gesture on desired feed.

Another most requested and important feature is smarter article view. Many a times, you’ll find something interesting to read by following links in an article. Now if that happens, you can simply tap on view button to mobilize it for reading. In fact, all of the actions – share/save/email now act upon the current opened link in your reading view. So, without further ado, below is the complete change-log for latest update. We hope you enjoy it.

What’s new in version 3.1:

  • New: Smarter article view i.e. share/save/email/mobilize current opened link instead of original article.
  • New: Dynamic subscriptions hub with featured section to find latest and popular feeds.
  • New: Tap and hold to edit/pin/delete a subscription from main page.
  • New: Pin to start (live tile) experience.
  • Improved sharing on Facebook with embedded links.
  • Default: Always use HTTPS for sync.
  • Fixed: Always sort starred items by newest first.
  • Fixed: Twitter authentication bug.
  • Several bug fixes and enhancements.

In addition to above changes, Instapaper and Pocket (Read It Later) accounts are now available only in paid version.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming. Now that we’ve got the 3.1 release out, we’re rolling up our sleeves and getting closer to the biggest task: letting you have nextgen reader right on your Windows 8 PC/Tablet. Stay tuned.

Please check your marketplace for latest update or download from here.

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Nextgen Reader v2.5 is here! We just released the most exciting update ever with a cool new feature tagged as “The Amazing Everyday” (yes! same as Nokia’s tagline for Lumia devices).

The brand new manage sources hub lets you discover popular content with daily featured sources around the world as well as browse through popular feeds in 14 different categories including Microsoft, Windows Phone and others.


Change Log:

  • New: Manage Sources hub with daily featured sources and frequently updated categories.
  • New: Search articles inside all items, read items or starred items.
  • Around 20-30% faster sync.
  • Beautiful reading experience powered by Readability based on app theme.
  • Send multiple articles to read it later service.
  • Share multiple articles via mail.
  • Separate option to sync subscriptions.
  • Disabled https by default for downloading articles.
  • Several bug fixes and improvements.

Thank you for the support!

Let us know what you think of these additions by tweeting to @ngreader.

Early next week, Nextgen Reader will get a new update (v2.4) with some nice new features and a heap of bug fixes and improvements. Here’s a look at what’s new.

Improved live tiles

The live tiles now support three different update modes – “unread count”, “unread count + article” and “unread count + articles + images”. Yes, now you can see the beautiful images on back side of pinned tiles (if available). Also, the images are downloaded only if device is unlocked and start screen is active.

So if the device remains locked for six hours, no cpu or data is consumed for processing images.

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Also, the live tiles now display recent article for at least 30 minutes unlike before it used to disappear after opening the app. The new behavior is similar to ME tile, where status updates are displayed for sometime even if you open and read them.

Important Note: After the v2.4 update, you’ve to re-enable the live tiles through app settings. Also check that “Nextgen Reader” is turned on in phone settings –> applications –> background tasks.

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Manage sources hub

The v2.4 update introduces the new manage sources hub with complete management of feeds. Now you can edit/rename/delete feeds and folder including moving feeds to a new folder. It also improves the search and subscribe feature. Last but not least, it is super easy to pin multiple tiles to start screen.

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Lots more…

In addition to above changes, the update also includes the option to change Google Reader password/account. Further, we’ve improved scrolling in article view & mobilized page and made several UI changes (including the updated sharing page). Finally, there is no loop back to first article when swiping in article view (and new animations when you reach the last article).

Besides the above improvements, there’re several bug fixes like saving the post title in read it later, handling multiple YouTube videos and using the correct font for Japanese language.

A special surprise

Nextgen Reader just completed it’s first year on 22nd January, so watch out for a big surprise when v2.4 update lands in marketplace over the next 2-3 days. And make sure, you’re already following us on Twitter or Facebook.

As always, we’re working hard to bring even more goodness to Nextgen Reader, so please continue to send us more feedback and feature requests. Thank you!

Get Nextgen Reader from marketplace

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It’s been a while since NextGen Reader received last update (more than a month), which is why I’m so excited about today’s 2.2 release. It’s an update with lots of improvements, features and bug fixes.

Here’s why:blog_2.2

  • Faster sync: Yes, a great optimization in sync times as compared to version 2.1 with gains varying from 20% to even 60%. Another thing to note here is that changes are immediately synced to Google Reader in v2.2.
  • Huge bandwidth savings: Uses data compression to download articles, therefore reducing size up to 6-10x times.
  • Google Reader service does not supports like and share in reader feature anymore.
  • Option to sort articles by oldest first.
  • Mark above as read: Tap and hold on 51st item to mark above 50 items as read.
  • Haptic feedback: Vibrate when download completes and star icon is tapped.
  • Display folder name when inside a category instead of "All Items".
  • Support for readability mobilizer.
  • Fixed live tile issues.
  • Lock orientation option now works in mobilizer page as well.
  • Fixed bug: live tile doesn’t display ‘999’ if you’ve more than 1000 unread items.
  • Several bug fixes and enhancements.

 

Stay tuned

There are many more updates and enhancements coming to NextGen Reader. Plus don’t forget to check out our new home page http://www.ngreader.com & get the update here bit.ly/ngreader.

Cheers!

Hi, there’s a lot happening in the mobile world with patent war going nuclear, recent heavy announcement of Google buying Motorola Mobility and a shocking news about HP to shut down WebOS development. All this points to one good thing that Windows Phone is deemed for commercial success and we wanted to let you know that NextGen Reader v1.15 update is now available in marketplace with many new features and enhancements. Please find more about Mango update at the end of this post but first, let’s jump into v1.15 features, shall we? :-)

  • Share to Facebook – yes by popular demand the Facebook sharing is now available, including the one tap update feature to share same on twitter and windows live.
  • Subscriptions in alphabetical order – many of you’ve asked about where are all of my feeds, earlier ngreader displayed only feeds which had unread articles but now you can see all of your feeds/folder on main page with a unique experience to switch between unread or all items.
  • "all items" or "unread only" toggle mode now using application bar button you can switch between different modes whether inside a folder or feed or at main list. It will toggle between:

unread only modeall items mode

    • display all feeds or only unread feeds. ngreader_1.15
    • display all articles or only unread articles.
  • New experience in "unread only" mode:
    • auto hide articles when marked as read.
    • auto hide feeds or folder with no unread articles.
    • auto back to top-level list.
  • Sync any feed or folder– yes it’s possible too with latest update.
    • navigate to desired feed or folder.
    • press sync button to download new items.
  • Improved automatic loading of new items when sync completes – now you don’t have to tap again to load new items when the sync is complete unless of course you’re in edit mode or still reading old articles.
  • Option to lock screen to portrait mode.
  • Increased limit for starred and shared items.
  • More responsive star button in article view – improved hit area and negative margins for touch detection.
  • Fixed image resizing in mango build 7712 – thanks to IE9!
  • Improved layout in landscape mode.
  • & many bug fixes.

We hope you enjoy the update, do give it a try. Download the trial version (free) which has no ads or limitations except twitter support. As always I’m continuously working & open for feedback, thanks to everyone in making this possible especially all beta testers.

About Mango Release

Now, let’s talk about Mango, I guess many of you’ve seen the press and amazing reactions of media on Mango beta release but let me share one thing – all you’ve seen so far is part-1 of the story, part-2 will begin shortly when developers began to embrace the new functionality underneath.

We’re working hard on Mango version and it’s COMING SOON! But we need help from your side in deciding on launch of mango version, any feedback on this is most welcomed.

As per MS update policy for mango apps – once we submit Mango version to marketplace, NoDo version of the app cannot receive any further updates. Please note that it’s similar to how Apple iPhone supports updates. Since, we’ve seen in the past that NoDo update took long time mostly due to issues with carriers but even if the update process is improved, we can still expect a minimum transition period of two months before every WP7 handset in the world is updated to Mango.

So, the problem is if something changes on the services side e.g. Google, Facebook, Twitter etc…, it won’t be possible to update NoDo version of app which we don’t want you to face. We can think of a temporary solution which is:

  • To launch a separate free Mango version of NextGen Reader for transition period.
  • and once majority of users update their phone, we can update the NoDo version to Mango and kill the temporary version.

Of course, this has two problems:

  • How to update all users about the separate version of app for Mango?
  • Temporary spamming of marketplace.

Please let us know if you’ve better ideas….

Cheers & if you like the app show us some love on FaceBook page.

Today we’re excited to announce that NextGen Reader v1.14 is now available in marketplace.

Again I didn’t catch up with all of you here as often as I anticipated, [ last blogged about v1.11] so I’ll use this post to explain all the new features added till version 1.14. Before I begin, many of you may also know that Microsoft have announced a really cool feature for developers – “Private Beta” which lets us distribute the beta version of app through marketplace. Thanks to everyone who’ve participated in the first beta and I’m going to publish another beta very soon, so if any of you is interested and didn’t participated in first beta, then please send your live ID associated with windows phone to “ngreader [at] live.com”. Let’s talk about the updates now:

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  • New Tile: Thanks to Matt Grey for his excellent contribution on new logo. The new tile is designed keeping in mind the future enhancements for Mango as well as Live tile support.
  • Performance improvements: As always, max. performance with minimum battery utilization has been top goal for ngreader. You’ll notice faster startup and sync times from version 1.12.
  • Background Sync: Starting with v1.12, the sync happens in background so that you can browse through existing feeds or even read articles if you sync large number of items.
  • YouTube support: As many of you’ve asked for this feature, it’s finally available in ngreader. You can directly watch the video or open the link in browser to see related videos. I hope you enjoy this feature and do let me know if you come across any issues.
  • Improved scrolling: In v1.14, you’ll find scrolling is more reactive for NoDo users and if you’re running Mango beta then it’s really smooth just like native apps.
  • Improved article rendering: I’ve done few minor changes for better layout and reading experience. Also, a new update is coming soon for mango build 7712 with better resizing algorithm for images.

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  • Social networks: New share to windows live option in addition to twitter support. Also, Facebook support is coming in next release.
  • Improved Sharing: You can share status to multiple networks with just one tap. URL or link shortener is enabled by default and some small improvements like you can customize the text easily before sharing.
  • And also fixed few bug fixes!

I hope you enjoy the update – do give it a try! The trial version is free of ads and no limitations with just one exception of sharing via twitter. As usual I’ve been busy working on the next version of application and if you’ve some cool ideas for Mango release, then please do share with us.

Keep the feedback coming and also don’t forget to share your live ID for preview of next release.

Cheers!

– NG (http://twitter.com/ngreader)

So, a lot has happened over the last few weeks!

  • Starting with Windows Phone 7 “Mango” announcement on May 24th, followed by a peek into Windows future i.e. “Windows 8” and last but not least iOS5 announcement recently. Check out the video below if you missed it:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p92QfWOw88I]

Well, till today I hold the special feeling that WP7 is a different kind of phone and the “Mango” announcement has made me feel even more strong along with Nokia+Skype combination, Windows Phone will be a massive hit in the future. Looking at the iOS5 details, I too feel flattered and agree with @joebelfiore (design head of WP7), that Apple has taken lot of stuff from WP7 (Android as well), and baked into iOS5 smartly. But the thing that impresses me is, “Apple” responded greatly to the competition and finally iOS in it’s 5th incarnation packs a lot of desired features that Apple fans would have wished for years.

Seriously speaking, WP7 is still playing a catch-up game and Microsoft needs to catch up at a faster pace to win the smartphone battle but I’ve no doubts that they have the best foundation with WP7, and the complete focus on end-user experience.

Moving to tablets now, which is my favorite topic these days and is supposed to come up if you’re chatting with me. So, I’ve been waiting longtime for “Windows 8” announcement, because it’s a different approach to what Apple and Google have done, that is not building a phone OS first and turning into a tablet OS later. Till today I don’t feel, people buy tablets to replace their notebooks, simple reason is – it’s not productive or the other way around tablet is meant only for portable, comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Yes, they could replace the PC for few who just live on one side of the world i.e. consuming information like browsing, reading, music/video but otherwise it’s a – one more important addition to your gadget life (i.e. smartphone, tablet and a notebook).

However, fast forward few years from here and I could see tablets being part of massive convergence where you’ll have a hybrid device which can replace the trivia of tablet, netbook/notebook and PC. Yes, everything! Don’t agree, look at ASUS Eee Pad Transformer today, it is a tablet-come-netbook duo for some, but the overall experience is just not there yet. Lets take the standard tablet hardware today – it’s a dual core processor with 1 GB RAM and may be 64/128MB graphics. In around one to one and half-year from now, we’ll have quad-core processors with 2GB RAM and 256MB graphics in same price range , so it would match the speeds of what a decent netbook has today! So by the time, “Windows 8” comes out next year, the devices will be capable of running a full-fledged desktop OS.

But more important is the tablet side of Windows 8. I expected Metro UI to overtake this role, so it was no surprise as a windows phone developer & its a great joy to see that really happening on Windows 8. And we all know how good Metro interface is with live tiles for tablet computing. So, there you go, its “Microsoft” who can really build a powerful duo device that can turn into a tablet with it’s immersive Metro UI experience while you’re on the go and when you stop simply dock it to have the worlds most powerful desktop OS at your service.

Moreover, there is no more need for your tablet and notebook to be in sync if it becomes one hybrid device. I bet you’ll save lots of money by not having to sync and download data from cloud to different devices.

However, saying all this is easy, but there are good number of challenges that Microsoft needs to solve for everything to fall in place. And they are doing that by first supporting ARM architecture as well, which is huge in itself as we move to SOC world (System-on-a-chip). Nevertheless, it’s possible OF COURSE! I could maybe talk of some challenges in future… , but now I need to get back to NG Reader.

Catch you soon here to share details on NextGen Reader v1.11

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.

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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:
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– 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.

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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.

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