• Preview NewsBlur's upcoming hardware device, Turn Touch

    I have something very exciting to share with you today. I’ve been working on a secret project called Turn Touch and I’m just about ready to show it to you. Signup on turntouch.com to find out.

    It’s a new kind of device and it’s machined out of solid wood. I built it to last, much like my other projects (for instance the news reader you’re likely reading this in). Turn Touch is built for NewsBlur, among many other things.

    Turn Touch will be launching on Kickstarter next week and I want to ask for your help. When I launch my campaign I’m going to need people like you to share it with people who look to you for recomendations on what’s good. You already use NewsBlur, so you’re already known for having good taste.

    Now, you probably want to know what Turn Touch is and actually looks like, yeah? Then signup on turntouch.com.

    You’ll get to preview the Kickstarter campaign and offer me any feedback you have. You’ll get to see Turn Touch and find out what it offers you.

    I’ve been working on this as a side project for that past few years. And by signing up you’ll have the first access to it.

  • A new NewsBlur Android release for the new year

    Version 5.0 has a bunch of new features. It’s got new gestures, better looking icons and thumbnail previews, and little UI design details to better match the rest of NewsBlur.

    Take a look:

    The full feature list:

    • New gesture to mark a story as read and unread by swiping on the story title
    • UI updates to story titles
    • New preferences for the font size of feed titles and story titles
    • Fleuron on the bottom of story lists better help you keep tracking of where you are in a feed.
    • Thumbnails in story lists
    • Recover a forgotten password
    • Higher resolution icons
    • Mute feeds
    • Option to enable confirmation for destructive mark-reads
    • Custom server support

    What a good way to close out January.

  • The dashboard river will keep you up-to-date in real-time

    This is a seriously cool feature and I’m glad it’s ready to launch. The dashboard river, the real-time stream of the top five stories of All Site Stories, is now on the dashboard of the web app.

    After testing this feature for the past few weeks I now realize that I could not live without it. By having the latest stories always loaded and instantly ready to go, I leave NewsBlur open and just take a quick glance to see if the top of my list is interesting.

    It also loads instantly, which means that if you see a story you want to read, clicking on it brings up the text without taking a single moment.

    One big change that this necessitated was the handling of the Text view when reading by folders. Used to be that a folder got its own feed/text/story view and every feed had to stay with the same story view. But on iOS and Android it’s different. Every feed gets to keep its own feed/text/story setting.

    This is now how it works on the web. If you read on feed by its Text (extracted original text) view and another by its Feed view, then you are automatically switched between the two views. Quite a bit of logic had to accomodate scrolling (you don’t automatically switch, since that would throw you from one scroll viewport into another) and switching between stories.

    Enjoy the dashboard river. And if you look closely you might even see the next big feature that itself is about to launch soon.

  • Newsreel is a NewsBlur app for tv

    Check it out, David Berlin built Newsreel, a NewsBlur client for Apple TV. And from my first impression, it rocks. Just take a look at these screenshots.

    You can read your subscriptions as well as subscribe to new sites, right from your television.

    Not only does it look polished, but it’s smooth and seamless. Take a look at how it works in practice.


    video src=“https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.newsblur.com/blog/newsreel-780.mp4” style=“width: 650px; margin: 0 auto; border: 1px solid #606060” autoplay=“true” muted=“true” loop=“true”>

    You can download download Newsreel on the App Store. What a beautiful app and it goes to show how nice it is to be able to read your news on a big screen.

  • Newsletters in your NewsBlur

    It’s been three years to the day that Google Reader shut down. And here’s a feature they could never build. Introducing email newsletters in your RSS reader.

    You can now forward your email newsletters over to NewsBlur and then read your email newsletters right in your browser/phone/TV/tablet. A couple dozen users have been beta testing this feature for the last couple of months and everybody agrees, this feature is amazing.

    Newsletters are formatted to fit all of your screens, so it looks just as good on the web as it does on your phone.

    Here’s the best part. If you get a lot of newsletters, you can group them into folders and even train them to highlight the newsletters you want to read first.

    Setting up newsletters on NewsBlur is easy. Just follow the personalized instructions on the web by going to Manage > Email Newsletters on either the web dashboard or the manage menu.

    You might ask why not just subscribe your custom NewsBlur newsletter email address directly to the newsletter instead of forwarding copies of the newsletter. The answer is that if you want a single source of truth for where newsletters are going, you want that in your email client and not on NewsBlur. If you ever change news readers (and with new features like this, why would you want to) you’ll want to change only a single filter rule instead of dozens of newsletter emails.

    And with this huge new feature, NewsBlur just became even better. NewsBlur has branched beyond RSS for a while now, fetching Twitter and YouTube stories even without RSS. With newsletters, NewsBlur becomes your single source.

    If you have suggestions on what NewsBlur can help you read next, post an idea on the Get Satisfaction forums.

  • Twitter’s back, baby

    It’s been too long. Twitter unceremoniously knee-capped their API a few years ago and a number of solutions popped up to fix the loss. However, those stopgaps also closed and left us with no good ways to read Twitter while in NewsBlur. Until now, that is.

    You can now subscribe to https://twitter.com/username to get individual Twitter accounts on NewsBlur. Put them all in a folder to recreate your tweetstream.

    Not only do you get the full tweetstream for that user, but you can also filter out tweets that are replies, retweets, or contain any text in them. You can also train Twitter feeds to highlight tweets that contain photos, are retweeted or liked, or have a word you want.

    YouTube also deprecated their API and NewsBlur came to the rescue with native YouTube API support. Now Twitter joins that list of native support, giving you a better Twitter experience than ever before.

    And because this native Twitter support takes more work than normal RSS feeds do, this feature is only available to premium subscribers.

  • NewsBlur goes dark ... on iOS

    It’s like a whole new app. There’s so much to tell you about in the latest release of the NewsBlur iOS app. This is the release of all releases.

    The biggest addition are the new themes. We have a total of four themes now: white, sepia, grey, and dark.

    The dark theme is for when the lights are low (or off) and you want to read without disturbing anybody around you.

    The grey theme gives you the best of both worlds. It’s a dark theme that gives you low light, but still bright enough to easily see.

    Sepia is the paperback you carry around everywhere so you always have something to read. Preparation pays.

    The iPad Pro gets full support and that means that keyboard shortcuts have been instrumented all over the app.

    Maybe you’re thinking about how much the app just advanced. Maybe you’ve been waiting a long, long time for a dark theme ever since Android got it a year ago. Who knows, maybe you’re 100% on your iphone and that there’s just one or two tasks that you still need the website for.

    Get ready for this. The Organizer is now on the iOS app. And this isn’t just any organizer. You can see all of your feeds, sorted in or out of their folders, ordered by number of subscribers, how often you read them, how often they publish, and even how recently they published.

    Use these lists to find feeds that no longer publish or the feeds that publish too much. Move and delete whole groups of feeds at once. This organizer is the real deal. Try finding this feature anywhere else.

    And if there’s an organizer, that means there’s a way to mute and unmute sites directly from your iPhone.

    There’s plenty of other new features too:

    • New icons app-wide
    • New menus for deleting and muting feeds
    • Custom domain support
    • Mark all as read by long pressing
    • Search and Subscribe improvements

    And check it out, NewsBlur now has two additional developers working on the iOS app, David Sinclair and Nicholas Riley. They have worked for the last few months on making this update the biggest yet. Their mugs are now on the About page and I’m extremely pleased with their work. Nicholas built the keyboard support that iPad Pro owners will appreciate. And David gives us the new themes, new organizer, and all of the other goodies we’ve got.

    This is the one to beat.

  • A heavier lifting Android app

    As performance updates go, this month’s upgrade to v4.8.0 of the NewsBlur Android app is a doozy. This one’s specifically made for those users with a heavier load of feeds.

    If you have over a hundred feeds, everything will suddenly feel smooth, just like it already does for those with only a few dozen subscriptions. And if you find yourself climbing up to several hundred feeds from only a dozen, you’ll be in good company.

  • Tracking story changes with NewsBlur

    NewsBlur has been tracking story changes for a long, long time now (first mentioned on the blog five years ago in April 2011). But I felt it was time for an upgrade and today I’m pleased to launch some changes to the story tracker.

    If you use a third-party client to read NewsBlur, like Reeder, ReadKit, or Unread, you may have noticed strange revision change highlighters that cross out what gets edited out by a publisher and highlights what gets added.

    This is great, except you probably don’t want this turned on for every single story.

    By default you will now only see the final edit of the story. And if you are on the web you will see a new Show Story Changes button in the heading of any story that has seen changes.

    You can also toggle back and forth between showing and hiding story changes, so you can take a peek behind the curtains and still come back to the read the story in its final, finished form.

    This should relieve the burden of having to implement a story change tracker in third-party clients when almost no other news readers have this feature. So third-party reading app makers neglected to include support, leading to a less than ideal NewsBlur reading experience. No longer!

  • Story thumbnails for story titles

    The iOS app has enjoyed a feature that gives you a tiny preview of a story’s main image right in the story title. Today this feature launches on the web.

    What I’ve noticed is that while I don’t use the image to identify which stories I want to read, I do use them to act as a signature of a story.

    There’s precedence for this on NewsBlur. Every site already does this using the color of its favicon. NewsBlur liberally applies a two-tone color palette based on each feed’s favicon. This serves as a per-feed signature, giving context to a story when it’s in the same view as every other feed’s stories.

    These story preview thumbnails serve as the same signature. Stories are best remembered through their colors and photos, so thumbnails act as a visual signature that’s easy to recognize. It works on a subconscious but perceptable level.

    Of course you can turn them right off.

subscribe via RSS