Friday, February 12, 2010

NewsRob 3.6

What's new or changed in NewsRob 3.6?

  • Autoskipping an empty list of feeds on the way forward
  • Autoskipping an then-empty feed list on the way back (uservoice)
  • Always using SSL when communicating with Google Reader, not only for login (uservoice)
  • "Remember password option" when logging on
  • Automatically re-logging in when session expires
  • Handling CAPTCHAs when requested by Google during login
  • Enabled Save/Restore feed specific settings.
    This is actually a feature from the previous release which I accidentally disabled before. On every sync the feed specific settings are stored to the SD card and a freshly installed NewsRob reads them from there during the initial sync.
  • Vibrates when trying to navigate before or after the begin/end of the article list in the article detail view. This can be turned off.
  • Handling "small fonts" issue with hdpi devices (Droid/Milestone, Nexus One). If you "fixed" this issue with zooming in, you now need to zoom out again. Sorry.
  • New config option for text size in the embedded browser
  • More verbose sync progress reports in the status bar
  • Manual Clear Cache/Refresh will also trigger an update of the feed names (renamed subscriptions)
  • Submitting referrer to host when downloading images.
    Need feedback if this works properly (uservoice)
  • When following redirects the base url is updated accordingly (no more broken stylesheets that are referenced relatively)
  • Downsized ads on small screens (Tattoo)
  • High resolution launcher icon for Droid/Milestone, Nexus One

And lots more bug fixes and small improvements. During the upgrade all already downloaded articles are marked as not downloaded so that they are downloaded again. This is necessary because some formatting has changed. You don't need to take any action.

NewsRob Pro only:

Please Clear Cache / Refresh once. Otherwise when using "Share With Note" NewsRob will not be able to correctly set the url of the to be shared article's feed.

If you want to vote up an already suggested feature or submit your own suggestion please visit

Posted via email from newsrob's posterous

The Future of NewsRob

If you are not interested in this meta stuff you can go directly to the release notes of NewsRob 3.6 here.

Recently NewsRob turned one and also crossed the 100.000 downloads barrier. Yay!

I took this event to think about the future of NewsRob.
In retrospect I really liked the last 14 months working on NewsRob and interacting with you guys. Those months took a heavy toll on my work/life balance and my social life, but in the end there was much more good than bad. I can't make any promises, but so far I decided to keep on going with NewsRob.

There is one change though. From the future on there will be two versions of NewsRob: A free version and a paid version.

The free version will feature ads, but will have the exact same functionality as NewsRob has now. I will also continue to add new features to the free version.

NewsRob Pro, the paid version, will have no ads and features some exclusive functionality. In the future I will decide for each new feature to which version I want to add it. As the paid version is focused on the power users it will likely be features geared towards this group.
Maybe some of the exclusive functionality will also turn up in the free version later.

The price for NewsRob Pro is €4.99 (~USD 7, GBP 4.35) and is bought as a separate application from the Android Market. It unlocks the premium features in NewsRob. You can buy from within NewsRob from the options menu "Buy NewsRob Pro".

As a token of appreciation to the existing NewsRob users the price will be €3.99 for a week.

We are discussing this approach on the NewsRob mailing list. If you want to give constructive feedback and talk with other users too, join us there. If you want to vent you can leave a comment here at the blog and if you want to give me a piece of your mind or leave a death threat you can also email me:
I hope you guys are happy with the new direction and give me feedback one way or another.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


In the recent past there have been a couple of changes regarding signing in to NewsRob/Google Reader. Judging by the feedback and a couple of thousands uninstalls this is a matter very close to the heart of many NewsRob users. So let me give you some background and a glimpse in the future.

Since very recently NewsRob/Google Reader sessions didn't expire for 3rd party apps. Now the expiration is two weeks. The introduction of this new policy was accompanied by an expiration of all sessions, so that you guys had to re-login.
Also recently another change in Google Reader broke the 3rd party apps. The Google Reader team very quickly rolled back the change, but many of you were affected. You needed to login again. Sorry for that.
There is an upside of the changes though, but more one that later.

On top of that NewsRob's login functionality wasn't as resilient as one would expect. As the sessions never timed out I felt that my time were better spent on other features. Well, live and learn ;-)
Meanwhile the current V3.5.3 handles expired sessions as it should have right from the beginning. This weekend I will release V3.6. This version will also handle CAPTCHAs and allow you to optionally save your password, so that NewsRob can auto-login you when the session expires.

Now to the upside I mentioned above. Some initial testing indicates that one of the recently deployed Google Reader changes now makes the Google Reader authorization compatible with the Android 2.0 Account/Authentication API.
That means, if everything works as expected, NewsRob 3.7 will not need to ask your for your Google account's password again. Instead there is an official way where your password is kept safe and you will only be asked to authorize NewsRob to access Google services using your account. Let me repeat that, the password itself will no longer to be disclosed to NewsRob.
You're probably as happy about that as I am ;-)

It's hard to say at the moment, but I expect NewsRob 3.7 to be out mid March.