Friday, July 16, 2010

NewsRob July Release / 4.1

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NewsRob July Release / 4.1

Besides lots of bug fixes:

Mark Read Until Here (Pro)

You can now select an article in a list and pick "Mark Read Until Here" from the context menu. The selected article and all the articles above are then marked as read.

Refresh Content

If NewsRob fails to download an article's content for offline use you can now clear the downloaded parts and mark the article for re-download during the next sync.
You can do so by selecting "Refresh Content" from the article's context menu.

Change of Ad Provider

On the lists now Google Ads are shown instead of AdMob ads. Hopefully this will add some diversity to the served ads.

Launcher Widget Now in Free Version

The widget that was formerly only available in the pro version is now in its simplest, but most popular, form also available in the free version. It cannot be configured, but can still act as the replacement of a launcher short cut and adds the unread count to it. Check it out.

Froyo: Plugins / YouTube Thumbnails

If you have a Froyo device you will now find in the settings under "Experimental" an option where you can select if plugins are always loaded, never or on demand. This is mostly about Flash and is marked "experimental" for a reason.

Unfortunately YouTube thumbnails are not shown anymore. I am investigating.

Froyo: No Apps2SD

After a quick trial period where I enabled apps2sd I disabled it again. In the case of NewsRob it wouldn't help you much anyway and it kills auto-syncing when the phone's SD card is mounted on a PC. It also removes a widget and it seems the widgets cannot be re-added again.

Given the very minor benefits in case of NewsRob and the hard to explain nasty side effects, I decided to disable it again.

This decision is final for Froyo. I will re-evaluate it when the next Android version is out.

I have the feeling that major changes are coming, because this feature is targeted at games that could now have large static assets, say 50MB+., but unfortunately it doesn't work for games as those are the most pirated apps anyway and are fake-secured by copy protection. Copy protected apps are not compatible with apps2sd though ;(

Hence I would expect that apps2sd will evolve to something more useful over the next releases.


  1. Thanks for the mark read until here. I've been wanting that feature :) Love the product. Bought pro when you went pro. Keep updating as each one keeps getting better

  2. Hey Mark.

    Thanks for your support and your kind words. It never gets old ;) and counter balances the Market comments ;)

  3. Long-time fan, first-time commenter...

    Thanks for the amazing app. And thanks for the Mark Read Until Here functionality. Now if there's any way you manage to implement that feature on the main Google Reader web app, I'd give you my first-born.

  4. Trent, not sure this would motivate me appropriately. You want me to take care of some loud, small and human being?

    Hmmh, let me think about it ;)

  5. Super Thanks for the 'Mark Read Until Here' feature. It works as expected/suggested.

  6. Mariano, as usual, great job!

    I would like to coment you something that I am not sure if you "fix" (if it can be called bug) it in this version.

    Anyway, the problem is when you have autosync only with WIFI. I have detected that although you don't have the Wifi activated, Newsrob tries to sync. It shows the progress in the notification (it says, sync online, deleting articles, ...) area, and after a few secs, it cancels the synchronization. I see it as a "bug" because it seems Newrob if syncing although after a few secs it stops.

    Do you know what I am trying to explain?


  7. Mark read until here?! That's genius! That's the feature I never knew I've always wanted.

  8. (Original)KapCom, verb: ;) Glad you like it.

    Jhuesos, the NewsRob sync is triggered and will delete read articles, but will then go to sleep again. It is not syncing when there is no WiFi.

    NewsRob is triggered at certain time intervals and then does only what is possible without the network and then goes to sleep until the next sync time.

    Does this help you?

  9. Yes, Mariano, it helps.

    I thought that the app didnt do anything, but it seems I was wrong. It's a good idea to try delete the old articles.

    I think the next step would be to make a "smart-sync", which when you read and article (1 minute after, for example), mark as read in your GReader and delete it from the cellphone.

    And the program will wait to have WIFI to download new articles.

    I dont know if it is a feauture requested, I will see and if it is not, I will create one, because it could be a good idea (and I would explain it better ;) )

  10. Hi there. Enjoying the new version, but have been having an annoying error occasionally. Haven't been able to tell very precisely, but for some articles it gives an error accessing file:///android_asset/webkit. I just upgraded to the Vibrant, so I'm not sure if it is an issue with the new version of NewsRob, something to do with the Touch Wiz ui, or something else entirely.

  11. Great app ...Where I can buy the Pro version and how much it cost ?

    Greetings from Argentina.


  12. Hi with this new update I don't know why, but it no longer syncs read states correctly with google reader.

    Things that I have read on the app and shared no longer syncs with greader. This is really annoying since I get a lot of feeds.

    The odd thing is, I tried re-installing Newsrob and it seems to have remembered all my read states and shared it which I marked in the app. Am I doing something wrong?

  13. Errr wait on second thought, I guess the re-install worked it seems like it's syncing now. Sorry for the pre-mature post.

  14. Jhuesos, NewsRob starts an up-sync-only run 3 minutes after your most recent change. Enable Settings/UI/Sync In Progress Notification to see when it is happening.

  15. Troll,
    no it's not the new version. It "only" happens for the most recent Samsung and HTC devices.

    I have no clue what it is about, but I am on it:

  16. Gringo, thanks.

    It's €4.99 and besides the Android Market you can also get it at the AndAppStore:

    Jonathan, please keep an eye on it and if you find something fishy, please come to the list:

  17. Keep up the great work. I think NewsRob is probably my most used app and I barely go near Google Reader on my laptop anymore!

  18. Ebauche, thanks.

    Yep, same here. In particular for partial feeds it feels much faster to me to use NewsRob than the webapp.

  19. I think I may have bumped into a bug. If I have the show only unread active and
    1. tap in start view on all articles
    2. tap again on all articles
    3. tap the oldest article
    4. move to newer article
    5. return to older article when I realize that I wanted to share that
    6. share it via gmail
    7. after having sent the article to my friend, I am no longer offered to move to newer articles. The newest has become the older article than what I was viewing and the one I viewed at step 4 is no longer listed at all.

    So, I guess returning from sharing has some form of bug in listing articles. Or is it meant to do this?

    Great app anyway and do like using it. :)

  20. JPalko, very observant. It's not a bug, but a corner case you hit ;)

    When you go to another app, e.g. Gmail, NewsRob gets suspended. When you return to it I often cannot access the cursor I had anymore. I do a little bit of magic, so that this issue is transparent to you in most cases, but for performance reasons I cannot catch every case.

    You see only unread articles in your article list, right?

  21. Yes, only unread listed.

    I've noticed that when I don't hop back and forth this doesn't happen at all but if I move back and forth from newer to older it happens always.

  22. That's because I store at which position I am and what article ID I see when NewsRob is suspended, when it gets resumed it loses the cursor and its position but I just move the cursor to the stored position and I then check if it is the same article is there. If not, I rollback to the default behavior.
    Any change to the cursor (new articles inserted/removed before it, change of order etc.) will then fail.

  23. Please bring back full screen mode with a double tap

  24. Hey Patrick.

    It's a pro-only feature as I said in the previous blog post. It seems I accidentally didn't implement that properly.

    After a while I will likely release it to the free version as well, but right now there is also a bug blocking that. When toggling into full screen mode sometimes the ads and the status bar hangs.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  25. Hi! Pro-user and fan here.

    Feature request: "Feed Settings: Do not download this feed".

    I have several video and high-traffic blogs in my Google Reader that I don't really want or need on my phone - could you implement a way of excluding such feeds?

  26. Hi Matt.

    Via the "Manage Feed" menu you can set specific feeds to "Articles". Then only the article text is fetched (this happens during the sync as the articles' texts are metadata), but the content (images etc.) is not downloaded.

    You cannot exclude specific feeds from syncing however, because the GR API doesn't support that in an efficient matter.

    There are workaround suggestions:


  27. On HTC desire the notifications on the status bar don't works

  28. Alessandro, you mean the sync-in-progress notification?

    Yes, I had to disable it for the Desire, because it is buggy. When HTC releases a new version we can try again.

  29. Dear Sir,

    This is a lovely app, it allows me to catch up with my multiple feeds during my work commute. And just from reading a few of the comments here, I can tell I have not begun to fully use all the features NewRob has to offer. I plan to educate myself and upgrade to pro in the near future.

    Gratefully yours,
    A G1 user

  30. Thanks Bibliocephalus.

    Very much appreciated.

    Have a look at if you want to shape the future of NewsRob.