Friday, November 4, 2011

Social Features Dropped From Google Reader

As you have probably learned by now Google dropped the social features in Google Reader.

More information here and here.

Unfortunately that means as a consequence in NewsRob "Share (in Reader)", "Share With Note" and "Like" need to be removed also.

I intend to release a new version of NewsRob without the aforementioned features.
Apart from the lack of social features it will be the same version of NewsRob, so that there shouldn't be any bugs in there.
However due to the lack of lead time I don't want to release the new version today, but wait until Monday and see if the beta testers on the mailing list find something that I broke.

If you don't want to wait or help test the new version, you can access it here.

If the backend of Google Reader drops the functionality sooner than Monday you may need to use that version anyway. Otherwise NewsRob will not be able to delete read articles that you recently liked or shared and have not been synced with the server.
This would be a temporary glitch though and repaired when you install the new version.

Btw. Work on a tablet version of NewsRob is still underway.

Update: Release 4.8.3 is live in the Android Market.


  1. May I suggest replacing these entries with AddtoReadItLater in the Menus. I know I can add to ReadItLater by click on Sharelink, but it is nice to avoid a button press when possible.

  2. Excellent news on the "Tablet" version. Will this work on Gingerbread tablets... or just Honeycomb/ICS?
    In any case, the current version works beautifully on my CyanogenMod. My investment in Pro has gone very far :)

  3. I am running Newsrob Pro on my NookColor (CyanogenMod), and it is working very nicely, thank you. Which features will the tablet version add? The one feature I am really missing is swipe to next item, instead of pressing the nav button, but that should come in handy even on phones.

  4. Miguel, I need to get a table version out first, but afterward there will likely be a feature where you can select your one or two favorite intent receivers, e.g. RIL, and then sharing with those are accessible with one tap from within NewsRob.

    harningt. Can't really say for certain, but the while version jungle gets quickly really complicated and takes away focus and time from real features. I still did this in the past, but I am not happy with my dev velocity. So this time I think I will start with an ICS version only and if Google (they don't support the N1? WTF what message does that send to providers and manufacturers?), the providers and the manufacturers are really bad in adapting ICS I will start to backport features.

    However like this release (483 from above), the pre ICS versions (Android 2.2+) will still be supported and gain bug fixes etc.

    Kalle, mostly it will use additional space that large screens offer. Also now thar Google finally provides high level UI elements, like the action bar, I will use those and get rid of home grown stuff.

    The problem with swiping is that content that is scrollable collides with swipe gestures. If you have fixed width content, e.g. an eBook, it's easy to also provide a horizontal swipe gesture. If you you, however, provide the ability to read arbitrary html content, that can be wider than the screen, than a horizonal swipe could be a swipe or scroll gesture.
    If you want to discuss this more, please come to the mailing list, because this is not right format. But if you do, give it some time first. Even if we would find a solution that I haven't thought about, it will not happen before the tablet/google tv release.

  5. Hmm, Google didn't really drop the social features, they just replaced them with +1 and share on G+. Can you add this in NewsRob? The "Send link" to the Google+ app is not really helpful as it works not they way it should (i.e. on a desktop computer).

  6. Stefan, they really did drop the social features of reader. They could have added G+ (which differs in tons of ways, from requiring extra clicks and a different interface, to the ever vanishing timeline vs. The read/unread RSS) in addition to the existing social functions, but they didn't. Heck, they didn't even provide a viable interface for people to try to re-find the contacts they had in reader (not that you'd want to waste time clicking through their g+ timeline about the minutia if life anyway). I love the Newsrob app, but as soon as hivemind or another viable reader greader replacement comes along, I'm ditch the ever more evil bigG.

  7. So, I'm thinking to NOT upgrade (downgrade) newsrob until google removes the back end. It sounds like my evidence for this will simply be a! failure to purge read items which have been shared or liked, right?

  8. Stefan, what Denny said.

    Furthermore they don't have a proper API yet and even the GR app doesn't do what you ask.
    I believe that it may be possible to use that functionality somehow, but it likely would mean to somehow execute JavaScript code to make this happen.
    But anyway, it's too early to tell what the replacement will be, if any. We'll see if users want to use G+ for sharing or if something else emerges. Maybe the G+ app will be improved so that you can share not only urls, but titles, do it in the background, even when offline. In that case NewsRob will make it easier to use that sharing (or others like Read It Later).
    Also they might provide an RSS feed with the shared articles from circles that you could subscribe to in GR (and therefore NewsRob).

    We'll see. Right now, it doesn't look like Google gave it much thought.

    Denny, you can skip the upgrade and try to use the features a little longer. At some point in time the calls to Google Reader will fail with exceptions, I am not sure when though.
    Maybe you can keep us in the loop here in the comments or on the list?

  9. Well, you could have the swipe gesture for next item in feed mode only, no horizontal scroll needed there.

    I did join the mailing list.

  10. Ok, I'll answer on the mailing list then.

  11. so, um... are you planning to add +1 or not?

  12. Cight, you can share an article with the G+ app.

    Future versions of NewsRob will make sharing with apps, including the G+ app, easier.

    But I will not call Google's API (if there will be one for that) to do the +1 during the sync, like I did with the Google Reader API.
    Having said that, we'll see, I might change my mind when the dust settled.

  13. Just curious if you've seen conversations like this, indicating that the sharing API may be persisting (and so far, my non-upgraded NewsRob is working fine):!msg/fougrapi/sKclYEY7XsY/CAm6R07PNPQJ

  14. Pfffft, can't they make up their mind. I already removed the stuff. It is quite some work to add it back. They're causing friction with this chaos.

    Ok, hold on to the old version then.

    I'll be on a mountainbiking trip next week. I will think about what to do afterwards. Maybe I will add it right away and will issue another update or I will add it after the ICS version.

  15. Hey, great job with newsrob ;) i got a quesiton will you release a features like we could swype over article swype to the right = next article and swype to the left = old article ?

    It would be so nice to get this :p

    Have a good day :)

  16. Hello,

    in first, i want to say thank you for this really great application.

    Im unsing it (in pro version) each days since a few years now.

    I am a web programmer and before Google removed the opportunities for sharing, I had a script that retrieved the "shared flow" google JSON and injecting them into my mysql database. Thus, in one click of the finger, I could save and share important information.

    Is it possible that in future we can imagine doing a "share" and point to a url for example? Or something that sends a stream of interest other than by email or social networks?

    Thank you in advance for your answer.

  17. Was on vacation, sorry for the late replay.

    Antoine, I don't see a good implementation for that feature. One issue is that there is no elegant way to distinguish between a scroll horizontally gesture and a swipe gesture. The only sane way is to start scrolling and when then end is reached then to swipe. However this only looks elegant for content that is of fixed width ;(

    Anyway, many people want this feature, so I will likely implement it nevertheless, but not in the near future. There are other things ahead.

    gbotom, this whole topic is best discussed on the mailing list. I will also post some news regarding that on the list this week.

    Share to a url sounds interesting and not too hard to implement, but that's how many features look at the beginning. In this case I guess that the next big issues would be "authorization" and "offline" then.

    If you want to carry on the discussion, please come to the list.

  18. Thank you very much for this great is just about perfect with one single missing feature which is tagging. Do you have any plans to add this feature at all?

    I also want to thank for not forcing swipe to navigate which is nightmare for wide technical posts

  19. Coskan, yeah, I think so, but not soon. Sorry.

    Sure. NewsRob should never be awkward to use.

  20. Could you add an option to add a "+1" on elements? I use that to circumvent the lack of social features and embed in the sidebar of my blog the articles I like most.
    Also, I would like to translate the app in Italian if possible (sorry, I don't remember if I already told you).

    1. Sorry, missed this one.

      As far as I know there is no proper API for that at the moment, but will be.
      However in a future version of NewsRob sharing will be easier and I plan to include +1 from the G+ app in that. Haven't thought that through yet.

      I don't think I want to do translations of NewsRob, because it would mean I have to coordinate with 10+ people for each release, even though maybe just a couple of words have changed.
      I may change my stance on that though. We'll see. Thanks for the offer.

  21. I'd also like a direct "+1" on articles

  22. For those looking for sharing similar to what Google used to offer, set up a account and install the deliciousdroid app. The in newsrob, share to delicious. Delicious creates an rss feed of your shared articles that other reader users can subscribe to.

  23. For those looking for sharing similar to what Google used to offer, set up a account and install the deliciousdroid app. The in newsrob, share to delicious. Delicious creates an rss feed of your shared articles that other reader users can subscribe to.

  24. Personally I'd rather not flood my Delicious account with news interleaved with "real" bookmarks. That would generate some confusion. :P

  25. Apologies for hi-jacking this thread but I haven't found any other way to get in touch. I've got two feature requests and would like to hear your response.

    First, I've been using NewsRob on my Nexus One for a couple of years and really enjoyed the volume button navigation. However, on my newly bought Galaxy Tab the volume buttons are, at least when I read in portrait mode, swapped with each other. The lower button is volume up and the topmost volume down. This makes navigation awkward, so: could you add an option to switch the functionalit of te buttons?

    Second, while offline reading is awesome some pages are severely garbled when read offline. Could you add the option to use cached content only when offline/without wifi but always download content anew otherwise?

    1. /m, the best is to come to the mailing list as there are other people who also participate in the conversation.

      I am not too happy about configuration options, but anyway, could you please submit (a) to

      Not sure about (b). Screenshots may be helpful. Do you use a mobilizer? Which one? Maybe discuss this on the list?

    2. I've submitted (a) and I've joined the list - tomorrow I'll grab and post some screenshots.

  26. So, Mariano. Any plans for your beautiful app now that Google is shutting Reader in July 2013? I use your app every day. Looking at alternatives that will give my synced, cross-platform access, but I would prefer to not have to. Hope you post a blog post soon. Thanks for your work.

  27. Hi RoamingChile.

    This is news to me. We started discussions though in the mailing list.

  28. I have found Newsrob & Google Reader invaluable for keeping track of newsfeeds. Feedly will be offering a clone of the Google Reader API to third party developers.http ://

  29. David, yes, thanks for the mention. I will look into that.

    This option is also discussed on the mailing list (see above).

  30. Google Reader will be discontinued. Which RSS reader WEB APP could I use that NewsRob will be compatible ?



  31. dms, Alternatives are discussed here:

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