Archive for February 2011
I am really excited as the NextGen Reader update v1.5 is available in the marketplace.
Not-a-long-history, NG Reader was released on 22-Jan and since then it has been updated five times which means on average it’s been updated every six days. Not that I feel good about pushing updates so fast, but I was overwhelmed with so much positive feedback and number of feature requests; in addition to fixing some crash issues.
Okay let’s go through major changes for the update version 1.4 and 1.5:
- The brand new tile and UI gives app a beautiful visual experience.
- “Sync changes only” feature: Being an offline reader, NG Reader allows you to mark items as read, add stars or share articles at anytime. The important thing is NG Reader will smartly sync the changes in background at specified interval, but if you don’t have network available, it won’t complain or drain your battery. However, when you launch the application next time and do “sync/refresh”, it will update your changes to server and then download new items.
- Fixed crashes, more stable and improved performance.
But many a time, I felt the need to just sync changes and not to download new items, since I was moving to Google web reader or another application on my PC or Tablet.
So with NG Reader, now you have the ability to sync only changes and not fetch any new items, before moving to your PC or Tablet. It’s very simple but again very useful feature.
See the NextGen Reader v1.5 highlights in below video:
On Frequent Updates: I don’t like to push frequent updates, unless until there is a critical bug. The fact that great user experience comes from thoughtful design & clear thinking and so do in our case, I desire of NG Reader to always provide a great experience with simplicity and performance.
Also I really appreciate the feedback in any possible way, so do tweet us or write an email about the features you want or discuss new ideas on our group. Find the contact points below:
Email: ngreader at live.com
I am excited to tell that NextGen Reader v1.2 is now available in marketplace. Below is a quick summary on changes followed by detailed description on back button design.
- Completely integrated hardware back button. (no separate back button on application bar)
- Change theme within application. (set light theme in application while keeping dark theme in OS)
- Improved UI and enhanced performance.
More ways to connect: I have created a new Google group to discuss about new features or change existing ones or report bugs. The group will help us in tracking similar requests as well as the different opinions.
Please join the group here: http://groups.google.com/group/ngreader
Back Button Philosophy:
Since NextGen Reader release; which was just ten days ago, I have received lot of feedback around the use of hardware back button and a separate back button on application bar. The design followed the approach where if you select any feed or folder and later wanted to go back you will have to use back button on application bar and whereas for leaving the application use the hardware back button. The design was based upon the WP7 guidelines that the hardware back button should be used only for navigation between pages or dismissing any popup’s. However there can be exceptions to above rule as well. But due to multiple reasons and for the first release, I decided to follow the guidelines strictly to pass the app certification without any problems.
However the feedback received indicated clearly that back button was a common issue and resulted in poor experience for many users. Thus i decided to fix it immediately and the good news –> update is available now as i am writing this post. In fact during the update submission, I gave a detailed description about the scenario in testing notes so that application passes the certification successfully.
TIP for WP7 developers: I would like to share this as a tip for other developer’s on WP7 platform, that they should make good use of “testing notes” field available during submission whenever you are doubtful about a feature or feel that the tester might not understand the scenario completely. This way you have good chances of passing the certification rather than having to re-submit the application.
I am sure that the new update will make the experience top-notch for existing users and easy for those who install the application first time.