Friday, December 23, 2016

Getting smarter! (V1.4 released)

Today we released an initial version of our new article classifier. We are now ranking each article in NewsTab for importance. We use various signals to measure importance, such as popularity of articles among our readers, popularity on social networks and media coverage on similar articles. The first visible implementation of that is exposed in the “Best” tab, added to our “Home” section. This tab shows the best stories of everything you follow on NewsTab. It is based on the article importance rank, as well as on the reading pattern of each specific user. This is still an experimental feature and as such is only exposed on our web version. We look forward to your feedback and hoping to improve and add to our Android app in next release.

In addition, we have added some new features based on user feedback as well as more backend improvements. Some highlights our below:

  • Better and faster article loading experience in both Web and Android versions.
  • Dynamic section bar on our Web version and better drag & drop functionality.
  • OPML import and feed organizer were added to our Android app.
  • More options to our Android app, such as Mark as read on scroll and the ability to hide read articles

This is also an opportunity to update about the status of our iOS app (we are constantly asked about that by our users)... Well, the development is progressing nicely and we hope to open it up for initial beta testing in February.
Finally, many of you have asked us to add notifications to our Android app… we haven’t done it so far, as we think it's critical notifications are smart and well targeted before introduced… and we are not yet ready for that...stay tuned for next release (in 3-4 weeks), for smart notifications on our Android app…:-)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Version 1.3 released

Happy to announce the first version update since our launch in October. We had a great ride since, with over 15K new users and tones of very helpful feedback.

This release was mainly focused on bug fixes and flow improvements (many issues surfaced after launch, with very effective feedback from our supportive community of power users) and addition of some basic features we could not finish in time for launch.

The most noticeable one is probably the ability to swipe full articles on our Android app.


In addition, we have added a bunch of other small (but important) additions to both Web and Android versions:

  • Keyboard support and keyboard shortcuts in web version (hit Shift + ? to view the shortcuts menu).
  • OPML flow added to web version to allow easy Import/Export of feeds from/to other RSS readers. The flow will be added to our Android client soon.
  • Some improvements to our backend and clients to allow for more efficient data usage and better performance. More improvements are in the oven.
  • On-boarding tutorial for our Android app.
  • Better Simplified Article support.
We have a long list of features and improvements planed for the near future, so please stay tuned...:-)

Feedback and suggestions from our growing community of power users are very welcome. Your feedback is probably the best source for future innovation and improvements on our side.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Heard the news?

NewsTab is officially launched!

Launch went very well! On the first weekend we got thousands of new users and over 100 reviews on Google Play with 4.6 average ratings!  We also got some good coverage on tech blogs, such as The Next Web and Android Headlines.

Looking ahead, we have so much to improve... and we are so excited about making this happen. Major efforts for the next quarter include iOS release and the addition of some basic reader features we still miss (like OPML import, for example...:-). Further down the road is a new set of smart algorithms that will help us surface and summarise the top news from your feeds.

This is the perfect time to say thank you to our great beta community...:-) We wouldn’t have made it without you… many cool features suggested and lot's of bugs identified... we really appreciate your support and hope you’ll stay with us for a long and exciting journey of making NewsTab the best ever newsreader! 

For those of you who want to keep in touch and test future beta versions with unreleased features, please consider joining our  Beta Testers Community on Google Plus. 


Friday, September 2, 2016

and the Widget is...

and the Widget is...

Still in beta, but launching soon. We got tones of feedback in our various beta channels. Most of them are very encouraging and supportive. People love what we do... and that feels great!

Obviously, we are still missing many features. The top request from our beta testers was to add an Android widget... well, here it is!

It took a bit longer than we thought and three or four iterations until it felt right... we looked at quite a bit news widgets and felt there is room for a different approach. We thought the most important thing about a news widget, other than its looks, is the ability to easily customise news sources and display preferences... and this is exactly what we did... hope you like it... please tell us what you think...