Front Page Redesign, Login with Facebook, Google Reader Changes, and Bug Fixes

There are a lot of changes in this update, starting with a front page redesign to streamline it a bit and make the Feature Tour and Test Drive links more usable. We also added a login box directly to the front page to save an extra click, and while we were at it added Facebook Connect support so you can either login or create a new account using your Facebook credentials.

The Latest Optimizations and Bug Fixes

I just rolled out a large list of changes that include performance and touch optimizations and bug fixes. Most of them are subtle touches like adding consistency to some color changes and tweaking behaviors so they are a little more appropriate for both touch and mouse interaction.

A few that you may be more interested in are:

- Touch gestures now work on Opera Mobile on Android, and on every other Android browser I've tested. The exception is changing the font size by pinching. I've only been able to get that working on the iPhone.

Menu Changes and Better Support for Intermittent Connections

A new menu has been created to make navigation easier from the top of the page. Clicking the feed name will drop down a menu with entries like those at the bottom of the page. The existing settings menu that is accesses through the wrench icon has been widened.

All of the drop down menus will increase in size for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices to make them more accessible by touch.

Gestures, Flexible Font Sizes, and Animations

Today's update features some exciting new capabilities. For the first time FeedsAnywhere supports some touch screen gestures that will, hopefully, improve your mobile reading experience. If, for some reason, the presence of gestures is causing you problems there is a disable switch in the settings. I also added disable for favicons.

Supported Gestures

- Swipe left to expand or collapse the item while in Title View. This is especially useful when reading a long item that you want to get past because you won't have to scroll to the bottom before closing it.

Page Positioning and Icons

Today's update comes with a number of changes. The first one you may notice is the default positioning of the page on a mobile browser. Previously the address bar (and tabs in the case of Dolphin HD) remained on the screen, but now the screen is scrolled so they are hidden at the top and more usable content is shown. If you want the address bar back at any time simply scroll up and it's still there.

Going Backwards

One long standing open I haven't addressed has been getting the browser's back button to work. Because page numbers use hashes browser's would ignore a change and not go backwards. I'm please to say that this is no longer the case and moving back (or forward) will function just as you'd expect.

A Simple View

I uploaded a few more modifications, including some changes to Simple View. Simple View is a option through the wrench menu that is only applicable when using Title View. It is irrelevant when using Combined View.

If you use Title View and want to see just the title without the second line listing the date, Mark Read, and the feed then Simple View is for you. The difference between it and Title View is removing that line. That's not to say the the functionality is removed, it's just added to what is hidden and will appear along with the item's description when clicking to expand it.

Better News Reading

I uploaded some new changes that should translate into a better reading experience on FeedsAnywhere. Previously the feed content wasn't formatted so it could look haphazard at best when some images were being shown. Now it will float images to the sides so text can move around them or center them as appropriate given the size of the images compared to the screen.

There were also some bugs fixes and the usual performance improvements as I can find them.

A More Explicitly Scalable Interface

When we first started FeedsAnywhere we wanted to create a scalable interface that was consistent from phones through desktops, but as displays moved to widescreen formats it became apparent that we sometimes scaled too far. The solution is to provide each user some control to define a maximum width.

Using jQuery UI Resizable with margin: auto

I'm been working on some design elements of the site and recently ran into a bug in jQuery UI's Resizable plug-in that I found reported elsewhere, but never with a solution. Well I'm pleased to report that I found one, and it's pretty simple.

You will need to host your own copy of jquery-ui.js for this fix to work because we'll need to make a small edit to it.

Syndicate content

Navigation

j/k selects the next/previous item in the list
n/p in title view, selects the next item without opening it
space/shift+space moves to the next/previous page
shift+m open/close the main menu
shift+o open/close the options menu
enter select the highlight entry from a menu

Actions

enter,o in title view, expands or collapses the selected item
shift+a marks all items in the current page as read
d go to the item's list of similar stories
i/u designate the item as interesting/not interesting
m marks the item as read or unread
s adds or removes a star from the selected item
shift+s open/close the item's share menu
shift+u marks all items in the current page as unread
v opens the original source for the item in a new tab

Go To a New Page

g then h go to the homepage
g then i go to the Interesting items view
g then a go to the All items view
g then s go to the Saved items view
g then p go to the Popular items view
g then f go to the Select a Feed page

Application

- decrease the font size
= increase the font size
esc close any menu if open, otherwise deselect all items
? open/close a decription of keyboard shortcuts