10-17-12 03:08 AM
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  1. yllus's Avatar
    The Basics

    App Name: Read It Offline

    Price: $1.99

    App World URL: BlackBerry App World: Read It Offline

    Our Website URL: readitoffline.com

    Our E-mail: info@readitoffline.com

    Screenshots: Scroll down to the bottom, please!


    The Full Story

    Yesterday, Research In Motion approved my second app, Read It Offline for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

    Read It Offline is both an RSS reader and a Readability client. I thought it was important to offer both things in the app because I myself save articles for reading later in two different ways: I keep up with my regular RSS feeds, but I also use a Readability bookmarklet on my desktop PC for reading later. I felt that I'd want all of that content to end up on my PlayBook, so Read It Offline is effectively two apps in one!

    Of course, as the name suggests, Read It Offline is built to allow you to do your reading in places where Wi-Fi isn't available. To achieve that, the app downloads the full text and all of the images within it to your PlayBook's storage. When I say the full text, I mean that if your RSS feed links to a brief excerpt or just the first page of an article, Read It Offline takes an extra step and retrieves the full, multi-page article to be saved to your PlayBook. I really hate settling down for a long commute with my PlayBook only to find I have just one paragraph of an interesting story on my tablet.

    Okay, enough text! Here are some full-size screenshots of the app!


    Screenshots

    Screenshot #1: This is the main screen of the app; your reading list on the left and the pane to actually read is on the right. The buttons on the top right allow you to maximize the reading pane or favourite the story for easy access later (in your Favourites).



    Screenshot #2: The reading pane maximized.



    Screenshot #3: Tap on the magnifying glass in the top left corner and you'll get access to the Filters pane. Here you can select an individual RSS feed to view the stories from, or all RSS feeds mixed together, or your Readability story list, or your Favourites.



    Okay, that's all I've got. Hope someone out there likes this! Please PM me or e-mail info@readitoffline.com if you need support or require an evaluation copy for review (hint hint CrackBerry.com staff).
    Last edited by yllus; 06-12-12 at 07:39 AM.
    06-12-12 07:37 AM
  2. yllus's Avatar
    I'll reserve this second post for updates made to the app.
    06-12-12 07:40 AM
  3. Innovatology's Avatar
    Looks nice! Please add Google Reader synchronization and the ability to read RSS feeds by folder.
    Akuji_ism and Hobbes2099 like this.
    06-12-12 10:08 AM
  4. yllus's Avatar
    Looks nice! Please add Google Reader synchronization and the ability to read RSS feeds by folder.
    A number of people have mentioned Google Reader syncing ability; I'll have to delve deeper into that soon and see what the difficulty level is, thanks.

    I put an update (v1.0.1.18) on sale yesterday to quickly address a number of bugs with the app, mostly concerned with the process of adding new RSS feeds to the app.
    06-14-12 09:13 AM
  5. Torresr's Avatar
    Google Reader sync would be fantastic, as well as categories, the ability to rename your feeds in the filter list, zoom in & out on articles as well as font options and maybe have the ability to delete some articles from the device. Articles with embedded video on wifi has scrolling issues. I am also having trouble adding some rss feeds such as - "news.google.ca" and "theverge.com"

    Those are some key features that I personally want for this app but I think it would effect quiet a few number of people as well especially since there aren't any elite rss readers let alone combined with a functional offline reader.

    Overall I like the app its simple and easy to use.
    Last edited by Torresr; 06-15-12 at 03:39 PM.
    06-15-12 12:45 PM
  6. Shira3's Avatar
    Really appreciate having complete articles to read offline. Also, the full screen is fantastic for photo viewing (for example, "photo of the day" feeds). I'm now able to easily and quickly save everything that I want to read offline by using Read It Offline for subscribed feeds and ReadItOnTouch for individual articles that I come across when browsing. Thanks to the developers!

    I would like to second the request for the ability to manually delete articles.
    Last edited by Shira3; 06-15-12 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Added request
    06-15-12 05:36 PM
  7. WakyEggs's Avatar
    Looks like an interesting app! Still looking for a good rss reader. But I am going to wait for google reader sync first, and see what other feature will be there. But I definitely like the readability feature!
    06-15-12 05:43 PM
  8. yllus's Avatar
    Google Reader sync would be fantastic, as well as categories, the ability to rename your feeds in the filter list, zoom in & out on articles as well as font options and maybe have the ability to delete some articles from the device. Articles with embedded video on wifi has scrolling issues. I am also having trouble adding some rss feeds such as - "news.google.ca" and "theverge.com"

    Those are some key features that I personally want for this app but I think it would effect quiet a few number of people as well especially since there aren't any elite rss readers let alone combined with a functional offline reader.

    Overall I like the app its simple and easy to use.
    It's very interesting that Google Reader has become *the* way to read RSS - I considered it when I began writing this app, but not too seriously. I'll start reading its documentation this week, but no promises! (Mostly on account of my wrists needing a break from typing lately.)

    Could you shoot me the URL to a feed with embedded video in it so I can see what I can do about that? (If not I'll create a test feed myself with a YouTube embed in it.)

    I'll check out the feeds at news.google.ca and theverge.com as soon as I get home tonight.

    Would you mind detailing what those features would be? I'm a medium-heavy user of RSS so I'm actually quite curious what really demanding users want out of an app.

    Really appreciate having complete articles to read offline. Also, the full screen is fantastic for photo viewing (for example, "photo of the day" feeds). I'm now able to easily and quickly save everything that I want to read offline by using Read It Offline for subscribed feeds and ReadItOnTouch for individual articles that I come across when browsing. Thanks to the developers!

    I would like to second the request for the ability to manually delete articles.
    Hurray! I will quickly note that Read It Offline actually has the same capabilities as ReadItOnTouch - using Readability, it too can save long articles and their images using a bookmarklet on your PC/Mac to your PlayBook.

    Looks like an interesting app! Still looking for a good rss reader. But I am going to wait for google reader sync first, and see what other feature will be there. But I definitely like the readability feature!
    To be honest and not make you possibly wait for no reason, you may be waiting a while for Google Reader sync. Aside from that, I do figure on adding a couple of extra features:

    - Font size selection (a toggle between 3-5 font sizes, I think)
    - Previous/Next buttons for when you're in full screen mode and want to page through feed items
    - Add a search box within the Filters pane to do full text search

    No specific dates on any of the above yet, but they'll probably come in the order they're listed. Thanks for your consideration, though!
    06-18-12 08:35 AM
  9. Hobbes2099's Avatar
    Looks interesting and I'm always interested in helping out an engaged developer. As others mention, I'm also an active Google Reader user and allowing importing and two-way sync would guarantee my purchase.

    Does the app support any Send To or Share features? Sharing to Facebook, Twitter and G+ would be great.

    I've also learned to love Pocket (formerly Read it Later) and the Extension for Chrome allows me to quickly and easily send items from my browser to the Pocket app.
    would appreciate having these and other offline sites available through the app.

    Keep up the good work!
    06-19-12 12:53 AM
  10. Hobbes2099's Avatar
    Double post but with the best intentions: decided to give it a try and took the plunge. Purchased!

    Right off the bat; I love it only weighs 500+ KB. I'm a big fan of small apps.

    I just realized that Readability is a platform akin to Pocket. I will give it a try and see how it compares. Would still love to see Pocket considered (and maybe implemented).

    The app loads up really fast.

    So far, I've only noticed one bug or an opportunity to improve:
    Clicking from one article to the next will freeze some aspects of the app.

    First article loads immediately. Scrolling through article list and the article itself is smooth and responsive.




    Clicking on the second article will also load the appropriate article immediately. App remains responsive; both article list and article window scroll smoothly.



    The problems begin when I click for the third time.
    Clicking back to the first article will cause two problems,
    A) the reading pane will not render the selected article, keeping the same article in the window.
    B) the article highlighted in the article list will be correctly selected.
    C) I can no longer click on any article in the article list.
    D) everything else in the app works fine: article pane is still scrolling smoothly, article list also scrolls smoothly even if I can't click on any other article, every button works fine (maximize pane and minimize again, add reserved, log into Readability,



    I will try rebooting my PlayBook to see if that fixes the problem.
    06-19-12 01:31 AM
  11. Gorokos's Avatar
    Finally a Rss reader that allow reading offline like all the other google reader sync would be awesome
    It's very interesting that Google Reader has become *the* way to read RSS
    i don't think that google reader has become THE way to read rss it's more than it's one of the few way to sync rss to all machine we may have if people here are half like me they probably have lot of rss i got some that update 20 to 30 time a day so yea i get behind reading all the update without google sync i can't transfer all the Feed i did not read yet to another app that why we want google sync

    But for the Feed i'm not behind reading the update that app would be awesome
    06-19-12 02:50 PM
  12. Hobbes2099's Avatar
    Tried using the app again this morning after a reboot and I'm still getting the same glitches.
    Is anyone else having this problem?

    Any suggestions how to get rid of it?
    I'd rather not wipe the device, but I'm willing to consider it if it fixes my problem.
    06-19-12 03:56 PM
  13. yllus's Avatar
    Sorry that I've been away for a bit, but my wrists have been cramping on my lately (my day job is in software development and my body isn't too happy with me not taking a break in the evenings lately).

    Finally a Rss reader that allow reading offline like all the other google reader sync would be awesome i don't think that google reader has become THE way to read rss it's more than it's one of the few way to sync rss to all machine we may have if people here are half like me they probably have lot of rss i got some that update 20 to 30 time a day so yea i get behind reading all the update without google sync i can't transfer all the Feed i did not read yet to another app that why we want google sync

    But for the Feed i'm not behind reading the update that app would be awesome
    Hmm, good point - I hadn't thought about the multi-device aspect of it! The next bit of downtime I get I'll see what it takes to get Google Reader going. I bet they use OAuth, which I'm already set up to handle...

    Tried using the app again this morning after a reboot and I'm still getting the same glitches.
    Is anyone else having this problem?

    Any suggestions how to get rid of it?
    I'd rather not wipe the device, but I'm willing to consider it if it fixes my problem.
    Hobbes2099, I was pretty puzzled by your problem when I read it earlier... and then I updated one of my two PlayBooks to the OS 2.1 beta. I started having the exact same problems - it was like parts of the app weren't receiving touch input anymore. The progress indicator (in percentages) in the bottom right corner of the app also started responding very slowly. I think RIM really messed up the WebWorks system for the beta. So may I assume you're using the OS 2.1 beta on the PlayBook that you are having the problem upon? If not, I definitely need to get a list of questions ready for you to track down the source of the problem.
    06-19-12 08:51 PM
  14. Herve5's Avatar
    I am always shocked this Playbook community, which exists almost against the monopolies of Apple and Google, still immediately dreams of coming back in Google's arms with sync etc.

    It's a bit like these guys for who email = gmail.

    There must be 50 ways of cross-syncing two RSS readers other than telling everything to Google for them to earn more market shares... What about opml file exchange, and through ftp please, rather than (yet again) a private mechanism?

    I am definitely tempted to try Read it Offline, would it be for it's a young app, with a reactive developer, and not a dead heritage of last year's launch like for instance Baca I initially bought. And I just don't wish a Google compatibility.

    If you want a line of improvement, make it robust so as to accept 100 RSS sources at a time, with 1000 unread articles. If it scales this way, I'll be willing to pay $50 for it.
    07-15-12 12:26 PM
  15. LiteBulb's Avatar
    purchased! the offline mode is VERY NICE.

    my current reader only downloads a small summary/paragraph of the content, but "read it offline" did the extra and downloaded the whole content!

    however, i did experience slowness in maneuvering within the app. not a dealbreaker tho. i can live with it for now.
    07-16-12 12:45 AM
  16. LiteBulb's Avatar
    question: is there a better way to import/add my feeds to this reader? i have tonnes, and manually adding them consumes too much time.
    07-16-12 01:06 AM
  17. Herve5's Avatar
    question: is there a better way to import/add my feeds to this reader? i have tonnes, and manually adding them consumes too much time.
    Usually, the desktop newsreader do this via simple opml files, at least, that's how I did proceed for all my previous readers. I presume this would be easy to implement; I don't know how 'up in the wishlist' this feature is

    Being quite interested in the app myself, I'll probably be in the same situation as you in a short time!

    Herv
    07-16-12 04:09 AM
  18. LiteBulb's Avatar
    Hmmm.

    I added in a bunch of feeds. My navigation pane seems. To go abit wonky.

    The whole app window goes wonky, going out of place.
    Herve5 likes this.
    07-16-12 06:18 AM
  19. Herve5's Avatar
    Hmmm.

    I added in a bunch of feeds. My navigation pane seems. To go abit wonky.

    The whole app window goes wonky, going out of place.
    What is 'a bunch'? 100 sources?

    ... because that's why I'd buy it for...

    (also, Yllus -the dev, starting the thread here- could tell us up to how many he tested with?)
    H.
    Last edited by Herve5; 07-16-12 at 11:47 AM.
    07-16-12 11:24 AM
  20. yllus's Avatar
    I am always shocked this Playbook community, which exists almost against the monopolies of Apple and Google, still immediately dreams of coming back in Google's arms with sync etc.

    It's a bit like these guys for who email = gmail.

    There must be 50 ways of cross-syncing two RSS readers other than telling everything to Google for them to earn more market shares... What about opml file exchange, and through ftp please, rather than (yet again) a private mechanism?

    I am definitely tempted to try Read it Offline, would it be for it's a young app, with a reactive developer, and not a dead heritage of last year's launch like for instance Baca I initially bought. And I just don't wish a Google compatibility.

    If you want a line of improvement, make it robust so as to accept 100 RSS sources at a time, with 1000 unread articles. If it scales this way, I'll be willing to pay $50 for it.
    Whew, 100 RSS sources! Since this is a particularly technical crowd, let me take a minute to explain what the challenge is behind making Read It Offline a well performing app.

    What the app does isn't really all that complex, but it does briefly consume huge amounts of CPU and memory: It creates a connection to the RSS feed, saves all of it to memory, iterates through it to look at each item individually, and then spawns up to 20 new connections to each of the items to retrieve the entire article within them.

    It's that last part that's a killer - grabbing up to 20 items at once (it really usually does 3-4 at a time), figuring out what the body of text is and throwing out the rest, and then saving that to the local database. The PlayBook's CPU is remarkably fast for such a small, light device, but this is still pushing it to the limits. I've created a couple of queues to smooth out performance at the expense of taking longer to download data and images, but alas.

    Now, it is possible to make Read It Offline lightning fast and able to handle those 1000 articles, but it would require offloading some of that processing to a server. But now the problem is you have an external dependency - if that server goes down, all of the users of the app are boned. I figure that independence and fault tolerance are worth the brief slowdowns.

    purchased! the offline mode is VERY NICE.

    my current reader only downloads a small summary/paragraph of the content, but "read it offline" did the extra and downloaded the whole content!

    however, i did experience slowness in maneuvering within the app. not a dealbreaker tho. i can live with it for now.
    I just pushed an update to BlackBerry App World that is awaiting approval - it should help alleviate some of that slowdown.

    Hmmm.

    I added in a bunch of feeds. My navigation pane seems. To go abit wonky.

    The whole app window goes wonky, going out of place.
    I fixed that in the upcoming update - it should hopefully be available later tonight or early tomorrow. I'll reply to this thread again with the full list of fixes when that occurs. Sorry for the issue and thanks for the purchase!
    07-16-12 08:59 PM
  21. yllus's Avatar
    Wow, RIM's stepped it up with getting updates approved. Version 1.0.3.1 of Read It Offline is now live, including the following updates:

    • Significant improvements to RSS feed compatibility; should now read 99.9% of feeds out there - even the wackiest hosted FeedBurner feeds!
    • Fixed a bug with the UI where having more than 9 RSS feeds added led to overflowing text in the Filters pane, screwing up the alignment of the window.
    • A very minor UI update on the RSS screen; the top edge of feed titles are no longer clipped.
    • You can now press the Enter key on the virtual keyboard after typing out a RSS feed URL to submit it for addition.
    • The update counter is now more accurate in showing the progress of a feed update.


    Please let me know (either by PM or by e-mailing info@readitoffline.com) if you have any issues; thanks!
    LiteBulb and Akuji_ism like this.
    07-16-12 09:05 PM
  22. LiteBulb's Avatar
    @yllus

    where are the downloaded images stored? any particular folder where i can locate?

    also, can i purge old feeds? else it will eat into my storage as more and more images are downloaded.

    thanks for the great support.
    Last edited by LiteBulb; 07-16-12 at 09:08 PM.
    07-16-12 09:06 PM
  23. LiteBulb's Avatar
    What is 'a bunch'? 100 sources?

    ... because that's why I'd buy it for...

    (also, Yllus -the dev, starting the thread here- could tell us up to how many he tested with?)
    H.
    my bunch is 25. i would have added more, but its very tiring to add so many in a day =)
    07-16-12 10:52 PM
  24. Herve5's Avatar
    Whew, 100 RSS sources! (...) it does briefly consume huge amounts of CPU and memory
    Yllus, in what you describe it seems the lags are only associated to gathering the feeds, not afterwards when offline?
    If this is so it's not an issue for me as long as I can choose when updates occur: ideally, I'd preset a global update one hour before my wakeup, or before I leave home.
    The main thing is, once loaded, can I assume the big local database will be handled fluently?

    Now, it is possible to make Read It Offline lightning fast and able to handle those 1000 articles, but it would require offloading some of that processing to a server.
    Keep it all onboard. Depending on something outside would be a no go for me, unless it's a deselectable option and/or the external server is a php script I can install myself somewhere.
    Last edited by Herve5; 07-17-12 at 04:21 AM.
    07-17-12 01:52 AM
  25. sportline's Avatar
    would it work over the bridge...? or wifi only..?
    07-17-12 04:44 AM
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