One of the new features in Fiery Feeds 2.0 are the Smart Views. I want to go a bit more into detail in this blog post.
The big one among the Smart Views is definitely the Hot Links view.

Hot Links

Fiery Feeds calculates as score for every link, the temperature if you will. This was inspired by the now defunct self hosted feed reader Fever. This temperature is based on both how many of your articles and feeds link to given website and how old these articles are.

That means that the most important news are always on top, and cool down over time. Additionally links to the same domain are not counted, and it takes a least links from two different feeds to get a link into the Hot Links view.

If you’re really into a specific topic, and subscribed to most of the important feeds, there is even an option in the middle of toolbar to limit the Hot Links to your articles. That is only links to any of your articles will be shown, and these links can are treated a little differently: Instead of the url the title of the article will be displayed.

Low Frequency View

The Low Frequency view that shows only feeds that do not post often. It’s akin to the Infrequent Stories feature recently launched by Newsblur, only that everything happens on device and that it’s available for all services.

Most news feeds are always up to date and publish new articles whenever something happens. But then there are the blogs and authors, who post thoughtful pieces, but only post a few times per month. The Low Frequency view highlights these articles, by showing only article from feeds that post less than 0.1 articles per day, or one article every ten days. You can change this threshold in the new Expert Settings.

High Frequency View

The High Frequency view is the exact opposite of the Low Frequency view. It shows posts from all feeds that post more than two articles per day. (This too can be changed in the Expert Settings). You might ask yourself how this can possibly help catching up with your news.

This folder allows you to mark old news articles read, and to get back to a manageable number of articles, without losing any of the articles from slower feeds.

Must Read Folder

The Must Read folder is probably the least interesting thing in the Smart Views section: If you create a regular folder and name it “Must Read”, any feed in this folder will also be highlighted in the Must Read view.

This view is not especially smart, but I find it really useful to have a couple of hand selected feeds at the top of the list. It means that when I finished the smart views section, I’ve already read all of the important stories of the day.

Fiery Feeds 2.0 uses a new theming format, and does not work with themes from version 1.x.

File Format

The new themes files use a JSON like syntax, in that it is JSON, but also allows comments, which are stripped before parsing the file.

The file name needs to end in .fftheme. All other files will be ignored.

The colors are written down as hex colors and support an optional alpha channel, either in the form of RGB, RRGGBB or RRGGBBAA, without the leading ‘#’. Empty strings will be treated as completely transparent.

The file needs to be UTF8 encoded. Why would you use any other encoding anyway?

Keys in the theme file

General Colors

kFieryColorsAccentColor Color The accent color. Used for icons in the feeds list and more.
kFieryColorsBackgroundColor Color Background color. Used for list entry backgrounds and more.
kFieryColorsBackgroundAccentColor Color Background accent color. Used in spaces between list entries.
kFieryColorsForegroundColor Color Default text color
kFieryColorsForegroundAccentColor Color Text accent color. Used for article preview text and more.
kFieryColorsWindowBackgroundColor Color App background. Visible as the separator between article and feed list on iPad.
kFieryColorsBlurColor Color Color for full screen blur effects. Use alpha.

Navigation Bar

The navigationbar uses a gradient from top to bottom as a background. In most standard themes the same color with a different alpha value is used.

kFieryColorsNavbarForegroundColor Color Left and right button color
kFieryColorsNavbarGradientTopColor Color Background gradient top color. Use alpha.
kFieryColorsNavbarGradientBottomColor Color Background gradient bottom color. Use alpha.
kFieryColorsNavbarAccentColor Color Color of the line at the bottom of the navigation bar.
kFieryColorsNavbarTitleColor Color Title text color, if applicable.

Notification View

kFieryColorsNotificationBackgroundColor Color Notification overlay background color. Uses blur, so do you alpha.
kFieryColorsNotificationForegroundColor Color Notification overlay text color.

Toolbar

kFieryColorsToolbarBackgroundColor Color Bottom toolbar background color. Uses blur, so do you alpha.
kFieryColorsToolbarForegroundColor Color Bottom toolbar buttons color

Table View Cell

kFieryColorsCellHighlightBackgroundColor Color List entry background color when selected.
kFieryColorsCellHighlightForegroundColor Color List entry text color when selected.
kFieryColorsCellSeparatorColor Color List separator color

Article Cell Buttons

Article cell buttons are the buttons, that are revealed when you swipe on an article. This includes the read and quick share gesture.

kFieryColorsCellButtonsBackgroundColor Color Default buttons background color.
kFieryColorsCellButtonsForegroundColor Color Default buttons color.
kFieryColorsCellButtonsHighlightBackgroundColor Color Buttons background color, while mark read or quick share is triggered.
kFieryColorsCellButtonsHighlightForegroundColor Color Buttons color, while mark read or quick share is triggered.

Image View

kFieryColorsImageViewBackground Color Background color when viewing an image fullscreen. Background is blurred, use alpha.

Article View

kFieryColorsArticleBackgroundColor Color Article background color.
kFieryColorsArticleBackgroundAccentColor Color Article background accent color. Used for blockquotes, code, …
kFieryColorsArticleTitleColor Color Article title color
kFieryColorsArticleTextColor Color Article text color
kFieryColorsArticleTextAccentColor Color Text accent color. Used for links.

App Settings

kFieryColorsReadArticleAlpha Float Alpha Value of Title, Subtitle and Image of read articles in the article list
kFieryColorsLightStatusbar Boolean Light Statusbar with Navigation bar
kFieryColorsDarkScrollbars Boolean Dark Scroll Bars on all screens
kFieryColorsBackgroundBlurStyle UIBlurEffectStyleDark
UIBlurEffectStyleLight
UIBlurEffectStyleProminent
UIBlurEffectStyleRegular
UIBlurEffectStyleExtraLight
UIBlurEffectStyleNone
Effect Style of all blur views (Navigation Bar, Toolbar, Background Views)

Sample files

You can download the template file I use for new themes. It contains all keys and comments, but no values.

As I previously said, the focus of version 2.0 is on new layout and modernising the app, so I have a good foundation to build on for the next couple of years. I also said there wouldn’t be any new features, but I just couldn’t help myself when I had the idea to add what I call Smart Views.

New Layout

The first thing about the new layout is, the new, larger article view. The article list is still as configurable as always, but it now has a lot more space to shine.

The article view also gets a lot more space. It’s now displayed modally above the article list and can be dismissed by simply swiping down. Or from the edge on either side. Or by tapping on the blurred content. What I’m saying is, it’s easily dismissed, making getting through a lot of articles easy.

There are also a ton of smaller UI improvements across the app, for example you can drag the article view toolbar from the bottom to either side, or the parallax effect when scrolling in the article list. You should really just see it yourself.

Modernized App

Aside from the new layout, the app now supports everything you’d expect from a modern iOS app.

3D Touch

Full support for 3D Touch and Peek / Pop on devices with 3D Touch support. You can press to preview article lists, hot links, articles or preview images to jump directly to the image viewer (quite useful for comics). Yes, I know I’m late on that one.

Drag and Drop

On the iPad you can now drag articles right from article list to other apps. You can even choose whether the preview image or the HTML content is included.

Continuity

Also new: Support for Hand off / Continuity. I’m surprised, that this has not been implemented by other apps yet. If you’re reading an article on your phone, your other devices, including iPads and Macs will no offer to open the corresponding website, so you can continue reading on another device if you want.

Haptic Feedback

On newer iPhones, Fiery Feeds will also respond using the taptic engine to your taps and swipes. Apps without this just feel a bit flat in my opinion.

State Restoration

If the app quits in the background, the next time you launch it, Fiery Feeds will continue right where you left off. Yep, late on that one too.

iPhone X support

And of course the new app is optimized for the iPhone X.

Smart Views

There are four Smart Views in Fiery Feeds, but the most notable is probably the Hot Links view.

Hot Links

Hot Links searches all your articles for links, and ranks them based on how many articles link to a given website and how old these articles are. It gives you a quick overview of the most important events.

Frequency Folders

There are also two folders based on posting frequency.

The first is the Low Frequency Folder that shows only feeds that do not post often. It’s akin to the Infrequent Stories feature recently launched by Newsblur, only that everything happens on device and that it’s available for all services.

The second folder is the polar opposite, the high frequency folder. I usually use this folder to mark older articles read, if I’m behind of my feeds. Using this folder I can reduce the number of articles, without losing any of the articles from slower feeds.

Must Read

The fourth folder is the least exciting. It’s a specially highlighted folder with your most important feeds. Simply create a folder and name it “Must Read”. It’ll be shown in the Smart Views section above all other folders.

Pricing

I released a new, free version of Fiery Feeds about a year ago with an optional subscription, that unlocked a few additional features. That version eventually replaced the paid version. Fiery Feeds 2.0 will be an update to the subscription based app, at no additional cost (That’s why it’s a subscription).

I have also updated the paid version up to now, despite it not being for sale anymore. Version 2.0 marks the first update, that the paid version will not receive. As a sort of upgrade pricing, the premium subscription is currently 50% off, that is $4.99 per year. Anyone who subscribes until the end of February will stay at this rate until they unsubscribe.

Fiery Feeds 2.0 is available as a free download.

A little update on Fiery Feeds 2.0: It’s going to be a redesign without adding new capabilities.

Instead I’m going to focus on removing old code and no longer needed options like the custom share sheet (since third party apps can only be integrated using the system share sheet) or the old web view (in favour of SFSafariWebView – Note: I’m not talking about the web mode in the article view) and lots of custom navigation code, which will be the biggest chunk of work.

The plan is to make Fiery Feeds feel like a modern app again, with 3D Touch, Peek & Pop, Drag & Drop, Taptic feedback and to have a modern codebase on which I can build for the coming years.

The new layout focuses much more on the article list.

And the article view now uses much more of the screen by default.

Please note that these are only mockups. While I am working on the update the current dev build looks nothing like them yet.

Fiery Feeds will be available as a subscription based app for a year next week and version 2.0 will be a free update to this app.

The next big update to Tidur is here with a couple of small improvements and bug fixes and a big new feature: Cloud Sync.

You can now sign up for Tidur Cloud and sync all your timers between your devices. It can even push changes like starting a timer to all other devices. This is not yet enabled server side, but everything in the app is already setup. If everything goes according to plan I’ll activate this feature in the coming weeks.

Why a custom solution instead of iCloud? For one, it enables things like push notifications, or Alexa integration (potentially – no promises yet). It is why easier to debug if anything does go wrong. Buy the biggest reason, if I’m honest, is that I simply wanted to build a small web service, because I haven’t done that in a long time and Tidur is a nice, simple app that allows me to play with new tech.

Cloud Sync is a new in-app purchase in Tidur, and is included in the full unlock, now called Tidur Pro.

You can download Tidur for free at https://geo.itunes.apple.com/de/app/multi-timers-2/id720812035?mt=8&at=10l5Fg&ct=cc