As a new year begins I want to pause for a moment and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and to share a roadmap of the plans for the new year.

Looking Back

2018 was a big year for Fiery Feeds. Two major updates and its fifth birthday (it’s really been already 5 years since version 1.0, I can’t believe how fast that went). I’ve added a ton of new features this year, you can see them in the entire changelog, but I’m going to highlight the biggest features here.


First there was the big 2.0 update, which completed the transition to a free app with a $9.99 per year subscription for additional features.
The subscription is working really well, even if the first year isn’t up yet, and the yearly subscriptions not renewing yet. It’s almost as if letting users try the app first is a good thing.

Smart Views

Maybe the biggest feature this year are the so called Smart Views.
There is the Hot Links Smart View, which highlights the most linked to websites in your Feeds (a first in iOS RSS Readers), there are Smart Views based on the posting frequency, Smart Views for particularly long or short articles, a view for articles published today, and a specially highlighted Must Read folder, for the most important feeds.

Modern App

I’ve also brought the app up to speed with all of the new features in iOS that have been missing before 2.0. This included 3D Touch, Drag and Drop on iPad, Continuity to quickly open articles on other devices, Haptic Feedback and State Restoration.
But the most important thing was cleaning up the code base and bringing it to a state, I can build upon for the next few years. This allowed features link 3D Touch or the new layout, and some of the coming features.

Updated Design

It started in version 2.0 with an improved layout, and was completed in 2.1 with completely redrawn icons and a ton of smaller interface improvements and polish across the entire app.

Automatic Dark and Light Themes

One of the most requested feature is automatic switching between a light and a dark theme. You can now select the dark and light themes of your choice, and switch between them either based on the screen brightness, or with a double tap on the navigationbar.

Folder Groups

A rather hidden features, but maybe my personal favourite are folder groups. By naming feeds or folders in the form of “group/name”, they are grouped together in the feed list in Fiery Feeds, and because that name is synced to all your devices, these groups are automatically available everywhere.

New Services

Additionally I’ve added full two way syncing for FreshRSS, a self hosted RSS reader, and Pinboard, as a new Read-It-Later Service in Fiery Feeds.

Roadmap for 2019

Future plans are always subject to change, of course, but here’s the biggest feature I would like to add to Fiery Feeds next year (throughout two or three feature updates).

3 Pane Layout

More layout options, including a 3 pane layout, on larger iPads. This a more desktop-like layout, and it’s also a bit of preparation for an eventual Marzipan Mac app.

Standalone RSS Account

Exactly what it says. An RSS account that’s not tied to any sync service or server. The app already supports the required feed management, but since that is a Premium feature, and a standalone account without the ability to add new feeds is rather pointless, the standalone account is likely going to be a Premium feature as well.

Standalone Read It Later Account

Fiery Feeds already offers text extraction for any website, building upon that, a standalone read it later account shouldn’t be too hard to implement. Given that it also requires feed management, as well as text extraction, this is also going to be a Premium feature.

iCloud Sync

Fiery Feeds has a lot of settings. To make it easier to manage them across multiple device, I’m planning to add iCloud sync for settings. This includes all app-wide settings, as well as accounts (without login information though) and per-account settings, including article states in RSS accounts and saved links and states in read later accounts.

Search Everything

Full Text search for articles in feeds, folders or the entire account. Search for options in settings. Support for searching articles using Spotlight.

Saved Searches

By saved searches I don’t mean just simple search strings, instead I’m planning something powerful enough to replace all current Smart Views (except Hot Links). That is, multiple parameters to include or exclude certain articles based on search strings, published date, article length and so forth.

Marzipan Mac App

And finally, I’m waiting for Apple to release more information on UIKit on Mac, codenamed ‘Marzipan’. I’ve been meaning to do a Mac app for a while, but given that I’m a solo developer and time constraints, it’s simply not feasible to rebuild the entire UI in App Kit, but if I can reuse parts of the existing UI, that calculation changes. And I’m quite hopeful that it’s going to be possible to build a good Mac app using Marzipan, it is publicly available (after all, that’s more than a year of work on UIKit / Mac, compared to the current News and Home apps).

Woah? This site looks different now.

I’ve redesigned this site and I’m using the redesign as an opportunity to focus more and to bring all apps up to speed for iOS 7 (half a year late, but still). Unfortunately not all apps are selling well enough to warrant the work I’d have to put into them and so I have to retire some (most of them, really).

Countdown 2 and Clicklytics are no longer for sale as of today.

Countdown 2 was my very first app in the App Store and it has done well, but time has run its course and today the App Store is too crowded for an app that simple to bring in any meaningful revenue.

Clicklytics pretty much failed from the beginning when I realized that not even I really had a use for tracking just clicks. I should have stopped right then and cut my loses, but I’ve fallen for the classic sunken cost fallacy. Still, at least I can hope that I’ve learned from it.

Additionally I’ve removed both of my games, Dualism and Rotablocks from the website. They’re still available in the App Store, for free, but I don’t expect to do much with them anymore. It’s really hard to compete with freemium titles without ruining your own game.

Audious is also available for free – at least until I finish the iOS 7 update (which is probably going to be a new iPhone-only app). This is more a side project though, because there still isn’t any other music player that really works for me.

Dozzzer is already updated for iOS 7 and probably doesn’t need any other new features.

Fiery Feeds is the app I’m going to focus on in the future. I’ve already submitted an update with support for more sync services to Apple and I have quite a few more ideas for future features. Also, an RSS client seems to be a wonderful project to get into Mac Development (no promises, though).

And finally there are a few other ideas I’ve been playing with for a while that I’d like to try. Maybe a few of them will turn into actual apps this year.

Creating setting screens in iOS usually involves quite a bit of boilerplate code.
To make things easier I’ve thrown together some editable table view cells for UITextField, UISwitch, UISlider and UIStepper.

They’re based on jon/BPEditableTableViewCell and lavoy/ALActionBlocks and you can find them here: BPEditableTableViewCells.

Google’s Chrome for iOS app icon in its official version is not the best adoption of an icon for iOS. It’s just the regular round Chrome icon on a black background. Since there are already quite a few alternative versions, I decided to pile on and design my very own adaption.


(I’d be really happy if Google decides someday to use a better icon – this is one of the few things that really annoy me about Chrome for iOS)

Airplay Icon
Because I needed it for Dozzzer, I might as well share it. So here’s a vector version of Apple’s Airplay Icon as psd.