Version 2.1 adds a couple of new features, but the primary focus was on really polishing the design and making it feel right at home on iOS 12, after the layout and architecture changes in 2.0.

New Smart Views

There are three new smart views in this release.

First there is the “Today” view, which simply shows all articles published today (this actually means this day, and not the last 24h period). If you look closely, you’ll notice that the today icon even shows the current date.

Then there are the long and short article smart views, which show particularly long or short article, based on the word count. The exact threshold can be changed in the expert settings. Building on this there is now also the (per-account) option to display article word counts in the article list, which is especially useful for read-it-later accounts.

New Services

There is now full two-way sync support for Pinboard, it is primarily meant to be used as a read-it-later service, but Fiery Feeds still downloads all bookmarks. They are filtered by read / favorite status like all other articles though (Favorites are simply tagged with ★).

There is also official support for FreshRSS, which just uses their new Fever style API, but uses the regular “All Articles” folder, instead of the Fever specific “Sparks” and “Kindling” folders.

iOS 12 Support

Siri Shortcuts for opening specific accounts. These shortcuts are available in the Settings.app > Siri & Search > All Shortcuts, Apple’s shortcuts app and they should appear automatically in the notification center and search view, if iOS detects some kind of pattern in your usage.

You can now use the iCloud keychain or the new 1Password extension to fill in passwords when adding new accounts or sharing services.

Fiery Feeds also fully supports the new iPhone XS Max. Not only is the splitview enabled in landscape, the individual entries now feature rounded corners, if there is some spacing required because of the notch.

Design Improvements

Bolder Look

All icons in 2.1 have been redrawn for a bolder look that fits better with iOS 12. Fiery Feeds now also sports large titles like most system apps. You can now group your folders in the feed list and there is now the option to sort your feeds and folders by unread count instead of alphabetically.

Article View Improvements

The article view now shows the main image as header image, and uses it as a blurred background, to give the whole article a bit of a tint. The rest of the article layout has been cleaned up, and the toolbar is now configurable by account. For example, read-it-later accounts now use a mark-read-and-close button instead of the standard read button, which feels much more natural.

The article design picker has also been completely redesigned. It now takes less space, and you can see a live preview of your changes. (And it just looks a whole lot better).

New Hot Links View

The Hot Links view has been much improved. Text versions of all hot links are now downloaded for offline use, and the found titles are used in the list view. It’s now possible to sort the Hot Links by number of articles or by temperature. You can blacklist domains directly from the Hot Links list (or any other part of the url in the blacklist options). And filtering read articles now happens independent of the main list.

All New Theme Picker

Version 2.1 features a completely new theme picker. The main theme colors are now previewed. It’s easier to import themes from the directory or your iCloud Drive. It’s now possible to export themes by long pressing the theme you want to export and you can delete individual themes by left swiping on them.

You can also now pick two separate themes as your dark and light theme. Fiery Feeds will switch between them either automatically based on the screen brightness or when you double tap the navigation bar on any screen.

Improved Font Picker

Like in the theme picker, the font picker also shows you how a font looks without selecting it first. You can now select a separate font for the article view and the rest of the app. There are also a couple new fonts available, including Futura, Palatino and Ping Fang (the first CJK font in Fiery Feeds).

Custom Action Tags

It’s now much easier to create your custom url actions and email templates. Fiery Feeds now has a bar with all available tags right above the keyboard, instead of just listing them in the footer below the textfield.

Better App Icon Picker

The new app icon picker view previews the icons and there are a couple new icons, like the black and white icons, or the circle icon.

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.

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.

Last year I started offering Fiery Feeds in a new version, a free download with a subscription for premium features. In the linked post I outlined why I believe that (reasonably priced) subscriptions are a better option than paid up front apps in the App Store.

Subscriptions

In the coming months I will be moving completely to the subscription model: The paid up front app Fiery Feeds Premium is no longer available to purchase. (If you have previously purchased the paid app, it is still available to download in the Purchased Section in the App Store. I will keep Fiery Feeds Premium updated and working for a while longer, at least until after iOS 11 is released.)

It seems Fiery Feeds lives in a niche much to small to offer an ad-supported version. The ads never brought in any meaningful revenue (less then $20 in a year), partly because Fiery Feeds doesn’t (and doesn’t aim to) appeal to a mass audience, and partly because the ads very not placed very prominently. Since I simply don’t want to add more obtrusive ads, I’ve decided to removed all ads, for everyone, and instead focus more on new features for premium.

If you’re not already a premium subscriber, I would like to ask you to become one, if not for the additional features, then to support the ongoing development of the app. I am going to raise the price of the subscription to $10 / year once version 2.0 hits the store and existing subscribers will keep their current price as long as they’re subscribed to premium.

Version 2.0

Fiery Feeds is now almost four years old, and while I’ve added a lot of features, the design hasn’t changed much in that time. Some design decision, like having everything in the navigation bar made sense when the iPhone 5 was the largest device available. I believe it’s time to go back to the drawing board and think carefully about what still makes sense and what to change. I will talk more about this in a future blog post.

Thank you all for your support over the years