- 02-04-2011, 04:11 PM #1
Hi WPCentral Forumites,
I thought I would make a quick post about my new Windows Phone 7 RSS reader app, RSS Central.
RSS Central is a powerful and easy to use application that can download and display RSS, Atom and RDF news feeds from web sites all over the internet. Its quick multi-download system will bring all the news feeds you want to your fingertips in no time, and will hold on to them so that they can be read even if you lose your internet connection.
RSS Central features an attractive and informative user interface, categorised news feeds, a feed search to discover new news sources, article summary and full web page displays, article search tools, read/unread article tracking, support for international characters, a useful "send to email" feature, portrait and landscape support, plus a whole lot more.
RSS Central's trial mode is fully featured, and just displays occasional "nag" screens while using the application. Please give it a try and see what you think.
Before getting my Windows Phone 7 device, I had an HTC Touch Pro2. One of the applications that came pre-loaded on it was Ilium software's RSS Hub. This rapidly became one of my most-used applications. When I moved to WP7 I tried a number of the RSS apps that were available, but none of them worked in the way I wanted or offered the features that I was looking for.
In true programmer style, instead of compromising with one of the available alternatives, I set about writing my own application. RSS Central is the result. It is functionally inspired by RSS Hub and uses a similar approach to displaying and organising its content. I also used the opportunity to clean up a few of the little annoyances that I found with RSS Hub. I hope you like the end result!.
I intend to continue developing and enhancing RSS Central, so if you have any comments, suggestions, complaints or bug reports, please let me know and I'll see if I can address them in a future version. I added lots of new things in version 1.1, and most of these were suggestions from people using the app. Version 1.2 should be ready for release in the next couple of days. I have more enhancements lined up, so if there's something you think should be added or changed then please let me know and I'll add it to my list.
RSS Central is available now from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
- Attractive and functional Windows Phone 7-style user interface.
- Streamlined navigation to make using the app as quick and easy as possible.
- Fast application startup to get you straight into your feeds without having to wait.
- Create categories to group your news feeds together for easier browsing.
- Feed search function to help you discover new feeds and news sources.
- Quick display of article summaries, or show the full article content with just one touch.
- Search for keywords within feeds to help you find articles of interest.
- "Minimum refresh time" prevents unnecessary re-downloading of unchanged feeds.
- Automatic tracking of read and unread articles. Choose to hide read articles and read subsciptions if you wish.
- Full support for international character sets.
- Quickly and easily send the details of interesting articles as an email message.
- Full support for portrait and landscape orientation.
Reviews from the Marketplace
- "Best RSS reader on the market, and I have tried most!" -- irdawood
- "Best RSS reader I've seen so far. Worth the price." -- leongustavo
- "Love it. I have tried many news and RSS apps and this is the best one." -- Tusker
- "This app does exactly what's needed, making it easy to add feeds through searching, categorize feeds and HIDE items that have been read. I've tried about 10 other options in the Marketplace, but this is the one you want if you have a large number of feeds or have varied interests that don't correspond to some of the hard-coded readers." -- Mlizardi
- 02-09-2011, 12:06 PM #5
Version 1.2 has finally made it through certification, with the following new features:
- Added context menus for the subscription list. Press and hold one of the subscriptions to display the menu. The menu allows the subscription to be marked as read, marked as unread, refreshed, or edited.
- Added context menus for the article list. Press and hold one of the articles to display the menu. The menu allows articles to be marked as read, marked as unread, sent by email or sent by SMS.
- Added a further minimum update frequency that indicates that the subscription should only be updated manually. These subscriptions will never be included in the update when the Refresh button is pressed on the main subscription list, and are instead individually updated via their context menu.
- Added support for sending article links by SMS.
- Fixed a bug where the article list occasionally jumped back to the top when returning to it after reading an article.
- Added support for reading feeds encoded with Windows-1250 encoding.
- Clicking the "Read more online..." link on the article summary now changes the link text to highlight that it has been clicked. This provides some positive feedback for slow-loading pages.
- A new navigation setting is available to control the back button behaviour on the article page. This can be set to either navigate backwards through the browser history, or to return directly to the article list. If navigating back through the history, a new menu option is available to return directly to the article list to save navigating all the way back.
Hope you like it and as always please let me know if you have any feedback.
- 03-08-2011, 05:32 PM #8
RSS Central v1.3 is now finished and available to download through the Marketplace. The main changes in this version are:
- Improved support for reading Atom and RDF feeds.
- Added support for feeds encoded using Windows-1252 (thanks to Calum McLellan).
- Improved datestamp parsing for certain feeds to ensure that articles are presented in the correct sequence.
- The article page now shows the article number/count in the corner of the screen to help make article navigation clearer.
- Added orientation transition effects.
As always, please let me know if you have any suggestions, problems or ideas!
- 03-27-2011, 01:14 PM #9
RSS Central v1.4 is now complete and available from the Marketplace. This includes the following new features:
- Additional content is displayed when viewing articles for certain feeds.
- RSS Central can now be configured to run under the lock screen. This will not only remove the delay resuming the app after unlocking the phone, but will also allow it to continue refreshing feeds when the phone is locked while a refresh is in progress.
- Added support for Windows-1251 encoding (and for the people that gave me 1-star reviews on the Marketplace due to this not being supported -- you only had to ask!)
- Added support for ISO-8859-2 encoding.
- When a feed URL is provided that doesn't actually return a valid feed, a more informative error message is displayed explaining why the feed cannot be retrieved.
- Added a "welcome" page that appears just once the first time each new version of the app is opened. This alerts people to the fact that it is a new version, and details the changes that have been made. After continuing past this page, it won't appear again until an updated version is installed.
As always, the trial version is fully featured apart from an occasional nag screen. Please give it a try and let me know what you think!
- 03-29-2011, 03:56 PM #13
@ctt1wbw -- glad you like it! There's no Google Reader sync functionality, and I don't currently have any plans to add this either... It's a stand-alone RSS reader for the time being. I do however intend to add a feature that will allow feeds to be imported from Google Reader, hopefully in the near future.
@jabtano -- thanks and glad you like the new version. :-)
- 03-31-2011, 05:12 PM #14
RSS Central v1.5 is out now:
- Added a "tell me later" button to the Welcome page. If you're in a hurry and want to read the Welcome page later, this button will re-display the page next time RSS Central is launched.
- Added "Send to Instapaper" menu items to send the details of interesting articles to your Instapaper account.
- Added a new option to automatically refresh the subscriptions each time RSS Central is launched.
- Added a "delete all subscriptions" option to the subscription management page.
- Further improvements to RSS feed compatibility.
- Fixed a potential startup crash bug.
- 04-16-2011, 04:37 PM #15
RSS Central v1.6 is now available to download from the Marketplace. New features in this version are:
- Added new 'keywords' feature. This allows you to set up keywords which RSS Central will search for in your subscriptions. Each article found with a matching keyword will be displayed with a custom icon of your choice to bring it to your attention. You can sort keyword matches to the top of the list, or even set a subscription to only show those articles that match one of your keywords.
- Added import and emport functionality using DropBox. RSS Central uses standard .opml files for this. The function is fairly basic at the moment (I'll improve it in later versions) but does finally allow you to import feeds from elsewhere and to make backups of your feeds.
- A new setting allows you to have your subscriptions automatically sorted into alphabetical order.
- After many many comments and requests, RSS Central has a new logo, icons and splash screen. Many thanks to Jonny Shaw (@digilocker on Twitter) for generously providing these, I hope you all like them!
As always, please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas as I'm always looking to improve RSS Central and make it the best reader that I can. Thanks!
- 06-24-2011, 05:28 PM #20
I thought I'd post a quick update for anyone interested to let you know that RSS Central v1.7 is now available to download from the Marketplace.
The main new features in this release are:
- Added a new (and slightly experimental) feature that allows you to view all articles from subscriptions that share a category in one single list. To access it, swipe from the main page into one of the categories (news, entertainment, etc.) and then select the "All articles" item at the top of the subscription list. Please let me know how you get on with this feature, particularly if it causes any problems.
- Fixed the Instapaper function which was intermittently failing to upload in RSS Central v1.6.
- When viewing articles, those that have an author name will display the name at the top of the article text.
The trial is fully featured as always and the full version is just $1.29/£1, please give it a try and let me know what you think.
- 07-20-2011, 03:12 PM #22
RSS Central should (I hope!) now be available in the 19 new markets that Microsoft added support for in their update a few days ago:
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.
If you're in one of these countries and decide to give RSS Central a try, please let me know how you get on!
- 07-21-2011, 04:10 AM #24
Well I'm not 100% certain to be honest, but according to the Windows Phone Developer Blog (Windows Phone Developers Get New App Hub Features: Mango app submission just one month away) the new markets are available straight away. I had to update RSSC's registration to get to show availability in the new markets, which it now does.
Hopefully someone in one of the affected countries will be able to clarify this!