Version 1.1 of The Early Edition brings a lot of new features and a few workflow changes, so we thought it would be helpful to note down the answers to some of the questions we’ve been receiving via email feedback.
I just updated to 1.1. Where have my feeds gone?
In version 1.1 we’ve introduced News Sections, which is a fantastic new way to organise and view your feeds in categories or genres. If you’re an existing user who has upgraded to 1.1 from an earlier version, your feeds have been placed in a new section called “Uncategorized”. To view your existing feeds, simply tap on the triangular arrow to the right of the section row, which expands and collapses the list.
Can I create my own Sections?
Of course! To create a section, tap the “+” button at the top right corner of the News Sources list and then choose “Add a news section”, from which point you can name the section and allocate feeds to occupy it.
How do I add my own news sources?
Tap the “+” button and choose:
• “Add a news source (feed)”. Now either enter a website URL or an RSS feed URL, then tap “Test URL” to auto-discover the feed or test that it’s valid. Then tap “Done” to add it.
• “Import from Google Reader”. If you have a Google Reader account, you can now login and choose any feeds or folders you like, then quickly import them.
• “Import from OPML file”. If you’ve exported your feed list to an OPML file, you can now use this to import feeds and folders as well. You’ll need to host the file on a website or server in order to retrieve it.
• “Import sample feeds”. New customers will see the 1.1 sample feeds and sections by default, but customers who have upgraded from 1.0.2 can now import these new samples using this option.
How do I move feeds into my Sections?
Now that you’ve created some Sections, tap the “Edit” button and then tap either a feed or the section you’d like it to occupy. Once you’ve organized your sections, you can view each one as a whole, or as individual feeds by tapping either the section row or just a single feed.
How do I remove a feed or a Section?
There are two ways of removing feeds or Sections:
• Swipe sideways on the row. This brings up a Delete confirmation button.
• Tap the “Edit” button. This brings up circular Delete badges for each feed and section (except “All feeds” and “Uncategorized”). Tapping a Delete badge will bring up the same Delete confirmation button as above.
New feature: Feed discovery
One of the new features in 1.1 is feed discovery. This means that if you choose to “Add a news source (feed)”, you can now enter a web address instead of the exact feed URL if you don’t know it. Once you’ve done this, tap the “Test URL” button and the app will search for discoverable feeds associated with that site and then suggest the results either below (if there are more than one) or in the URL text box (if there is only one discoverable feed).
I sent you some feedback. Did you get it?
If you’ve sent us an email with feedback or suggestions for new features – thanks! We’ll definitely read it and add it to our growing list of suggestions. We love connecting with our customers, but unfortunately if we replied to every email, there would be no time to work on the next update to The Early Edition. If you’ve sent us an email with a bug or problem you’re experiencing, we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible, (please bear in mind that from 4-15 June we’ll be out of reach, due to WWDC).
VERSION 1.0 (JUST IN CASE YOU MISSED SOMETHING)
I’m new to this RSS thing. What does it mean?
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ (really it does!). An RSS feed is basically just a file or script sitting on a server somewhere which contains the information about that website’s articles, blog posts or whatever other web content it provides. It basically tells The Early Edition what to present on the page. And since you can combine whatever RSS feeds you like into your News Sources list, The Early Edition really becomes your own personal newspaper.
How do I find RSS feeds to add to my News Sources list?
In version 1.1 we’ll be introducing ‘feed discovery’ which means you’ll be able to enter a website and then The Early Edition will search it for valid RSS feeds and then suggest them in a list so you can just tap whichever you’d like to add.
But for now, go to your favorite websites and look for either the bright orange RSS icon (pictured) or a text link with the word RSS in it. In the big news websites these are often in the footer somewhere and they often have a wide variety of feeds to choose from (ie, front page, sport, technology, popular articles etc).
When you’ve found an RSS feed link you’d like to copy:
• hold your finger down on the link until a menu appears
• select ‘Copy’
• open The Early Edition
• press the ‘+’ button
• paste the feed into the text field.
Why do some articles have the full story and images in them, while others just have a headline and a short sentence or two of body text?
The amount of content in RSS feeds is completely dependent on the RSS publishers. Some will choose to include the entire articles as well as images, whereas others may include very little. Unfortunately that’s not something we have control over, which is why we’ve included the ‘View original’ button at the top of the full screen article view. Tapping this will take you directly to the original website where the article is published and you’ll have access to the whole thing.
Why isn’t page turning as quick as it is in iBooks?
Due to the complexity of the page layouts we’re using in The Early Edition, there is a lot more to render on our next/previous pages, so it does take a little longer for the page to turn. Having said that, we are always working to improve this and in 1.1 we have managed to improve the speed of both page turns and the time it takes to fetch articles due to some work we’ve done under the hood.
Why are there a lot more articles on the first day than on subsequent days?
When The Early Edition fetches new articles, it looks for all articles that have been posted since the last fetch. On the first day there hasn’t been a previous fetch, so it collects all articles from each feed in the News Sources list, even if they were posted many days ago. Then on the next day it will only fetch articles posted since yesterday. If you find that there isn’t enough content for you on day 2, the best thing to do is look for more feeds to add to your News Sources list.
Does The Early Edition support read/unread status for articles?
Not yet. This was a deliberate decision originally, in order to keep the newspaper metaphor uncluttered, but we are keen to add this feature very soon due to popular demand. Once we’ve finished 1.1 we’ll be deciding on the roadmap for future updates.
What about options for sharing articles?
At the moment we support Instapaper and emailing of article links, but we are planning Twitter, Facebook and other sharing options soon.
I love The Early Edition! How can I express this enough?
We love hearing from customers who are enjoying our work. One way is to send a quick email to let us know. Another is to post a review of The Early Edition on the App Store!