Live blogged experiment
This app was part of a live-blogged experiment I called the live App Store challenge. The idea was to see if I could create a basic app in one week, and how popular that could become. You can read all the articles for free on Medium (medium.com/@aleksanders/the-live-app-store-experiment-ac8e8c12b580)
The reason I chose to develop Newsglance is due to a personal need. You see, I have a certain set of news sources I follow on a daily basis. I visit their websites every now and then to keep track of their headlines, but this takes a substantial amount of time. I have tried news apps such as Yahoo! News Digest, but they don't necessarily provide me with content I find interesting or reliable. I have also tried RSS readers, but these sadly only provide the latest news, not the top news. I wanted an app where I could add my favorite sources and see a list of their headlines (top-articles, front-page news), but I couldn't find it anywhere. And so a new project began!
How it works
Newsglance is supposed to be very easy to use. You simply tap 'Add' to select what sources you like, and then 'Done' to see all their headlines in one list. If you see an interesting article, just tap it and you'll get the entire website without needing to leave the app. You can also filter the sources by category and language if you're looking to discover new sources, or simply search by name if you're looking for something specific. If you'd like to share an article, you can swipe left on the cell and choose between Facebook, Twitter, Email, and SMS. There's also a blue dot next to new articles, so you can easily get an overview of what you've seen before and what's new.
Challenges I ran into
Since I don't use RSS, I had to create an API for every single website I support. Luckily, I came across Kimono Labs which makes creating an API a breeze. This also means users can't enter whatever news source they want, but have to choose from my pre-set list of sources. I decided to gather the list of sources from a server, so I can add and remove sources at any point in time without needing to update the app.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I have included a feature so users can request a source. This way, I don't spend days adding sources no one will use, and it also allows me to update the list only when necessary.
What's next for Newsglance
I have a number of updates planned, including notification center widget, notifications, apple watch app, discover section, offline reading list, and so much more. Depending on how much people like this app, I will keep updating and adding features frequently.