Sunday, December 28, 2014

Adding a feed to WeaRSS

In this post I'll go over the process of adding a feed to WeaRSS. I promised this in an earlier post, but I wanted to wait until I was able to push the latest app update that is available now. Adding a feed is easier than ever!

For a quick overview of the process, I've created an animation that shows you what to do:

Read on for a detailed description of the process.

Your Source

First, you'll need an online source that you want to follow. This will likely be any website that has somewhat regularly updated content. For the purposes of this overview, we'll be using The Verge.

Find Your Feed

Next you'll need to find your site's RSS feed or feeds. Unfortunately there is no one way that sites make their RSS feeds available. A very common way to let users know about feeds is to have a "RSS" or "Subscribe" link somewhere on the periphery of the page - perhaps in a sidebar or in the footer of the page. Another indication is to look for the universal RSS icon:

The Universal RSS Icon
On The Verge's site, I found a "Subscribe" link down in the footer of their home page. However, as is common with many sites, The Verge actually has another set of feeds availablex. I found this post going over a way to "roll your own" RSS feed based on a variety of criteria. I'm going to use the "Android" feed.

Copy & Add - That's It!

Once you've found the feed link you want to follow, all you need to do is long-press on the link to bring up the Android context menu. Select the "Copy link address" option to copy the link to the device clipboard.

Finally, open WeaRSS and tap the "+" icon to open the Add Feed screen. The screen will open and the link you copied will already be in the the URL field. All you have to do is tap the save icon and your feed will be added.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Introducing WeaRSS!

I'm excited to announce my latest Android app called WeaRSS - it's an Android Wear app that allows you to keep up with the latest news headlines right on your Android Wear device!
I wish this was the news every day.
I made the app because I thought it would be convenient to quickly glance through news headlines on a Wear device; there are times when it might not be convenient or possible to pull out your phone but you still want to stay in the loop. Also, you don't always need access to the full story; getting a glanceable version of the story is just right.

Getting Going

With WeaRSS you get news updates by following RSS feeds. In case you're not fully up on the nerd lingo, RSS feeds are a standardized to share up-to-date web content. You can find a pretty good explanation here. Most websites with regular updates have one or more RSS feed - just poke around on the home page and you'll likely find an "RSS" link.

To get things going you just type or paste in RSS urls from your favorite websites to build a list of feeds to follow. In a future blog post I'll go over the process for getting RSS feeds into the app. Add as many feeds as you want! Once you have your feeds, WeaRSS will start pushing news headlines to you at regular intervals.
Following some feeds - add your own!
For this first release there are a couple of customization options:
  • Setup how frequently the headlines are fetched and synced to your wearable.
  • Set how many headlines from each feed will be sent with each update.

Voice Control

You don't have to wait for the sync operation to read through the headlines on your wear device. You can open the app using voice control - just say "OK google, start app my headlines." The app will open showing you the headlines that were most recently synced. You can also hit the refresh button on the companion mobile app to get the latest and greatest.

I've got a lot of ideas about where to take the app in future releases, but I want to find out what other people want. Leave a comment or send me an email and let me know what you'd like to see in the app.

I hope you find the app useful and it makes your Android Wear device just a little bit better!

Get it on Google Play