Late Reader 1.3 released

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 in and tagged ,

Late Reader 1.3 hits the marketplace.

The main goal for this release it to fix some issues caused by breaking changes introduced in 1.2 that occur only when you update the application (you can read about one of them, related to live tile backward compatibility, here).

There are many new features planned for the upcoming major update. Stay tuned ;)

Just in several hours after LateReader v.1.2 being published, I received an error report saying that “No XAML found at the location XXX”. Wait, but that’s an old URI, used in the previous versions, where did it come from? Turned out that a secondary live tile which quickly adds a new article to the list still uses the deep link URI, created with the previous app version. The morale is: keep the backward compatibility in mind and use UriMapper to deal with such tile navigation issues.

And v.1.3 that fixes this bug and some other minor issues is already submitted for the certification :)

Late Reader v.1.2

Posted on Jan 27, 2012 in and tagged ,

Late Reader, my Windows Phone 7 app that allows you to keep a reading list on your phone and synchronize it with ReadItLater.com account, has been updated to v.1.2.

Actually, a lot of internal tweaks were made, though the end user probably won’t even notice them. Starting from 1.2, the local reading list and article cache are stored in SQL CE database (opposed to decoupled isolated storage files in the previous versions) which slightly improved general app performance.

Also I’ve decided to stop using getfavicon.org service to retrieve article icons – it just was not fast enough (took 2-3 seconds to get a single icon) and was not able to resolve the valid favicon for many web addresses. I’ve found http://getfavicon.appspot.com/ web app to be really fast and responsive, except that it gives you an image in GIF format and WP7 doesn’t have a native GIF decoder. So instead of making the manual bit conversion magic on the phone, I put up web service that uses GDI+ tools from BCL to convert a gif file into png. It gives you a small delay for each image request, but thanks to the modern cloud platforms it is still much faster than the old solution (I used Appharbor to host my web service, if you are interested).

Another great feature that you may find useful is list searching. From the main page, you can tap the search button and start typing the name of the article you want to find.

It is always great to hear the feedback from people who use your app. Based on user’s suggestions, ‘tap mode’ option was added. It allows you to choose what happens when you tap the article in the list – you can switch between Text (open text view by default), Web (open IE with the article address) and Hybrid (tapping the article title opens text view, while tapping the site icon or web address opens the article in IE).

And the last update – I decided to display ads in the app, but the good news for those of you who can’t stand seeing ads in the mobile app is that you can turn them off in the settings. Just remember that showing ads provides a small reward for all the effort the developer put in building the app.

You can download v.1.2 here. Don’t forget to rate the app if you like it.