Android app: Manually marking articles


Background: (you can skip this paragraph)

I’m a premium user of Newsblur since years but I kept using it via an Android app (GrazeRSS) only. In order to get the most out of Newsblur, I’m thinking of switching to Newsblur Android app. Unfortunately, there is one simple feature which is a must-have for my workflow that prevents me from using Newsblur Android app.


I’d like to have the possibility to manually mark single articles when going through a long list of articles. When I press “mark all as read” I want that all unmarked articles (read and unread) are gone and only the manually marked articles are still visible. Then I want to read them one by one. After reading, I want to manually unmark each article which also marks is as read and therefore hide it.

This way, I may quickly skim through my set of feeds, mark only the interesting ones for reading later-on and quickly get rid of the rest that I didn’t mark which means that I’m not interested in reading them.

Implementation proposal:

My feature wish could be implemented such, that swiping an article preview to the left could set the mark. So far, swiping to the right does mark an article as read. Therefore, this is consistent UX behavior IMHO.

So in general, any manually marked article gets a different (and new) color for its left-hand bar and stays visible until it gets manually unmarked, independent of its reading status:

Starting situation:

  • Article 1 (new)
  • Article 2 (new and marked)
  • Article 3 (read)
  • Article 4 (read and marked)

After marking everything as read using the checkmark icon on the top I see:

  • Article 2 (new and marked)
  • Article 4 (read and marked)

After new articles are fetched from the back-end:

  • Article 2 (new and marked)
  • Article 4 (read and marked)
  • Article 5 (new)
  • Article 6 (new)

Then I mark Article 6 as well and mark everything as read once more:

  • Article 2 (new and marked)
  • Article 4 (read and marked)
  • Article 6 (new and marked)

After reading Article 2 and manually unmarking it:

  • Article 4 (read and marked)
  • Article 6 (new and marked)

I don’t know if this works on Android but you could use the Save feature.
Save the articles to read them later and mark the feed as read, then Unsave them once they are read.

Hi pgroell,

I see what you mean and I have to admit that I did not understand the save feature so far.

Yes, it is an alternative to the feature I am suggesting.

However, my proposal has some UX advantages: (1) it is faster to go through a list and swipe than to choose the context menu by long-pressing and select the safe feature and (2) the article of my many feeds stay separated and not thrown on one big pile.

For (1) I’m pretty sure that this is agreed to by most people. For (2) someone could argue that he/she wants one big pile to read through instead of distributed lists of marked articles.

As a compromise, Newsblur Android could offer an additional feed view where saved articles stay in the feed. Further more, swiping to the left for saving is still an option, in addition to the menu entry of the long-press context menu since this swiping motion is not taken yet.

From the reasons above, I still do think that I’ve got a point here which would bring good UX improvements to the users of Newsblur Android.

You can already swipe to save/unsave. Go to preferences -> gestures.

You can also view your saved stories separated by feed by pressing on the “saved” view at the bottom of the app.

Preferences > guestures: awesome! Thanks for that.

I could not find the saved view to access the “saved articles separated by feed” though. My saved list always consists of all articles from all feeds.

There is a Saved Story view at the bottom of the feed list (All/Unread/Focus/Saved). That separates saved stories by feed.

Perfect. I now understand the UX of the app. Thanks for helping me!
I obviously was too much into the expectation mood instead of the exploration mood.