Android: offline news support

I like to use newsblur while in-flight. And I understand the Android app has offline article download support. But it’s never clear what is downloaded offline

If it doesn’t already exists, it would be great to have a button that allows us to immediately download some set of articles immediately to the device. So they can be viewed while in airplane mode.

If this already exists, I feel discoverability needs to be improved.

app version: 8.0.0
android version: 9 (PQ2A.190205.001)
device: Google Pixel 3 (blueline)
sqlite version: 3.22.0
username: ScatteredRay
server: default
memory: normal
speed: 0 feeds in conn:0 read:0 parse:0 store:0
pending actions: pre:0 post:0
premium: unknown
prefetch: yes
notifications: yes
keepread: yes
thumbs: yes

enabling Preferences -> Download Stories will keep stories for all your feeds pre-fetched for offline reading. additionally enabling Download Images will grab and store images, too, if you want to spend the storage.

What happens when you mark things as read or saved while offline? Are the reading actions supposed to catch up later? Often when my network goes out I find I have to redo those actions, but I’m not sure if that’s a bug or just a missing feature.

All reading actions performed on the Android app should go through as soon as you get back online, regardless of settings. If they don’t, it might be something we need to handle for your specific device. Feel free to use the “Send app feedback -> Email a bug report” feature in the app just after you get back online and it doesn’t seem to update and drop us a note in the email about where you didn’t see things up-to-date.

It looks like what I want can be performed by the insta-fetch stories button. The only downside, is that is specific to a feed. And it would be nice to be able to fetch stories from all feeds.

@ScatteredRay Just scroll to the top of the main story view and swipe down. It will sync everything.

That’s exactly the behaviour I’d expect… except it doesn’t (on my phone, at least). Stories aren’t actually fetched until the individual feed is opened.

a couple of rows down from “Download Stories” is “Download Using”. is this restricting which networks you can download with and is one that’s restricted the one you’re testing with?

Not sure what “testing” means in this context, but the “Download Using” option will restrict background data to the chosen networks. The default option will only download stories for offline reading while on unmetered (usually WiFi) networks, so there is no risk of downloading large amounts of story data and images on a metered mobile network. However, if the priority is to ensure that stories are pre-fetched for offline reading as soon as they are available, setting Download Using to “Any Network” will do just that.

Could someone confirm - if I have ‘Download Using’ set to ‘any network’, and ‘Download Stories’ unchecked, and I swipe down on the main reading page (which shows a message like ‘Storing unread stories’), should I then expect the current batch of stories to be cached?

I’m trying to understand whether what I’m seeing is a bug or not. I don’t really want stories fetched periodically in the background, but I would like the ability to fetch them on demand. My usage model is cache things in the morning to read while in the Underground, with no signal.

I wonder about this too. I factory reset my phone and since then stories never seem to be fetched for offline viewing, though I just now discovered that I had it set to do it over “Unmetered wifi or ethernet only” (how can the phone tell the phone is unmetered?).

whether a specific network is marked unmetered is something you set in your phone settings.

Hm, anyway, I set it to always downloading no matter the connection and nothing seems to download. Does this work with premium only? Or have there been any changes to this functionality? It is supposed to download full articles from the web that are not included in the excerpts in the RSS feed, right?

By the way, the clearing of offline news in settings should ask for confirmation. I just tapped it now and it just cleared all offline news, which was a big surprise (and would have been annoying if anything actually got downloaded).

Or is this only for paying users? It seems to be on the Desktop.

It’s for all users, but you’ll only be able to read stories in Folders if you’re a premiums subscribers.