Paying customer here, using the iOS app. I see the app getting significant updates that I don’t care about, but by far the biggest problem I have with the product has been around since the beginning.
Basically the problem is I’ll get to the middle of an article then need to switch away to check email or whatnot and when I switch back the previous article has been marked read and my place is lost. This is extremely annoying and must be simple to fix: keep the scroll position in the article and don’t mark it read until swiping to the next article.
This is probably worse for me because I’m on an underpowered 4S and the app is getting killed by the OS to recover resources. But come on, surely it happens frequently across the installed base.
Most users are on the latest 2 devices, 5S and 6. I have a smaller % on 5, and almost none on 4S. I can see about keeping track of scroll position, but there is definitely a problem of marking the story as read. When the app restarts and you have it set to Unread Only, when I re-load the feed, the article will be gone.
Now, you mentioned marking as read after you leave the story, but that’s not the way it works on any device.
Anybody else want to see this functionality? It’s a time commitment and not something I can trivially add, whereas I’m working on a bunch of other higher priority features. So the priority of this needs to go up, and it seems like people are upgrading phones way faster than this being an issue.
FWIW, on my 5S I do run into this from time to time (maybe once a month?), but since you added “Read Stories” it is not so much of a big deal to get back to it. Another thing I generally do for long articles is just to read them in Safari, which preserves lots of state.
I would guess that it happens to others on 5S and 6 too, just less frequently.
You say “that’s not the way it works on any device”. Android has a similar mechanism for killing background apps to reclaim system resources. Thus this issue could be happening there as well, implying a behaviour change across the mobile apps is reasonable. The web app already has a rich set of configuration options for controlling when a story is read, so it works differently than the mobile apps (and much better).
The reason I’m so thorny about this is because I love the usability of the app overall. It’s very fast, rock solid, and generally just gets the job done. But this one thing is particularly frustrating because when it happens it’s really disruptive.
Brian, the “that’s not how it works on any device” refers to keeping track of story position. It’s just not a feature I’ve built in any of the apps.
Anyway, Nicholas brings up a good point. There is the Read Stories feed (which I forgot about myself), which can help make this problem much less painful in the mean time.
I find the issue moderately annoying, but being on a newer device has made it less of an issue. Still annoying when it happens.