Shortcomings on a Tablet / Touch Based Device

Newsblur looks and works mostly great on my HP Touchpad, but there are some aspects of the site that are not touch-friendly. Namely those that are hover based and right click based.

If there was some way to touch to get the menu (maybe a button in the bar over the reading area, next to the “Updated…minutes ago” text ), that would be great. The function I find most lacking is “Mark all as Read”. Other than right clicking, this can only by hovering over the “Updated …minutes ago” text, but on a touch based device even that is not accessible. A persistent mark as read button would do the trick.

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It’s also impossible to return to the dashboard, as that requires hovering over the red/yellow/green counts.

Looking now (on my desktop), I can see that there is indeed an arrow to access the menu after the feed is clicked on. Tough to get to (My finger is no stylus!) but it’s something!

The answer is simple: native apps! I’m working on the iPhone app now and an Android app has just been released. After that are a few more web customizations and then an iPad app.

That’s great for your iphone, android and iPad users… But little comfort to me.

That’s like 99%+ of the market. And I have to stretch my already limited resources thin. (I have a full-time job on top of NewsBlur in my free time.)

There’s one other option, but it’s a secret. Go to Make sure you’re already logged in. That might be helpful. It was a prototype mobile site that I built but abandoned after the performance was sluggish on my iPhone.

Sorry that reply was so curt, I was just a bit frustrated that you proclaimed native apps to be the solution when it’s clearly a non-solution on the platform I specifically stated I was using. Your response may as well have been “Leave me alone. Buy an iPad”.

I was just hoping for a few minor site tweaks that would improve the experience for all touch input users, from tablets to touchscreen monitors to drawing tablet input. . . and iPad users would be included, should they wish to go the browser route rather than the Native App route.

As it is, newsblur looks and works great – aside from NB’s attachment to hover states.

You make a good point. The Mark all as read button is duplicated in the feed menu. Click on the arrow next to the feed title in the story pane, and the first menu item is Mark Feed as Read. That may help you. Let me know if that’s easy enough on a tablet. I’m more than happy to fix the interface so it works for everybody, but my main concern is adding clutter … hence the hover states.

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Ah, I didn’t realize there was an arrow there (Hover state! :), that works easily enough. I guess it’s not that these things can’t be done – it’s figuring out how to do them, having no visual queues. The Dashboard button seems to work as well, just (again) have to know where to click.

From one developer to another, I don’t know what the alternative means of preventing clutter would be, but it seems that the more popular touch interfaces become the more important it is going to be to figure out the answer(s) to that question. I mean this more generally than directed just at you. I think you’ve done a fantastic job with newsblur.