"Pin" articles for later reading
I frequently find myself opening articles that are too long or too important for immediate consumption. It is obviously possible to manually mark them "unread" before returning to the article list, but this does not prevent them from being deleted when the entire feed is marked read.
This is not the same as "starring", which is more applicable for read articles I may want to revisit in Google Reader in the future.
Ideally, there would be a "pin" icon next to the star on the title bar, which could be easily released once the article doesn't have to be "protected" any longer.
Implemented as pro feature in 4.2.
Stephen, you need to have swipes activated in the settings/ui. This is activated by default (hence it was when installing NR again), but can be turned off, which you probably did sometime before.
Thanks for implementing this one Mariano. Just an fyi for others - you may need to uninstall and reinstall for this to work.
I did a normal upgrade via the Market and was clearly showing v4.2.0 at the top of the screen but I couln't swipe to pin. I thought it must have been in the settings area but no new setting to be found. Eventually I unistalled and reinstalled and that fixed things. If you need to do this, don't forget to redo all your settings.
Nicolas, you can swipe on the header in the detail view too.
Thanks for implementing this feature, I started using it and I definitely like it. One suggestion: in my case, i'd start reading the article in NR then for whatever reason (the article is too long but interesting) I may want to save it for later so here comes the pinning feature. the trouble is it would then take 2 clicks and 1 swipe to get it pinned: one click to go back to the list view, another one to display read articles, then i have to look for it among maybe 50 other articles - then, finally when i see it i pin it.
The feature would be easier to use if it had been implemented in the article (detailed) view, rather than the list view - either by creating a toolbar in the article view with commonly used tools or in the "more" menu within the article. Or a simple checkbox next to the star.
How easy would it be to do that? That would greatly enhance the ease of use of the feature.
Maybe also 3) Add for the unread count widget/launcher as an option so that you can see the number of pinned articles directly from your home screen and can go right into them.
Could you please file individual suggestion for the ones you like? You can then link them here as this crowd is most likely interested in voting for them anyway.
Great feature, but I miss two things:
1) "Pinned articles" folder on NR's first screen (together with "all articles" and "starred items").
I would like to see all pinned articles together in one place (just like starred items), not having to search through all of my subscriptions.
2) See pinned articles in Google reader webapp.
Could be done by attaching "Pinned" label to pinned items. Not sure if Google reader API is flexible enough to do that, though.
Anyway, thanks for adding this feature, and keep up the good work!
clive richards commented
Pin is a good idea.
A starred article is one that I want to remember. It's a "BOOKMARK"
I don't want to star an article that I haven't finished reading yet.
I do want to pin articles that require that I do something with them --- often something I can't do from my phone.
Strikes me the most obvious way to do this would be as follows:
1. Checkbox next to every article.
2. Ability to mark all checked/unchecked items as read.
3. A menu option to toggle all check statuses.
Perhaps this could be enabled via a 'batch mode' button in the toolbar, in the same way as multiselection is done in eStrongs file explorer.
So the workflow would be to work down the list, checking each item that I want to pin (aka 'keep unread') and leaving unchecked items alone. Then at the end I just click the 'tick' (mark read button on the toolbar) and all unchecked items are marked as read.
Not sure whether it makes more sense to check the ones you want to mark read, or check the ones you don't, that's an implementation detail.
Basically it means I can work through the list without going into the article view, quickly and easily. I can do that now using the swipe-to-mark-read but it's unwieldy and error prone.
I'd like this feature be as unobtrusive as possible to non-users of the feature. Hence I would prefer not to have any new options or actions.
When I picked an article to be pinned it won't be automatically marked as read by opening/reading it. Instead you would need to unpin each article individually when reading it.
If this feature comes before the action bar in the article detail view that would mean another swipe from left to right otherwise a tap on the action bar's "pin" icon.
On initial examination I dismissed this request as I have the Pro version and I just star articles I want to come back to. However on thinking about this I can see Max's requirement, and appreciate Mariano's stated use case. i.e:
"Pin this article so that it cannot be marked as read."
This performs a function that is quite different to starring, especially in relation to the logic flow currently related to the visibility of items that are "starred and read" and items that are marked for syncing back with GR and their associated "starred" status.
This function would provide a midway point between "has never been read" and "has been read and is now starred".
I can see that if this feature is implemented I would use it in my reading habits as it would save a lot of time especially when reading busy feeds that have lots of noise.
If this was implemented so that articles could be pinned from the article list with a single tap, then the workflow I would quickly adopt would be this:
1. Open a feed with a long list of articles. Or even better, open the "All articles" feed.
2. Quickly "pin" all the articles I want to read.
3. Mark feed as read.
This would now leave me with a list of pinned articles in the feed.
Now I can.
4. Enter the first pinned article.
5. Read it.
6. Use the navigation controls (on screen arrows or volume control) to jump straight to the next pinned article. And so on.
Once I have finished reading the pinned articles in the feed I would need to come back to the article list and unpin each article. An "unpin all" option would be good to have in the menu to support this last step.
An easy solution might be to have a Mark Read option put checkboxes next to articles and allow the user to check off all the articles they want to mark read.
I am another user that just "stars" an item to view it later. No need for this feature.
I see a use case and that is keeping things as unread on NewsRob even though I click "mark all read" when I am done reading/scanning a feed / label.
Henrik Heimbuerger commented
I can see your point, Max. Shouldn't you work with the Google Reader team on getting this feature implemented by them first, however? Then Newsrob can follow.
I still don't see the use case for this as long as it isn't supported by the webapp as well.
I am getting a bit exasperated by people dismissing a feature which is obviously in demand, given its voting support, solely based on their own reading behavior.
There are countless ways of using a tool like a feed reader, and a good one allows for all kinds of animals.
This feature is NOT equivalent to stars: I need to star articles which are so good that I will get back to them sometime in the future, and I need to pin promising articles which I don't have the time to read now, and thus need to retain in my phone. Two very, very different functions.
Please stick to your own needs, and let Mariano decide how he prioritizes.
Anders Aagaard commented
Star'ing + pro version that can keep X amount of starred articles implement this very easily.
And it works with google reader too, so I can easily continue reading my "read later" articles on my desktop computer if I wish to do so.
I think that this feature could make more sense if it´s implemented together with syncing tags in Google reader. This way the "read it later" button could put a "read it later" tag, so when you go to see your feeds in the browser you can open this tag and read all peacefully.
Rahul Parmar commented
Starring works for me, but I also 'Hide Read Articles' (like paul trevino) and thought his idea to add an option to 'Always show all Starred items' sounds like a simple and effective solution (at least for the way i use the app).
Plus, Google Reader lets you filter and view just your Starred articles. If NewsRob could incorporate that feature too, that would be perfect!