Monthly Archives: August 2013

Press 1.4

We’re really excited to announce the newest version of Press that we’ve been working hard on. With version 1.4, Press delivers two new features that have been a long time coming:

Fever is the fourth service offered in Press and fills a gap that wasn’t covered before: self-hosted RSS. Fever support has been one of the top requests we’ve received since Press was launched and we’re excited that it is finally ready.

For the subway riders and travelers out there, image caching will be a welcome addition. Any cached images are fully viewable while disconnected from the network. You can enable/disable image caching in the settings, or simply long-press the sync icon to start a manual one-time image cache.

We also want to make Press more accessible to as many people as possible, so we took another step in that direction with version 1.4. You now have the ability to underline links in articles, which is helpful for color blind users.

It wouldn’t be a major update to Press without refining the interface – we just can’t help it. We’ve minimized some of the elements on the screen to bring the content more front-and-center. This includes toning down shadows and reducing bolded text. The result is a more natural feel as you read.

Those were just a few of the things addressed in version 1.4. Here is the complete changelog:

  • Fever support
  • Offline image caching
  • Manual one-time image cache (hold sync icon)
  • Totally redesigned Settings
  • Added preference to show titles-only in article list
  • Added preference to show titles-only in large widget
  • Added preference to disable double-tap for Readability
  • Added accessibility preference to underline article links
  • Image viewer improvements
  • Freshened the UI throughout the app
  • Performance improvements
  • Fixed syncing issues
  • Lots of bug fixes

Thanks so much to everyone who provided awesome feedback over the past few months!

 

The Indie Developer Side of the Nexus Program

The Verge published an article today titled The Moto X proves Google still needs the Nexus program. Go read that – it’s a good article and it discusses the history and purpose of the Nexus program in depth. Android Director of Engineering, Dave Burke, had this to say on the purpose of the program:

Basically what Nexus allows us to do is set the standard … [we can] demonstrate how Android runs and hopefully influence other device manufacturers to take what we’ve done and do even better.

There’s another part of the story I think is just as important, though, and it often isn’t discussed: the indie developer side of the story and its relationship with Nexus. We launched Press last December, and from the beginning, Nexus has been a huge part of our success in the Play Store. Not only were the Nexus devices a large inspiration for us to create a thoughtful and well-designed app, it’s also been a big chunk of our sales. We’ve seen that the types of people that are attracted to a Nexus device are also more likely to pay for an app that’s well designed. The Nexus program also allowed us to create a forward-looking 4.0+ only app much sooner than would have otherwise been possible.┬áThis is a win-win scenario from a developer’s perspective.

Stock Android is a fantastic, clean experience compared to other OEMs’ take on the platform, and Google is able to update the devices quickly over-the-air, ensuring the latest version of the OS on Nexus devices. In fact, Android 4.3 was released just over a week ago, and we already have 33% of our customers running this latest version of the operating system. That’s a HUGE advantage for any Android developer wishing to push their app forward in the ecosystem.

Here’s a full breakdown of our current customer stats:

Android 4.3: 33%
Android 4.2: 35%
Android 4.1: 26%
Android 4.0: 6%

We genuinely hope Google continues the Nexus program far into the future. It helps drive the quality and economy of the Play Store ecosystem more than meets the eye.