After three months of active development and untold liters of coffee we’re proud to announce the immediate availability of ReadKit 2.0 – in this major update we’re pushing several new features and improvements over the previous version. This update is available for free on the Mac App Store.
RSS in ReadKit
Let’s start with the most significant changes. Google will sunset Reader in about a month, so we tried to find a solution that can fulfill the needs for most of you. Starting now ReadKit is a full featured RSS reader as well. For this we added support for NewsBlur, Fever and developed a built-in RSS reader into ReadKit.
NewsBlur is a mature online RSS reader and it’s got a nice new design just a few days ago. It has some unique feature which makes it powerful and lovable. Samuel, the developer of NewsBlur is a really helpful guy who helped us a lot during the implementation of this service. Fever has been very popular so far. It’s a self hosted RSS reader, so you should install Fever on your own server or on your shared web hosting space. Finally, ReadKit’s built-in RSS engine can be a good choice for those who don’t need syncing abilities and won’t pay for any Reader alternative in the future.
We’ve focused only on the standard RSS features for now, but we’ll add more unique features in the upcoming versions, provided by NewsBlur and Fever, such as training and “Hot” stories.
Many of you have asked us to add “unified folders” feature to ReadKit. Although this feature was on our todo list since the beginning of the development, we had to twist it a little bit: we didn’t simply want to add extra folders to the application without extra benefits. For example, the unified unread folder would be completely useless for those who are just using one bookmarking service.
Extending on this idea we added smart folders that can be used as unified folders but are more useful for everyone. These special folders act like “Smart playlists” in iTunes updating their contents real-time. We ship ReadKit with two predefined Smart folders: “Unread” and “RSS News”. Unread shows you all your unread read later items, while RSS News displays unread items too, but from the RSS folders.
Explore with the endless possibilities. For instance, you might want to display all items with a specific tag, or display items from the specific read later service provider, or just display items that have been added in the last couple of days and have not been archived yet. Smart folders can display notifications in OS X’s Notification Center. So, you can set your own alerts with the help of smart folders to be notified by a specific set of news.
In this version of ReadKit the whole sync engine has been rewritten. In case of thousands of bookmarks in the previous version, the sync process was wasteful with the computers resources and blocked the UI as well. This is now gone.
You can find a new tab in preferences called “Images”. Here you can configure ReadKit to store all article images locally. From now on you can see the images attached to the article even when you are without internet connection. This has worked in the previous versions of ReadKit, but only with Pocket articles. It has now been extended to Instapaper and Readability bookmarks as well. By default this feature is disabled. We had a good reason for this sane default: the initial syncing of images could take much time and needs considerable amount of disk space. For those who read articles offline this can be a very useful addition, but if you read articles with an active internet connection most of the time, you might not need this feature to be enabled.
There is another feature that has been added to this version - and was also requested by many of you - the possibility to save and restore the reading position. If you start reading a longer article in ReadKit, but you interrupt the activity for some reason, you can continue from the same position next time. You can enable this feature in Preferences, under the “Reading” tab.
That’s all for the current update of ReadKit. We’re working on other features and fixes requested by you. As always, we are eager to hear your feedback.