29
Oct
unnamed (13)

Every time I try a new non-AOSP Android device, I lament the lack of Google's News & Weather app and its excellent widget. But the latest app from Falcon Pro developer Joaquim Verges might just get me to let go of that standby. Flyne is a news reader in the vein of Press and Flipboard, but it's powered by curated Twitter lists and your own Twitter and Feedly content.

2013-10-29 08.20.42 2013-10-29 08.22.21 2013-10-29 08.22.30

Setup is simple, at least for the free version: select your topics of interest from a wide list, and Flyne will populate your personal news list with authoritative sources for that particular niche. You can't adjust which sources are associated with which subjects, but it looks like a pretty wide pool. (Extra brownie points for including Android Police, Mr. Verges.) The news feed is a succession of downloaded, full-page stories that display a maximum of one photo and all the textual content from a linked article.

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The interface is Holo and minimal - there's a primary list of new articles, you swipe left or right to navigate from story to story, and that's about it. (A dark them is included, however.) Users can star stories for easy retrieval later or share them via the standard Android dialog. The stories download to a local cache, so the app works well for reading on the bus or train, and the update interval can be set by the user. Flyne is neither an RSS reader nor a Twitter client, but a $2 in-app purchase will let you add content from your personal Twitter or Feedly account.

Though this isn't mentioned in the Play Store listing, Flyne is very much in beta at the moment. Just poking around for this article I found a bug that makes it impossible to adjust content sources. Even so, it's well worth a look if you want a clean, fast news reader without any of the social bells and whistles. Here's hoping some quick updates will iron out the kinks, and maybe add a homescreen widget as well.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Robert Alex Kibler

    People seem really bitter that its a $2 IAP to upgrade. I love it.

    • Justin W

      I would like to test out the upgraded version prior to purchasing it though. I had no issues buying Falcon, but this is kind of a new idea, and I'd like to see how well it aggregates my two sources.

      • Kenneth

        It only allows one twitter account for now. Unless you mean twitter+feedly.

        And due to Twitter token limitations, there's no way he'll allow "testing" because you can bet that option will kill this app dead in a jiffy. :(

        • Justin W

          I was more interested in the Feedly side of things, with some Twitter thrown in. I jumped and opted for the premium for Feedly, but it's missing a few features I want (I'm sure he has suggestions in for them now anyway), but I'd like to be able to mark as read, see a list-view of all the articles, etc. I haven't really played around with it yet, but I'm sure I'll find out more about it as I play around with it!

          • Simon JB

            For the "list view", you can swipe from the right side of the screen to open a list of all articles in the feed. It's maybe not ideal, but works OK.

            Right now I see no benefit of using this app over Feedly+ Falcon Pro. Offline articles would be a plus, but it doesn't cache the full articles, only the rss excerpt ; several of my feeds only have a single paragraph available. But it will get better.

        • lljktechnogeek

          The 100k token limit doesn't apply to read-only access to Twitter feeds, which is presumably all that Flyne would need. (Although if he hits a million users, there might be trouble.)

          • Kenneth

            https://dev.twitter.com/blog/changes-coming-to-twitter-api

            Additionally, if you are building a Twitter client application that is accessing the home timeline, account settings or direct messages API endpoints (typically used by traditional client applications) or are using our User Streams product, you will need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens.

            If simply accessing the timeline has the same 100k limitations, it's not as simple as you make it to be.

          • lljktechnogeek

            If you look at the actual API terms (https://dev.twitter.com/terms/api-terms ), the 100k limit is limited to apps that "attempt to replicate Twitter's core user experience", which a news aggregator that doesn't let you post Tweets (but might let you retweet interesting stories, just to pick a hypothetical) would arguably not count as.

            This might be a question that Twitter themselves would need to weigh in on, though.

          • Kenneth

            So long story short, you don't know as well. :)

            While the wording is unclear, I would err on the side of Twitter doing whatever it takes to wean users off anything that's not their official client, just to get the ad views going. :(

          • lljktechnogeek

            In the end it depends on Flyne's featureset and how much of a pack of vindictive assholes Twitter wants to be. I still don't think it'd count as replicating the core user experience unless it's trying to be a full-featured client like Falcon Pro, though.

          • Kenneth

            Sadly, what you think doesn't matter as long as Twitter doesn't see it that way. From what I've read so far, as long as you log in and can see your Twitter home timeline, that's as good as done.

            Flyne may not show every single tweet like a normal Twitter client, but I'm pretty sure it parses every single one of them in search of links to load into the app.

            Joaquim pretty much explained the reasoning for the pricing the IAP for the Twitter functionality as such - unless you are implying that he is a lying sack of lies? There's no token limitation of 100k for Flyne and he's just trying to milk everyone for their $1.99 till it hits the hypothetical limit of 1 million? :(

          • lljktechnogeek

            Where did he say that was the reason? I don't remember coming across it.

          • Kenneth

            It was in one of his replies in the G+ community for Flyne. Quite early on in fact.

          • lljktechnogeek

            Fair enough, then. Twitter status: still as big a pack of vindictive assholes as ever.

          • Kenneth

            Ok, dug up those replies

            https://plus.google.com/u/0/102173167135127622770/posts/JGhHXBqdkab

            "the problem is the tokens, I would have too many unused tokens with the trial period option"

            https://plus.google.com/u/0/107942105369460253496/posts/TmRrqczBJ6A

            "Yes it's a separate in app purchase, but cheaper cause they're not as API greedy as Twitter :)"

            This explains both the price difference between Twitter/Feedly and the token situation still affecting this app. At least that's what I got out of it. :)

    • Truthhurts9

      As well they should be. Glad you love it.

  • philnolan3d

    I'll have to compare this with Currents which is what I usually use for reading on the train. I love that because the stories are always updated automatically and it's offline so i can use it with my Wi-Fi only tablet.

  • Joshua Powers

    Can't use because Flyne won't sync sources, just sits there refreshing, anyone else having this issue?

    • I Am Awesome

      Here.

    • Bill Stebbins

      Me also on 3 different devices

    • Anthony Restaino

      Had the same issue. I tried everything and couldn't get it to work. I must add that the blank screen with just the cycling progress bar isn't user friendly, you have no idea what's happening.

  • aaron nyquist

    Heads up (A dark them is included, however.) Think you meant Theme.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Log into twitter is a premium feature? well no wonder the reviews are bad, competently dismissing the point of the app for me.

    • BangIShotYou

      It's the equivalent of his previous app Falcon Pro, price wise that is.

      The free option is curated feeds. You want your own feeds then that's only $1.99 (for Twitter) or $0.99 (for Feedly). This is in no way outrageous or expensive or anything

      There is no reason for the bad reviews and you're ignoring the free part of the app to complain about something that is as cheap as can be given some of the pricier alternatives. Way too many people seem to want something for nothing, that's covered with this app. You want more, pony up. It won't break your wallet and I live paycheck to paycheck and bought the Twitter and Feedly premium features.

      Good developers, which Joaquim is, deserve our support.

      I say that as someone who received the Google+ invite to do beta testing the second day this was out awhile back. I had an issue with the app and he contacted me within minutes to see if we could work it out. We did, it was an issue on my end (caused by my work network and T-Mobile) and luckily it helped make others aware of the potential "bug".

      • ddpacino

        Preach. Supporting both of his apps, and I always support the good indie developers. Flyne is beautiful. Makes it hard to choose which app to read my feeds: Feedly, Press, or Flyne.

  • http://ishq-e-mustafa.blogspot.com/ Abdulmusawwir Qadri Barkaati

    I'm looking for a news reader app that's quick and won't consume much of my mobile data..
    Please advice,
    Thanks!

    • ddpacino

      For "what did I miss?" news, updates, and notification features + background updates, try Circa. Had it for about a week and love it. For RSS reeds, Feedly, Press or Flyne are my recommendations. Flyne and Press can be set to auto update at intervals.

      • BangIShotYou

        Circa is a must have app. It's simplicity and overall look make it my go to news app. After that, since I have no mobile data limit concerns, I use the BBC News app. Their reporting is second to none. Hell, U.S. news gets reported more fairly and matter of factly by the BBC than any U.S. news organizations.

        • ddpacino

          Thanks for the recommendation. Just installed BBC.

        • ddpacino

          And push notifications?? Might go ahead and uninstall this CNN app now, lol. Breaking news alerts was one reason I loved it.

          • BangIShotYou

            Oh, heck yeah! Lol. I get news alerts from Circa and the BBC. By far the best news apps you can ask for. The former looks phenomenal and the latter's reporting is second to none in every way possible. No one reports like the BBC. "Just the facts," should be their slogan.

  • Brandon Bradley

    I'm still sore at them for taking my money for Falcon and then ditching it.

    • http://billhay.es/ Bill Hayes

      Firstly, "him", and secondly, "no he didn't". Falcon Pro still works, but it's been horribly restricted by Twitter. Not Joaquim's fault and he's done his best to overcome it (and it works, though it's a bit fiddly). Also, as far as I know, Falcon Pro isn't "ditched".

      He's a great Android developer and I'll happily defend him. Haven't decided whether to get Flyne or not yet, though. It looks pretty cool so I might give it a shot and see if it'll replace Flipboard and/or Pulse.

      • BangIShotYou

        It definitely replaced Pulse for me. I was never a fan of Flipboard. This has been my go to offline news reading app since I got it.

        Also, word! (That's for everything else you said.) Twitter is responsible for the issues faced by Falcon Pro, not Joaquim. He went above and beyond doing his best to address the issues and Twitter did everything they could to make life hard on him and those of us who purchased the app (of which I was one).

  • Alex Ionas

    why use this instead of feedly? honeslty now...

    • ddpacino

      Why use any app over a competitor..? PREFERENCE.

      • Alex Ionas

        yeah, but feedly is a really good app already

        • akshay7394

          Preference is subjective.

        • ddpacino

          Yes... to you. Everyone likes different things. Because there's one great app out there does not mean other have to stop trying to make other great apps. I like Feedyl, but not everyone uses it either. I just bough Press a few weeks ago, and have used them both everyday, as well as Circa for other news. And now like this app as well.

          This is a good problem to have, for me, personally.

    • harmsi

      Offline support

  • Marcell Lévai

    Yeah, great. Falcon Pro update, please.

  • http://kawangeek.com/ EddyGeek

    Test it before by joining beta community.. Nothing to say cause I like it so far.
    However nothing related - if you browse AndroidPolice through mobile view, its pretty ugly, please update your mobile theme, please...