Coming Soon to Unread: Standalone Accounts
April 21, 2022
I am excited to report that Unread 3 is coming soon! Unread 3 will add support for standalone accounts. Standalone accounts are based on a cloud service that I have been working on and using myself for over a year. The cloud service polls feeds periodically looking for new articles. Unread then downloads the articles from the cloud service. Your feed subscriptions, read/unread status values, saved articles, and even webpage text settings will be synced across devices.
I am most excited about the improved first run experience for new customers. Today a new customer cannot get started without first obtaining an account from an external service. With Unread 3, you can quickly create a standalone account that syncs across devices from inside the app.
Why a Cloud Service?
The cloud service adds a variety of benefits over the app retrieving articles directly from feeds:
- Refreshing the list of articles is much faster, and uses less battery power and bandwidth.
- Some feeds age out articles after only a few hours. The cloud service ensures that you do not miss articles.
- The cloud service takes advantage of the webpage text service to incorporate hero images and author names into articles when feeds omit them.
- Since the cloud service is independent of iCloud, syncing is not subject to iCloud’s throttling and does not consume iCloud storage.
External Feed Services
Support for external feed services such as Feedly and Feedbin remains important for Unread. If you are happy using an external feed service, you can continue doing so. You will not need to change anything.
You will want to continue using your external feed service if you use it to keep Unread in sync with other RSS readers or if you use the website that your feed service provides. The cloud service for standalone accounts is focused on article retrieval and syncing for Unread.
Feed Wrangler recently announced that it is shutting down on March 1, 2023. Standalone accounts will be available before Feed Wrangler shuts down. If you are using Feed Wrangler and are using it only as a backend for Unread, Unread’s standalone accounts will provide a suitable replacement. If you also sync to other RSS readers or if you also need a web interface, Unread supports Feedbin, Feedly, Inoreader, and NewsBlur.
I thank Feed Wrangler’s developer, David Smith, for his work on Feed Wrangler and for giving a generous amount of advanced notice before the shutdown.
Stay Up to Date
There is not yet an estimated release date for Unread 3, and there is no room for additional beta testers right now. But I am excited to announce that standalone accounts are coming soon. For updates, follow this blog via RSS or follow @unread_app on Twitter.