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Launching real-time filterable push notifications for iOS, Android, web, and email

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For some sites, you want to know when they publish as soon as they publish. Maybe you want to immediately be notified of everything a site publishes, like a monthly meetup that posts an event only once a month. Or perhaps you want to be immediately notified of everything the NYTimes publishes about the companies in your stock portfolio. Or you just really enjoy reading your daily comics and want them emailed to you so you never miss a beat.

Today I’m proud to launch push notifications simultaneously across all three native platforms on NewsBlur (that’s web, iOS, and Android). That means that you can setup notifications for all Unread stories or only Focus stories that you’ve trained to be pushed to you over email, iOS, Android, or through browser notifications on the web.

You can setup all four types of notifications on both web and mobile. And you can employ your intelligence training to only surface the stories that have use certain tags, have specific keywords in the titles, or are written by specific authors. Additionally, it’s easy to hide stories using that same training so that you don’t receive notifications that you want to ignore.

Push notifications on iOS

To start with notifications on iOS, you can use the new swipe-to-the right gesture on the feed list (replacing the trainer on the swipe gesture). It’s very easy to turn notifications on and off or to even step up the filtering on a site so that you only get Focus stories instead.

This way you can overprovision notifications for yourself and easily dial them back to where you get just the right number of notifications.

Today version 7.0 of the NewsBlur iOS app is being released and here’s a list of what’s new and fixed on iOS:

  • Push notifications: real-time push notifications on a per-feed basis.
  • Swipe-to-the-right on a feed to change its notifications.
  • A new optional app badge for unread counts. Enable under Preferences.
  • Stories now automatically are marked as read on scroll. Disable under Preferences.
  • Better image support on iPad and fixes for drag-and-dropping the story titles bar (at bottom of the story detail).
  • A note on that: you can move story titles to the bottom on iPad. Just drag the bottom bar up.
  • Fixed issue with sharing stories not working or disappearing on iPad.
  • Fixed theme issues in the activity share sheet.
  • Fixed a crash from opening stories with no permalink.
  • Fixed size of intelligence control on bottom of feed list on iPhone SE.
  • Fixed issues when story titles are set to the bottom layout on iPad.
  • Fixed issues with the interactions dialog.

Notifications on Android

Android also gets a new version today. Version 6.0 gets notifications and new custom reading fonts as well as the mark read on scroll behavior that iOS and web have enjoyed.

Here’s a list of what’s new and fixed on Android:

  • Mark as read on scroll is a new preference to automatically mark stories as read as you scroll past them.
  • New fonts for reading: Whitney, Chronicle, Gotham Narrow make their way to Android from the web.
  • Also supporting native Android fonts Noto Sans, Noto Serif, Open Sans Condensed, and Anonymous Pro.
  • Switching between Text and Story view is now sticky per-feed (similar to iOS and web).
  • Fixed issues where feed list would not update.

Notifications on Web

Browser notifications are handy for those sites that you only want to read on your desktop. For example, you could setup web notifications for an RSS feed for a status feed, letting you know when migrations and downtime will have some effect on you.

Setting up and tuning notifications is also just as easy to do on the web. You’ll find it under Manage > Notifications as well as in the Read Filter Popover (top right of the app) when reading an individual feed.

Notifications over Email

Finally, for those use cases not covered under web or mobile, you can now have websites automatically email you when they publish new stories.

This is for those stories that you don’t want to miss and want to ensure that you read. For instance, I use email notifications for worrydream’s quote blog that serves me a single paragraph of insight once a week because I loved having quotes emailed to me.

There you have it, four new ways to consume the news. If you love using NewsBlur and want to see it continue to launch new features like these, please tell friends and followers about your news reader. People often ask for ways to stay on top of the game and NewsBlur is the most powerful way to do it.

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7 days ago
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4 public comments
ameel
7 days ago
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Yay!
Melbourne, Australia
samuel
7 days ago
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This is a huge deal and the biggest feature of the year. Notifications have grown on me considerably, esp. the email ones.
The Haight in San Francisco
satadru
7 days ago
Thank you!
satadru
7 days ago
So how would I create a notification for say Samuel Clay's Blurblog?
samuel
6 days ago
I subscribe to the feed of the blurblog and then setup notifications. I haven't built blurblog notifications, although I suppose I should.
satadru
5 days ago
+1. Social notifications on newsblur (comment & shared feed) would be huge. :)
dreadhead
2 days ago
This is neat but I think the notifications I would like the most would be for social interactions (comments etc)
JayM
8 days ago
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Nice. Newsblur continuously is by far the best news reader out there.
Atlanta, GA
hooges
8 days ago
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Any chance this feature will someday get the ability to push only certain tags. I know it can do focus, but I might have a use for a notification for just one tag instead of multiples I highlight in a feed.

I guess I could....send notifications to email alias which I then push back to Newsblur...then use intelligence trainer on the feed the email creates with notifications. Ha!
Topeka, KS
samuel
7 days ago
I think IFTTT supports filters like that, which means you could use their new filter feature directly with the NewsBlur channel. It's actually the way notifications were handled ad hoc by users until now.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Fishillusionment

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Don't let him read any motivational books or we can't kill him.

New comic!
Today's News:
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bakadesuyo

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Rental Car

2 Comments and 15 Shares
Technically, both cars are haunted, but the murder ghosts can't stand listening to the broken GPS for more than a few minutes.
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popular
38 days ago
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fxer
37 days ago
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reticulating splines
Bend, Oregon
alt_text_bot
38 days ago
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Technically, both cars are haunted, but the murder ghosts can't stand listening to the broken GPS for more than a few minutes.

You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you

5 Comments and 17 Shares
You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you

This is a comic about the backfire effect.

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popular
50 days ago
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chrishiestand
50 days ago
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so good, so timely
San Diego, CA, USA
MaryEllenCG
50 days ago
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This is super interesting, and very helpful.
Greater Bostonia
duerig
50 days ago
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Hmm. This was interesting up until it got into the evo-psych explanation at the end. Yes, we probably did evolve to dismiss ideas that threaten our core beliefs. But like almost any pattern of thought, it is both a consistent bias and a reasonable thing to do most of the time.

It is completely rational to be slow to change your beliefs when faced with new evidence. It is also completely rational to respond to intellectual threats with hostility and retrenchment. At the same time, these completely rational responses can also lead us to reject compelling evidence in some circumstances.

Why are these responses rational? First, because conversation, books, articles, and speeches are all very weak evidence. I've got a mountain of experience behind me informing my beliefs. And somebody has just added a metaphorical pebble. Occasionally, it might cause a landslide resulting in a profound change in my understanding of the world. But most of the time it does not. If somebody changes their mind every time they hear an assertion, we tend to think of them as foolish and credulous. And for good reason.

I have heard assertions throughout my life. Some of them were true and many of them were false. I have to evaluate this assertion to get a sense of how probable it is.

Second, There is no fundamental way for me to perceive whether an assertion is true or false just by looking at it. Instead, I have to make a judgement based on the my previous beliefs and experiences (also known as pre-existing biases) and how much I trust the person making the assertion (also known as accepting an argument from authority). In a formal logic sense, both of these are clearly fallacies. But they are all I have to go on. So I have to use these tools to make sense of the assertion. If the assertion fits comfortably in the house of my core beliefs and I have a certain amount of trust in the asserter, then I might be willing to accept it. Otherwise, I will be likely to reject it.

Now let's say that somebody said something that sounds absurd. 'Absurd' is just another name for something that doesn't fit my core beliefs. In that case, I would likely reject it out of hand. And I would also feel threatened. I would likely downgrade the source. I might even become angry because a common cause of false assertions is that somebody is trying to trick me. Maybe they want me to look foolish or they want to defraud me.

Now the difficulty is that these reactions are reasonable whether or not my core beliefs are true. So if I come to have a core set of beliefs that happens to be incorrect (which is almost certainly true to some extent or another), then this rule of thumb can prevent me from replacing them with better core beliefs that are more true.

I think that the answer has to be somewhere in the middle. We should not be changing our beliefs every time we hear a countervailing assertion. But it is also important to seek out different perspectives on those beliefs. If there are no fresh inlets, our core beliefs will be stagnant intellectual swamps. But if we accept new assertions too readily, then we become a river with each new idea passing through and then replaced by the next and we have no possibility of retaining truth.

And it is important to use this kind of thought process as a form of self-improvement rather than as an argumentative bludgeon. It is far too easy to read about some fallacy or bias and then use it as a reason to find your opponent 'irrational' rather than using it as a tool for yourself.
deezil
50 days ago
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THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS ALL DAY THIS.
Louisville, Kentucky

Why I Hate Games: Part 184

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When I was 2 there was no such thing as a home computer. When I was 4 the very first one appeared, and my dad got it right away. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting on his lap as we played text adventures together. So it is with utter mad delight that I receive my 2 year old’s requests to sit on my lap as I play games today. And with access to all of PC gaming, I’m usually able to meet his requests of, “Daddy, can we play game with…” That is, right up until I try to run any of them.

“Daddy, can we play a motorbike game?” came the request one day last week.

“Yes!” I said, particularly pleased because I’d had the foresight to install both Trials Evolution and Trials Fusion on Steam a few weeks back, anticipating that he’d love watching those. “I have a motorbike game right here!”

“No you don’t,” came a voice I’ve grown to fear. The dull, dreary voice of Ubisoft’s monstrosity, UPlay. I fucking hate UPlay.

Steam is obviously a giant pile of shite, worse with every iteration, creaking under the weight of its own clusterfuck of a design. We’re not exactly a site that shies away from reporting on that. But at least, in the main, when you install a game you just click on it to play. Sure, you have to sit through “1 of 3…” installations of software you know full well is already installed on your machine because Steam just sodding installed it with the last seventeen games you played, and explaining to a 2 year old that we have to sit and stare at this small dark window for an undetermined period is annoying, but it’ll likely load.

Even EA’s Origin is pretty much fine now, if somehow more poorly laid out than even Steam – quite an achievement on their behalf. It was appalling for years, but it’s really not any more. Origin is now annoying because it exists, rather than because of anything it actually does. (Oh, apart from always having a new update to install before it’ll start. Apart from that.) But UPlay is just baaaaaaaaad.

Launching either Trials game from Steam in fact launches UPlay, which is already irritating beyond comprehension. Because then UPlay inevitably needs to be updated, because God willing it’s months since you had to run it. And for both games it then helpfully went on to tell me that actually the game doesn’t exist.

“Wait Toby, sorry. I’m not sure what’s happening. Let me try again.”

UPlay maintained that neither game exists. I’m fairly certain they do, since I’d downloaded them and all. And there they were in my UPlay library, existing. But launch them… no. So I tried uninstalling, which brought up Windows’ uninstaller. Smooth, Ubisoft, smooth.

“Sorry Toby, look, I’m going to have to try downloading it again. This is going to take a while.”

I uninstalled the games from Steam, since that’s where I got them from. They didn’t disappear from Uplay. They were, it believed, still installed. Oh good grief. It’s nearly tea time, and then it’ll be bedtime. I can’t tell him we’ll do this later. It’s our chance today.

“Toby, look, this isn’t working. We may have to try tomorrow.”

I reinstall Trials Fusion, this time through UPlay, and it loads. But what it loads. A broken version of the game that will only allow me to try to play races I can’t access until I’ve completed tutorials. Tutorials it won’t let me access. I quit, and restart.

“Yes, I know sweetie, but it won’t let me play.”

I reload, and now, at last, I can play. The tutorials I’m forced to go through, despite knowing how to play, are accessible. Except they incessantly stop me from playing to tell me things I already know. And then comes the cry of “TEA TIME!” from downstairs.

A few days later Toby asks for “a car game.” Yes! I think. I know just the thing – I always have Burnout: Paradise installed on my PC, because it’s one of my favourite games. Now, that’s a game that’s famous for being so bloody awful to start, but at least I’ve played it to death.

Except it’s somehow not installed anywhere. Origin says it’s not installed there – oh gawd, did it not survive moving the HD into a new PC? Argh. But Steam hasn’t done that. Why isn’t it on Steam?

“Daddy, where car game?”

I’m trying so hard. And once again the impending deadline of teatime looms, and once again a game I know is installed won’t bloody load.

Oh for FUCKS SAKE. Steam has, beyond all explanation, decided to forget one of my install locations. An entire SSD of Steam games gone from the list. After guessing their ghastly Settings menus I find where to re-add it, and ping! Burnout’s back!

And has forgotten all my progress.

Meaning we have to not only sit through its interminable dozen or so opening screens, but also watch that godforsaken intro video in which it pointlessly tells you the names of all the locations on the map in a completely useless fashion, before then making you sit through an enforced photograph sequence despite there being no webcam attached to my machine, then that UTTER ARSEBUCKET DJ Shitforbrains or whatever his dumbass name is waffling shite at me and not just letting me drive a pretend car around a pretend track.

“Daddy, show the car again!”

“I’m trying, honey. I’m trying so hard. But this… bloody thing…”

Not swearing isn’t the hardest part of this. It’s seeing the wonderful patience on my little boy’s face, as he tries so flipping hard to be cool about his disappointment. Daddy’s excitedly promised a car game, but instead we’ve seen settings screens, Steam windows, loading screens and a lady talking bollocks over a picture of a map. And yes, of course, “TEA TIME!”

I end up apologising to my boy, feeling like such a shithead because games think they’re so fucking important that they need to make you jump through ludicrous hoops, rather than just double-click on an icon and then have the option to start playing. “Oh no no, you need to do these tutorials first, I’m quite sure. And this intro video. And here’s four seconds of the game, and then we’re going to freeze it to explain things to you instead of letting you have any fun.” Games are dicks. I hate games.

“That’s ok, daddy. Don’t worry!”

Oh gawd I want to hug him until we both explode, his disappointed face, trying to comfort me because I got him hyped up and then essentially said, “Actually, no, despite your being so patient you don’t get to see the game, and we’re going.” So tea waited a little bit longer last night and we drove a car around while daddy muttered oaths at DJ Atomicunt.

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