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Show HN: Hacker News reader for Android tablets (android.com)
24 points by jasonostrander 1967 days ago | hide | past | web | 22 comments | favorite

This looks awesome! However, it doesn't address the only problem I have with browsing HN on my Xoom with the regular browser: accidental votes. Is there a way you could add voting arrows larger than the ones on the web page?

I'm working on adding a tablet interface for the comments. For now, unfortunately you will have to zoom to hit the voting buttons.

I am not sure if it would even be possible, but I think it would be a good idea to add upvote buttons to the listview of topics. It would look good on the left beside the topic. Just a suggestion.

Very nice. A few suggestions in case you intend to develop this further:

- The "Y" button for hiding/showing the list is maybe a bit too subtle. I only found it by randomly mashing everything on the screen on the theory that surely the functionality had to be somewhere. I think the problem is that it doesn't look at all like an active UI element.

- Going directly to comments doesn't seem to be possible. I guess you can just tap the list item and then show comments really quickly, but I would have expected tapping the comment count to do that.

- Would be nice to see which stories / comment pages I've already viewed.

- Would be even more awesome to see in the main list how many new comments were added since I last viewed the comment page of a story. - Is it really not possible to view more than the top 50 items?

Hey Thanks!

- My thinking was that since in portait, clicking on any post will hide the list and make it pretty obvious how to get it back, I didn't need to add a button for it. But I think you're probably right.

- Yep, thats on my list.

- Also on my list.

- Good suggestion. I'll look into adding this.

Ah, I see. The reason I ran into this is that when switching from landscape to portrait the list doesn't auto-hide. And this will probably be a common operation when commenting on posts, since due to the stupid 16:9 aspect ratio of Honeycomb tablets landscape is the only comfortable way to read, and portrait is the only comfortable way to enter text.

Is this using the iHackernews API or did you roll your own? (I'm guessing the latter, since you reference jsoup.org?)

The iHN API has been very unstable for me lately, but all other HN readers for Android seem to use it (or their UI is just so bad it borders on unusable).

Do you think the CPU cost of parsing the HN soup yourself is significant compared to pre-chewed JSON from an API (say, iHackerNews)?

You're correct, I rolled my own parser. The iHackernews API is nice, but I found it pretty unreliable in my testing. I've also noticed most other Android apps report API errors frequently. I'm planning on open-sourcing the library I wrote for this, but I need to clean it up first. Honestly, it's not the best code I've written.

I don't really have a good feel for the CPU load of the parsing (I was mostly concerned with how much time it would take). In my testing it seemed fine. Probably more concerning is the memory usage, as I see the GC kick in whenever I refresh the feed.

Is there something similar to this for the iPad? I really like the UI. Great work!

Edit: I found this which looks similar http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hackernews-for-ipad/id3648999... but the reviews are horrible, unfortunately.

Thanks! There are quite a few readers available on the iPad. I've only tried a few, but they seemed fine.

When I try to install it tells me that "the item you are trying to purchase cannot be found". I've not seen that before. is there an apk on the net somewhere?

Hmm, the market is notoriously flaky. Try rebooting your device. Also verify your credit card info. For some reason that helps, even if you're not buying anything. If you're still have problems, let me know and i'll throw the apk up on a server somewhere.

Thanks, neither suggestion worked. My tablet is the viewsonic G-Tablet with a modded version of honeycomb. I assume that's the problem, flaky describes the whole thing. I doubt this is a big problem though, I can see why you'd want to keep all downloads through the market for tracking.

This just replaced my previous Hacker News client. The interface is quite nice, and the navigation is thoughtful. Well done.


Does it have an offline mode? That is what I am missing.

Not yet. For an offline mode to work, i'll also need to download and store the actual pages. That could take a some time, so I have a few other features to add first.

Will this work well for phones?

This release only works on Tablets. I'm working on adding a phone interface. (I wanted to play around with the new 3.x APIs, hence the tablet only first version).

Tablet-only version is just irritating.

Yeah, given the feedback I'm getting I think I'll step up implementing a phone version.

Complain much?

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