It reminds me of the talk about how obvious the iPhone UI is, such that Google wasn’t copying iPhone but just proceeding along “obvious” lines. Yet, it seems that they were busy proceeding along the obvious line of imitating Blackberry until the iPhone became a hit, then they were proceeding along the obvious line of imitating an iPhone.
The author of this work seems to be saying that he did this entirely independently. I am prepared to accept his word for that, which is why I use the word “unfortunate.” There are so many truly new and novel things to invent, it is a great shame that two smart people put work into inventing the same thing instead of giving birth to two different ideas.
It's all about execution. I've seen the other one before and considering the basic style of it (newspaper page with multiple articles layout), it wasn't pretty enough to make me want to install. I really like the look of this app and look forward to trying it out.
Also, kudos for him getting the domain. I figured it would have been taken already.
0. Nice minimalism.
1. The main body typeface is needlessly hard to read (words have weird kerning with some letters sticking together a lot). I strongly think that the body font should be as readable as possible, simply since it is going to be read a lot! Pick the most readable font out there (or maybe the second most readable).
2. The "Return" button is hard to tap when holding the iPad in both hands. iBooks solves this problem by having the entire left edge tappable; not sure what would work best in this app.
3. Are you familiar with the Flipboard for iPad? (you probably are). I think it is beyond awesome. All magazine/web mobile apps should learn from that app.
4. That every article pops out from the bottom edge of the screen (UIModalTransitionStyleCoverVertical ?) gets annoying after a while. The animation where the whole screen whizzes by from the bottom up every time you tap is more tolerable on a smaller screen like the iPhone. I would rather prefer an animation with a "zoom" effect with the article expanding from its location in the grid to the entire screen; or maybe something else you can think of.
5. It is annoying that comments have to be shown in a browser window which takes a while to load.
I do like the idea of making the left side tappable, and I really do want to change my animation and hope to get time to fix that soon.
Just so you know when viewing a story you can tap the headline to go back. This feature was mostly added for myself, I hope to get a designer to design me something that communicates returning to the front page better than my current methods.
I can tell you've done some iOS work cause you can see some of the shortcuts I took to ship this on time. I hope to fix these soon :)
I truly believe that the onus is on you to Google the name you want to use before you launch. Heck, just to make sure there isn't competition - much less something with the same name. That isn't good for either of you.
Perhaps you should strongly consider changing the name of your application.
- It's hard to flip pages, I opened articles often when I tried to flip one. Seems the gesture recognition needs some refinement
- I don't like the font and the header. I think it looks a bit cheap. At least the font in the sub-headline could look nicer.
- Get rid of those standard rounded rect-buttons in the article view. Doesn't need too much effort to style them a bit, and it makes a huge difference.
Thanks for this app, well spent money :-)
The gestures, better fonts, and buttons are three things that are already high on my list to fix, but its really good to hear it from someone else. Be looking for an update shortly.
In the next version I will definitely try to do something to make it look a little cleaner.
We all have ton's of ideas, techcrunch can be newspaper like, mashable can be magazine like, its all your execution with little bit pinch of idea.
I echo what was said before, don't like the header. I get what you're trying to do with newspaper, though a cleaner font would work better. Look at the UK gaurdian app in newsstand for inspiration.
I would also suggest images in the article though again it may take away from the newspaper feel.
The flipping doesn't always work, it opens an article on the odd flip try.
I would love to see:
- Instapaper integration
- Pull in the comments if possible - isn't that what makes HN,Hn?
- New threads instead of just front page
- Number of comments so far
- A very light tint of colour on the buttons, 10% blue?
All in all great experience, with a tweaks this could be a winner!
Like I've already commented its great to hear from you and see which of the features I think are important are also important to people who have tried the app.
B) I used to curate a pretty large list of Hacker News mashups that you might get some mileage out of: http://gilesbowkett.blogspot.com/2009/11/hacker-news-mashups...
1. Your web app is close to, if not already, dead: http://gilesbowkett.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-may-let-hacker-ne...
2. So what if this guy was inspired by your app? Who doesn't do research before implementing an idea?
3. Your most persuasive evidence--the header font--appears to be the most unpopular aspect of the app, judging by the comments, and so will probably be changed shortly, anyway.
4. The developer is not in direct competition with your project, as he didn't even code it for the same platform (yes, an iPad can browse the web, but yours was not, specifically, an iPad app).
* Use of a certain layout style which is literally centuries old.
* Prefetching content, an extremely common practice in computing.
* A similar font.
I think you need to seriously reexamine the originality of your work.
If someone rips you off, improve on it and have the better product. It's too bad that your apps are so similar -- but the concept, layout and elements are old-hat. If he ripped you off on purpose I highly doubt he'd be eager about the HN community finding out about it.
As for the name, seems to me "hacker news paper" is a fairly obvious name to arrive at.
Not knocking your webapp. Just saying there really isn't an issue here.
In the hacker news crowd, I think it is significantly more present.
I don't recall your opinions on these topics, but prepare to be faced with some pretty intense logical fallacies today.
I just want to say that I did not use your app as a source at all when designing my app, but I did use newspapers.
HNP is a popular if niche app.
Meanwhile, it doesn't make a whit of difference to the larger issue.
If I have 800 daily unique users of something I put real work into, and someone launches a very similar product with the same name then I have every right to ask them to consider a name change.
The OP needs to start off with an apology because in the very least he did not Google his own name and concept before launching. That's awkwardly gauche in my books.