Elytra Blog

The simple RSS Reader. This blog publishes release notes, engineering and design details.

Elytra v2.4 is now available

Elytra’s 2021 third quarter release is here and is ready for iOS and iPadOS 15.

This is the first release with a modern and cutting-edge foundation which focuses on reliability, stability and ease of adding new features in future releases.

If you feel generous and have a couple of minutes, please review the app on the App Store. It makes a huge difference for me. Thank you in advance.

New

Quick Notes

Quick notes has been one of my favourite additions to iPadOS 15. You can quickly reference articles using it in your notes with a simple drag and drop.

Prominent Scene

The inclusion of prominent scene is a great addition to the multitasking arsenal on iPadOS. Simply pinch out from an article to open it inside its own prominent scene.

Extra Large Widgets

Elytra's extra large widgets for iPadOS 15

Extra large widgets on the iPadOS 15 makes getting a quick overview of recently fetched articles even easier. All widgets have been updated to support this new size.

Other New Additions

  • Added a new sync method to also sync added and deleted feeds on sync.
  • Added a new Portrait Lock preference under miscellaneous settings.
  • Added support for tables in articles.
  • New and improved article list view. It renders twice as fast now and uses less power overall.
  • Added a “Enable Push Notifications” toggle under Settings > Notifications. You will only see it if Push Notifications are not already enabled on that device. For cross-device sync, it is recommended you turn this on.
  • Added the old v1 app icon to the list of customisable icons.
  • New options for Feed Settings:
    • Open Articles in the Browser. This is useful for feeds where full-text extraction fails.
    • You can now toggle full-text fetching for feeds. When you open an article from that feed, the full-text content will be automatically loaded.

Improvements

  • Categorised keyboard shortcuts on iPadOS.
  • Added a small bar underneath the status bar when you have the hides bars preference enabled. This prevents underflow of the content and helps prevent the distracting “text over text” situation.
  • New Photos Browser
  • Improved external display/Airplay handling
  • If you add multiple folder widgets, you can configure each one with a unique folder. The previous limitation of a single folder has been fixed. (back-ported to iOS 14).
  • Improved error messages across the app. The app will now display error messages directly from the API’s error.
  • Added delete and info swipe actions to the search results for Feeds.
  • Notifications under the app settings will now also show Local Notifications if any are enabled.
  • Improved scrolling performance on iOS 14 and 15 inside the article reader.
  • New and improved settings UI.
  • New Appearance customisation UI in the article reader (on iOS 15, it’ll appear as a bottom sheet).
  • Improved visuals for the folder row if a feed is being dropped onto it.
  • Improved dragging states for feeds and articles.
  • The sidebar now maintains the folders expansion state across app launches.
  • Added the cmd + G (cmd + shift + G for backwards) shortcut for navigating to the next article search result.
  • Added Keyboard shortcuts to dismiss interfaces like New Feed, Feed Info and other modals.
  • Improved sync and timeline loading performance for users with several filters.
  • Added the ability to reuse your existing account ID for signing in to the app. Please contact support on details on how to use this.

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where marking some articles as read failed if they were recently synced on to the device.
  • Fixed an issue across all platforms that could sometimes cause a crash on launch when available system memory is low.
  • Fixed an issue with the title view in the articles list being hidden after scrolling.
  • Fixed an issue when swiping back from the article reader when the bars are hidden to cause the layout to get janked.
  • Fixed an issue with the new sync not updating the feed’s folder structure if one already exists.
  • Fixed a crash that was caused when changing from light to dark mode and the article reader was open.
  • Fixed an issue with the Article Reader’s bottom helper view used a black background and black shadow causing it to appear blurry for some users.
  • Potentially fixed a crash for some users when using the toolbar preference.
  • Fixed a crash that would sometimes occur when opening an article with Lists containing multiple line-breaks at the beginning of the paragraph.
  • Fixed a long standing issue on iPadOS where the currently selected article or sidebar item would get deselected when the app was backgrounded and then foregrounded again.
  • Fixed a bug with importing OPML Files with invalid/incorrect format.
  • Fixed an issue where the feed settings would not be loaded correctly on app launch.
  • Fixes an issue which caused Feeds only re-sync to fail which also caused background sync to fail sometimes. This could potentially cause feeds metadata to get wiped.

The Betas of Elytra

Elytra's new App icon

Something is off? Something doesn’t sound right? Something doesn’t look right!

That’s it, it’s the new name and App icon. Yes, Yeti still remains our internal codename however, since this is the first Beta build, I couldn’t think of a better time to finally reveal the actual product name we’re going with: Elytra.

There’s also a new domain name. An .app domain. I’ve been waiting to acquire this domain so I can finally release the Beta.

Well, here’s what’s new in the first Beta;

What’s new

  • Dark Theme for iPhones & iPads
  • Black Theme for iPhone X.
  • Serif type (Using Georgia at the moment, please email me your font suggestions).
  • Improved Memory management.
  • Lowered disk usage (and therefore lower power consumption) when a post has lots and lots of images.
  • Image galleries are now accessible including controls.
  • Improved Quotes design.
  • Improved code blocks rendering.
  • Improved text rendering performance.
  • Improved “Add To Elytra” (previously, “Add to Yeti”) share extension.
  • Moved the Article Helper interface to the right edge on iPads. It moves to the left for RTL idioms.

What’s fixed

  • Galleries with images with no height information are now rendered correctly.
  • Galleries with more images than what can be fit horizontally (page control) are now rendered as groups of 5 photos per control.
  • Fixes unread pull-to-refresh crash.
  • The Title & author text is now aligned correctly with the rest of the text in the article interface.
  • Fixed the “Add to Elytra” (previously, “Add to Yeti”) share sheet extension crashes.

Known issues

When working on some features and fixing some bugs, I ended up running into a lot of UIKit bugs. Following are some of the known issues Elytra will present which we have to depend on Apple to fix:

  • When using a dark theme, the navigation bars will misbehave and present a lot of unexpected states and behaviours.
  • When searching inside an article, the highlighted area is often mis-positioned to the left or right (this depends if you’re using a LTR or RTL idiom) however, scrolling up or down a little positions this highlight correctly.