Elytra Blog

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

Elytra September 2022 Release

The September release of Elytra focuses on bringing new features and improving performance & reliability of the app. It also brings support for iOS 16 and the newly released iPhone 14 and 14 Pro family of devices.

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

Banner: Elytra running on iPhone 14 Pro

New

Banner: Elytra running on iPad Air with two articles in separate windows
  • Support for the latest OS releases.
  • Added section under Settings > Account to transition from a private ID to an Apple ID
  • Elytra now uses the common internal logging framework for fetching, displaying and archiving logs
  • You can now open independant multiple windows of Elytra on iPads
  • Searching in articles now uses the new Apple framework for a seamless system-UI experience.
  • Added multi-selection in the articles list
  • Added multi-selection context menus for bulk updating articles
  • Multi-selection support now enables dragging and dropping multiple articles
  • Two New Widgets for the Lockscreen:
  1. Unreads: Shows the unread articles from the last two weeks. The gauge counts up all the articles in the last two weeks.
  2. Today: Shows the number of unread articles from today. The gauge counts up all articles from today.

Both widgets open the respective section in the app for quick access.

  • Keyboard focus mode now enabled throughout the app

Improved

  • Improved performance of loading feeds, articles and processing filters
  • Improved performance of pulling new articles from Elytra Cloud
  • Improved article rendering performance by nearly 2x
  • Improved internal caching mechanisms
  • Reduced power usage signficantly when scrolling through long lists of articles
  • Tap anywhere on the empty view to display the sidebar if it is not visible
  • Improvements to the networking library used to communicate with the Elytra API
  • Improved sync performance for new installations of an existing account

Fixes

  • Fixed search crashing on iOS
  • Fixed crash on sign up (after a fresh installation)
  • Fixed a critical bug causing older articles to be marked as filtered even when no filters were applicable.
  • Fixed a critical bug causing Re-sync to crash sometimes
  • Fixed importing OPML and Feed Settings files
  • Fixed onboarding getting stuck when signing-in with a Private ID
  • Fixed an bug with the Folder’s widget always showing no articles
  • Fixed an bug with the Folder’s widget not correctly displaying micro.blog style posts
  • Fixed opening articles from widgets when the app isn’t running
  • Fixed reset account hanging after launching app
  • Fixed wrong icon displayed for the Share sheet extension

Changes to the Support Matrix: iOS 15 and macOS 12 minimums

iOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) have been available in Public Beta for a couple of weeks now.

They will be generally available in the coming weeks.

With on-going efforts to modernise Elytra’s codebase, and keep things lean & fast, the next release of Elytra (v2022.8) will be dropping support for older OSes. The new support matrix is as follows:

  • iOS:
    • iOS 15
    • iOS 16
  • macOS:
    • macOS 12 (Monterey)
    • macOS 13 (Ventura)

With 96% of active users already on one of these supported releases, the migration will be seamless for you. If you are using devices on older releases, the current version available on the App Store (v2022.7) will continue to work. As no API deprecations are planned, this will not affect usability of the current release in any way.

I’m excited for the v2022.8 release and new features planned for upcoming releases, some of which you can see in the Public Issue Tracker.

Upcoming Improvements to Elytra on iPadOS

For the iOS 16 release of Elytra, I’m working on bringing improvements to the iPadOS side of things. 

Lots of things are planned but the very first I wanted to tackle was improved multi-scene support for Elytra. 

There is a lot of work to be done in this aspect, but the initial stage is set. Here’s a glimpse of that:

Elytra running on an iPad Air, with two simultaneous scenes opened at the same time with different articles in view

If you have a special request for Elytra for iPadOS, feel free to open an issue here or email me at support@elytra.app.

July 2022 Release

The July 2022 release of Elytra focuses on clearing up old code and files from Elytra’s codebase and the final release in the upgrade pipeline started back in 2022 during the May 2022 release.

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

Improvements

  • Improved performance of loading feeds, articles and processing filters.

  • Improved performance of pulling new articles from Elytra Cloud.

  • Improved article rendering performance by nearly 2x.

  • Improved internal caching mechanisms.

  • Reduced power usage signficantly when scrolling through long lists of articles.

Fixes

  • Fixed onboarding getting stuck when signing-in with a Private ID.

  • Fixed OPML import issue.

  • Fixed search crashing on iOS

  • Fixed crash on sign up (after a fresh installation)

  • Fixed a critical bug causing older articles to be marked as filtered even when no filters were applicable.

  • Fixed a critical bug causing Re-sync to crash sometimes.

May 2022 – 3 Release

The May release of Elytra focuses on clearing up old code and files from Elytra’s codebase. A lot is changing under the hood, but very little is changing visually in the app.

This is to prime the codebase for WWDC 2022 which will bring in new OS versions and features to the app.

This will be the final release to support iOS 14. This will also be the final release with new features until the next release shipping with iOS 16 support.


As WWDC approaches, we’ll be seeing a lot of articles coming from the press surrounding the event. RSS feeds are a great way to follow this news as it happens.

So to get you setup, first 1000 users can get their first three months at a discounted price using the code: EYTWWDC22 for the monthly subscription, and EYYWWDC22 for the yearly subscription.

These codes will be valid till the 12th of June, 2022, 12:00AM GMT.


Fixes

  • [iOS] Deleting your account now prompts for cancelling your active subscription and backing up your data before deleting it.

  • Fixed a crash when opening the filters view.

  • Fixed a crashing bug that would sometimes occur when marking over a hundred articles as read.

  • Fixed a crashing bug that would occur when no items are pending to be marked as read.

May 2022-2 Release

The May release of Elytra focuses on clearing up old code and files from Elytra’s codebase. A lot is changing under the hood, but very little is changing visually in the app.

This is to prime the codebase for WWDC 2022 which will bring in new OS versions and features to the app.


As WWDC approaches, we’ll be seeing a lot of articles coming from the press surrounding the event. RSS feeds are a great way to follow this news as it happens.

So to get you setup, first 1000 users can get their first three months at a discounted price using the code: EYTWWDC22 for the monthly subscription, and EYYWWDC22 for the yearly subscription.

These codes will be valid till the 12th of June, 2022, 12:00AM GMT.


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

New

  • New User Interface and manager for OPML Imports

  • New marking articles as read now happens in the background. The operations complete instantly and whenever your device has an opportunity to update this with the API, it’ll make an attempt. If you’re offline, it’ll try the next time you’re online.

Fixes

  • Fixed marking read blocking the UI in some cases.

  • Fixed some data-race bugs.

  • [iOS] Fixed Safari extension showing blank feed items.

  • [iOS] Fixed Safari extension showing the UI when only a single feed is identified. It now directly opens the app with that URL instead.

  • Fixed a bug where image re-downloads would fail immediately when retrying with the image proxy.

  • Fixed push tokens not being synced with the server when push notifications are already authorized.

  • Fixed full re-sync causing the app to crash instantly.

May 2022 Release

The May release of Elytra focuses on clearing up old code and files from Elytra’s codebase. A lot is changing under the hood, but very little is changing visually in the app.

This is to prime the codebase for WWDC 2022 which will bring in new OS versions and features to the app.

As WWDC approaches, we’ll be seeing a lot of articles coming from the press surrounding the event. RSS feeds are a great way to follow this news as it happens.

So to get you setup, first 1000 users can get their first three months at a discounted price using the code: EYTWWDC22 for the monthly subscription, and EYYWWDC22 for the yearly subscription.

These codes will be valid till the 12th of June, 2022, 12:00AM GMT.

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

Fixes

  • fixed a bug preventing manual refresh

  • [iOS] fixed a bug causing background refresh to hang until the app was active again.

  • [iOS] implemented Offer Codes Redemption

  • [iOS] fixed viewing logs

  • fixed a bug causing indexed articles to be re-indexed on launch

  • miscellaneous internal fixes

April 2022 Release

The April release of Elytra focuses on clearing up old code and files from Elytra’s codebase. A lot is changing under the hood, but very little is changing visually in the app.

This is to prime the codebase for WWDC 2022 which will bring in new OS versions and features to the app.

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

New

  • Spotlight integration for articles.

  • Re-enabled feeds indexing for Spotlight.

Improvements

  • Improved logging system

  • Sharing logs is now faster

  • Improved mini-audio player reactiveness.

  • When contacting support, logs are automatically attached to the email.

  • When no email accounts are setup, Elytra will now let you share the debug information and logs through the share sheet.

  • macOS users can view the app logs now. Help (Menu) > View Logs

Fixes

  • Fixed a few random crashes caused by the previous available SDK.

  • Fixed a regression where the blog label was not tappable in the article reader.

  • Fixed a bug with updating selected state of article in the list on iPadOS/macOS.

  • Fixed localisation, Voice Over and some accessibility tokens on the article switcher and helper buttons.

  • Fixed importing OPML files not correctly parsing unencoded html entities in feed titles.

Others

  • Updated attributions of 3rd party libraries.

Elytra v2.6 is now available

The first release of 2022 is here and brings some incredible performance enhancements to Elytra. This is the culmination of all the work I put into the app’s engine in 2021.

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

Here’s what’s new and changed in v2.6.0:

New

  • Moved to a new of storage engine (Apple’s own) which is much faster, reliable and will help implement a lot of the upcoming features in Elytra.
  • New Small widget that shows the latest unread article from a single feed of your choice.
  • New onboarding flow
  • The app is now localised for 10 languages. If you spot any mistakes in the text translations, please get in touch.
  • Reset Account: You can now reset parts of or your entire account without having to create a new account.
  • Added Source Han Serif font for improved support in CJK articles.
  • macOS: Added a “Reset App” item under preferences.

Improved

  • Notifications will now include the cover image if the article includes one.
  • Major improvements to handling and managing subscriptions in the app. See note below if subscriptions data fails to sync.
  • Widgets now directly load data from the common data store, so they update much faster and sync more reliably.
  • macOS: Added Internet Access Policy items to give descriptive messages of connections in apps like LittleSnitch and MicroSnitch.
  • macOS: Fixed spacing for items in Preferences.
  • macOS: Improved full-screen support for videos in Big Sur. Toggling full-screen on a video will now open it in the OS’s fullscreen, not limited to the app window’s area.

Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where favicons would sometimes never load for a feed even with a valid URL.
  • Fixed loading indicator showing when no where articles available (after switching sorting order).
  • Opening articles from feeds with reader mode enabled now works across all article list types (unread, today, folder…)
  • Fixed a crash that would occur on opening certain articles with deeply nested content.
  • Fixed a critical range overflow bug when applying attributes to paragraph content.
  • Fixed a bug where toolbar article navigation buttons would not update after changing the article.

Temporary Removals

Due to some bugs in modern systems, the following have been temporarily disabled:

  • Hide bars on scroll (iOS and iPadOS)
  • Search on macOS

If you notice any translation errors, please feel free to reach out to me on support@elytra.app. I’m continuously working with wonderful people who are helping with translating the app and introduce new languages to Elytra. If you’d like to help, you can check out the instructions here.

Notes

If you see continuous errors when fetching information about subscriptions, purchasing or restoring: please check if you have a custom DNS blocker enabled on your device. Some of these prevent connections to the service Elytra now uses to manage subscriptions. You may have unblock api.revenuecat.com in your DNS blocker settings to get things to work.

A Year in Review and the Future

With 2021 wrapped, we end another pandemic laden year, and I hope it has been a gentle one for you. Here’s what happened for Elytra in 2021: 

  • Exactly a year ago, I made some pricing calibrations for the Indian AppStore and some other regions to keep the original prices for Elytra’s subscription plans. 
  • Soon after, we got the 2020 Winter update which brought local sync, and support for local notifications. It also brought a feed settings user interface to toggle per feed settings like Notifications, Automatic Reader Mode and more.
  • Later in May, Elytra’s 2021 Summer update went live which brought in numerous updates and improvements to the app. It was one of the largest updates ever in terms of changes of lines of code. 
  • Along with the 2021 Summer release, the Notarized Builds were also made available enabling you to download Elytra directly from me.
  • And in the last quarter, Elytra v2.4 and v2.5 were released alongside the iOS 15 and macOS 12 releases respectively. 

The Future on iOS and macOS

Overall, 2021 was much busier for Elytra than 2020 was. A lot of improvements, updates and new features. And if you’ve been a customer of Elytra for a while, you know that never stops. 

The 2022 Q1 release is just around the corner. I’m polishing up the release now, and thanks to my beta testers, this has been very quick. The Q1 release is mostly going to focus on performance & stability, and moving to a new storage engine. More on that once the actual release becomes available. 

You don’t have to wait though, if you’re interested in a TestFlight build, jump right in.

The API Updates

The API has seen numerous updates and bug fixes in the last couple of months. Most notable ones include:

  • Articles with no summaries are now pre-filled with a summary extracted from the main content when available. 
  • Sync now no longer relies on an outdated token system, and without it is much more faster. 
  • Improved Push Notifications delivery 

That’s all for now, have a happy and gentle new year, and keep reading. Cheers.