Open BazQux Reader on your mobile device. See it? Like it? Good! ;)

Left panel disappeared in desktop browser? Don't worry, just make window a bit wider.

OK, today I'm rolling out one of the biggest updates in BazQux Reader history—web interface optimised for smartphones. And it's not a kind of stripped down thing—it's complete desktop interface with all the functions but readable on small screen. You get all view modes, comments, settings, search, filters, sharing and saving—everything.

For a long time I didn't want to bother with mobile interface as there are a lot of great mobile apps that support BazQux Reader. But while these apps are great they still do not provide the same experience as BazQux website. Mobile feed reader apps works mostly like e-mail clients—they display one article a time and show a separate list of article titles. You need a lot of tapping and swiping to navigate. BazQux Reader is closer to modern social media feeds—continuous stream of posts where you just need to scroll down. It has a list view but it's only one of many view modes.

I've asked a number my clients about what they miss most in BazQux Reader and most frequent answer was a better mobile experience. So I decided to take a leap and finally improve it.

Look at screenshots. As you see list view becomes multiline on narrow screen:
Swipe right to show feeds panel (or use hamburger button in top left corner). Here you could select or add feeds and open settings menu (settings button is next to the "Add subscription" button).

Images and videos take full width of the screen:
I'm especially proud of this as it gives very modern user experience. And technically it does quite clever server-side preprocessing of article content so there are no jumping images—they all load in right position from the beginning.

Programmers will especially like that sections of preformatted text (<pre> tag) take full page width and have horizontal scrolling even in desktop mode (while usual article text is still limited in width to make it more readable). Same applies to tables—you could scroll if they're too wide.

Mixed view mode works great too:
I like this too, since mixed view mode is unique feature of BazQux Reader. You could quickly skim through titles of high volume blogs (in list view), see photos from photoblogs (in mosaic view) and read your must read blogs (in expanded view) all at the same time. No view mode switching, no clicking. Just scroll.

And things do not become slower as you scroll more and more. Reader unloads articles as they're moved away from the view (but it will load them again if you scroll up to reread something). YouTube and Vimeo videos are loaded lazily, only after you click on them. I don't know what YouTube did (too much tracking?) but put a dozen of YouTube videos on the page (just put, no play) and even desktop browser will become slow as hell. This is not the case with BazQux. You could scroll thousands of articles in picture- and video-rich blogs without any slowdown. On both desktop and mobile.

What's great is that new interface is not exactly mobile—it's responsive. For example, you get default desktop interface in landscape orientation of iPad but it get's mobile once your rotate your tablet to portrait mode.

Here is a demo video of how reader interface adapts to various screen sizes:

Toolbars, articles in every view mode, menus, dialogs—everything works well on every screen width and any font size.

It took a lot of time to reimplement almost every interface element and to test it on many devices. There are still some things to do but you can already enjoy the same desktop reader experience on your mobile device.

Little tip for Android users: to get even more app-like experience you could use "Add to home screen" option in your browser. iOS unloads home screen apps once you switch away from them (e.g., to open article in browser), so it's better to just use browser in iOS.

Few more assorted news:
  • Password protected feeds are now supported.
  • Instagram images and YouTube/Vimeo videos are embedded in tweets if they have links to them.
  • More tweets and Facebook posts are fetched at once to not lose anything.
  • Full text is retrieved from the first external link in Twitter/Facebook/VK/Google+ and Reddit feeds.
  • Blogs with large and infrequent posts are given a priority in search results to promote quality content.
  • Added handling of brain damaged GDPR consent in some feeds (some sites think that BazQux servers are EU citizens).
  • used for playing videos to lessen YouTube tracking.
  • Disabled showing of related YouTube videos at the end of playback so you don't waste your time.
  • Added ability to subscribe to VK topics.
  • Added "Font size" item to settings menu to change reader font size.
Happy reading!