Thursday, April 25, 2013

Version 2.0 is available!

LuckNews version 2.0 was released today, April 25th.  There is one large change in this release, along with several bug fixes and a few other improvements.

The largest change to LuckNews is that it is now free!  If you use 8 or fewer subscriptions in LuckNews, then you will have access to all of its features and power and yet pay absolutely nothing.

LuckNews has moved to a new sales model.  You are able to purchase subscription capacity through an in-app purchase.  If you use more than 8 subscriptions, then you will be able to purchase additional subscription capacity through two in-app purchases.  You can purchase the capacity to hold up to 20 subscriptions, or you can purchase an unlimited number of subscriptions.  Its hard to talk about prices, as LuckNews is available for sale world wide and the price point is different in all of those countries.  In the USA, the first level of capacity is available for $0.99 and the unlimited capacity product is available for $1.99 - the App Stores in other countries should offer similar affordable prices.

I expect that many customers will not need to purchase any additional capacity at all.  For all of you that fall into this category, enjoy!

If you need to purchase additional subscription capacity I think you will find the process fast and easy.  In the File menu, there is a new item at the bottom called 'Open In-App Purchase Store...'  If you invoke this menu item you will see the in-app purchase store.  Once you have selected a product from that window and pressed the 'Continue' button, you will proceed to the Apple store dialog's.  Apple controls the actual in-app purchase, the process is secure and reliable.

If you are a customer who has purchased LuckNews prior to version 2.0, and you have more than 8 subscriptions, this change is a little unfortunate.  In earlier versions of LuckNews, you always had an unlimited number of subscriptions available.  When you upgrade, you will find that your current set of subscriptions is completely functional, however you will not be able to create any additional subscriptions.  I apologize for this.  Unfortunately, Apple runs the App Store and I do not have access to a customer list or the ability to provide existing customers with free upgrades to the new unlimited subscription product.  This means that if existing customers want to continue to create new subscriptions that you will need to purchase the additional capacity.  I'm sorry about that.

I hope that everybody enjoys the new version of LuckNews.  I look forward to continuing development on this product in the future.

Feedback on this change is welcome.

If you have suggestions for improvements, please forward them.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

LuckNews up to version 1.2.3 now

Since version 1.2 was released around February 19th, there have been three new versions released.

Version 1.2.1 addressed an defect which could cause the application to crash.  I found the problem within a few hours of the 1.2 release being available for sale and submitted a fix immediately.

Version 1.2.2 addressed two issues reported by users.  The first issue was with a URL which could not be added to the app successfully, an ebay link.  The problem was found and fixed.  This release also changed the way the application handled the refresh time interval to allow users to set the refresh time interval to an interval less than 5 minutes.  5 minutes remains the minimum interval you can set using the applications interface.  A back-door method is available if you want a shorter refresh interval, the method for doing this is described in the help section of this blog.

Version 1.2.3 addresses a few more issues reported by users.  When viewing articles displayed as HTML, if the web page contained links which invoked javascript code to open a new window, nothing would happen when you clicked on the link.  After the fix, when you click on these links they open in the default browser the same as non-javascript links.  Additionally, the subscription list widget has been improved somewhat to maintain each folders open/closed state as you reorganize subscriptions using drag and drop.  The widget behavior is improved, not yet perfected.  I also received a suggestion to add an option to allow LuckNews to open links in the default browser 'in the background' rather than bringing the browser forward and making it the new active application.  I added a new preference to control the default behavior when clicking on a link and allow the command key when clicking to alter this behavior.  This now works in a similar manner to how the Mail app works when opening links in mail messages - although LuckNews provides some visual feedback when opening a link in the browser with it remaining the background application, which is an improvement over the Mail app.

Version 1.2.3 also fixes a crash reported related to turning on the cacheing of images for a subscription in certain circumstances.  Lastly, I also came across an RDF style subscription (an older format, RSS or Atom are the newer preferred formats) which was not parsing properly.  This parsing problem is now fixed.

So, there have been three new versions of LuckNews in a little over 2 months, containing a mixture of new features and fixes for problems found.  Please continue to send me reports of issues that you find, or suggestions for improvements.  I'll continue to do what I can to address them.