Wire 1.5

There have been several recent updates to Wire focused on making the app more responsive and easier to use.

The original goal of Wire was to build an RSS reader that renders content in the format of the website, instead of a stylized view of the text. The whole idea is that a website is more than just what’s in the <content:encoded> tags in an RSS feed, but the CSS and JavaScript that browsers render as well.

There are downsides of loading the URL of an article in a web view though — namely, the overhead of downloading the article and then rendering it. On a fast connection, it’s noticeable. On a slow connection, it can be annoying.

To that end, the last couple of releases have been focused on improving that aspect of the experience. As of version 1.4, Wire downloads every article, which improves performance and makes offline viewing possible. As of version 1.5, articles are pre-rendered to make the transition from the article list to the web view as fast as if we were just rendering displaying the text from the RSS feed.

I’ve been using this for a couple weeks and the more responsive feels like magic.

Wire

Wire is an RSS reader for iOS that displays articles with their native formatting — or an optimized mobile version for sites that support AMP — and doesn’t require yet another account to sign up for.

As mentioned previously, it had been quite some time since I wrote any iOS apps, so I decided to use some of my free time this summer to build an app that I wanted to use.

There are other RSS readers. It’s not exactly new territory. But like most apps, the good ones all seem to require you to sign up for another account. I don’t know about you, but I find the number of accounts I already have to worry about somewhat overwhelming. I don’t need anymore. Relying on an iCloud account won’t solve this problem for everyone, but in this case it solves it for me.

The other main feature I wanted in an RSS reader was the ability to disable the monotonous E-reader-like view that has become so common. So many of the websites I read look great on mobile.

As you can see, it’s a pretty standard design. There’s a simple list of articles that you can group however you want. The article view loads a selected article in a web view. I really prefer this real view of the site to the reader-ized version other apps use.

I have found Wire to be quite good for what I want. It doesn’t do much more than aggregate articles from the websites you want to keep up with, but I think it does that well.