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Phandroid News App Launches on Google Play


Our Phandroid App (still available on Google Play) hasn’t been updated for quite awhile, and that’s because we’ve been diligently working on a massive overhaul of the application. We’re proud to announce the new Phandroid News App. It leverages Android 4.0 design standards, performance optimizations for quick loading and battery conservation, and includes full support for commenting through DISQUS.

Take a look and download it from Google Play:

Pretty soon we’ll have three separate applications: (1) the Phandroid News app seen above, (2) a standalone Android Forums app powered by Tapatalk, and (3) a revamped Phandroid app that marries the two. But let’s dive into some of the features in the all-new Phandroid News:

Starting From Scratch

The Phandroid News app tears down virtually everything seen in our current Phandroid app and starts with a clean slate.  This allowed us to optimize the code for the quickest possible load times and lowest possible drain on battery. The feature set is chizzled down to what our core users want most: quick and beautiful access to Android News.

These “code rewrites” are incredibly time consuming, but necessary for long-term improvements. As the best developers know, tacking on new features and bandaids to an aging framework will compound problems and increase issues with each app update. Starting from scratch was a tough decision given the time investment, but ultimately we think the Android community will enjoy the result.

Android 4.0 Design Integration

With Android 4.0, Google introduced a number of new design standards. Among them were the birth of the action bar, the removal of in-app navigation (home, back, etc..), and revamped swipe gesture navigation. You can see that the Phandroid news apps follows these guidelines to provide an enjoyable and seamless  experience for the user.

You might notice that both the app and the website have a new logo. That’s just skimming the surface. Later this month we’ll launch a fully redesigned website that mirrors the style of the Phandroid News app. Tack on a few yet-to-be-announced site features, and we think you’re REALLY going to enjoy what we’ve got in store for you this month.

Basic Features, Done Better

Rather than offer a full menu of rarely used features that confuse users and add unneccessary bulk, we incorporated the most important elements and attempted to perfect them. Here is what you’ll notice when using the app:

  • App opens directly to main news list, loads quickly
  • Simple UI displaying dates, titles (read vs. unread), and number of comments
  • Ability to “Star” articles, with access to all starred articles by swiping to starred tab
  • Article view showing text, pictures, and videos with ability to open multimedia in full screen mode
  • DISQUS support showing full commenting system with ability to make comments, reply to comments, like/dislike/mark-as-spam comments, and collapse/expand comment threads.
  • Poll voting and viewing support through PollDaddy
  • Ability to share articles through social networks and other methods
  • Settings tab to authenticate Disqus, check for updates, view changelog, and clear cache.

As you can see, a pretty solid and simple feature set that should please the vast majority of users. We are including very subtle ad integration, for which we think most users will understand the need. Can you find them?

The Developer

Phandroid News was developed by Neverstill Media’s Lead Android Developer, Steve Albright. As you can read later in today’s interview with Steve Albright, he’s also the lead developer behind Carrier Coverage, Football Pickem, Football Schedule 2012, and Clutchpad. We’ll likely feature more pieces with Steve throughout the month, including some guest posts and tutorials.

What do you think?

If you love where we’re going, we would GREATLY appreciate a 5-star rating. If you’ve got bugs, concerns, suggestions, or any other feedback, we hope you’ll contact us and give us the chance to earn a 5-star rating. Please share your opinions below, including any features, options, and settings that you’d welcome with open arms.

Thanks for downloading and we hope you enjoy your regular dose of Android news with quicker and prettier delivery!

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Looking forward to give it a try. looks neat.

  2. Much smoother! I removed the old app a long time ago because of how frustrating it was to use. this is much much better!

    ****Original post was from my phone too!!!! finally!=)

  3. Woohooo! About time fellas 0_o

  4. love the app.

  5. It looks so much better on ICS. Much for more fluid now, keep up the good work!

  6. Looks good and runs smooth very simplistic has a Google+ feel

  7. The new app looks good. Now when are those of us that attended the Phandroid Live event in Baltimore almost 2 years ago going to get the shirts we were promised?

    1. Oh I’m going to remind Rob about this again!!

    2. That’s a sore subject. But to be perfectly honesty, we’re getting shirts made with our new logo and everyone who attended Phandroid LIVE in Baltimore WILL get a shirt. I’ve still got the list. Better late than never?

      1. Thank you for responding about this. I had tried a couple times to find out what happened but never got a reply.

  8. This is awesome.

  9. Apparently never LOL Chris Chavez probably it

    1. I have no idea what you just said… but I’m sure I agree.

    2. I read this 5 times and am confused.. I need to get more sleep.

      1. Won’t help.

  10. Hey this app actually work’s this time.

  11. Hey this app actually work’s this time.

    1. Said the double reply! Lol

  12. Lol, it’s about time. Looks good, and performs well also. Good work.

  13. Very cool app and integration… I look forward to staying more tied in to the Phandroid community, particularly as I shop / research my next phone purchase!

  14. Looks nice, but the 4.x design standards put the menu button at the top right of the screen, not on the bottom with the 3 navigation buttons. Might want to edit that to be 100% compliant with the new design standards.

    1. I don’t see anywhere that the menu button is on the bottom right. I see it in the top right. Granted I only checked every 30 seconds of the video, but from what I’ve seen, it looks correct.

      1. Oh nevermind. For some reason, when I downloaded it from the Android Market (imma keep calling it that, cause “Google Play Store” sounds stupid) it installed the old version. Weird. Uninstalled, re-installed, got new version, awesomeness.

        Looks great on my Xoom too!

  15. A very usable new version. Uninstalled the old app a long time ago.

    btw – it doesn’t look like the correct comment count is being shown yet. still zero

    1. Slight sync delay from Phandroid not Disqus (don’t want to crash our servers syncing comment counts to fast) .. if its more then a few min, let us know.

  16. If you go to the settings and press change log and press the back key before the prompt loads the application will force close.

    Also while I love the way you have done the scroll cursor, it annoys me that the stock grey cursor shows up for a short moment before the custom one shows up.

    Otherwise very well done and way better than most apps out there. I like that it is kept in line with the ics ui on Google apps.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on the FC issue.. I will fix that. The cursor thing is actually regular cursor vs fast scroll cursor showing… I will look into that and see what I can do.

  17. Maybe now the app won’t get stuck in processes now. I currently forceclose it after every use.

  18. A design-standards-compliant Android app always makes me happy. I probably will keep just using Google Reader, but still, looks good.

  19. I would really like a news counter widget like the old app had

    1. Widgets are coming soon ;) Any other style widgets you like?

      1. a headline widget should be kind of nice also

  20. I think I’ll use this app from now on… I’m still not warmed up to the new Disqus but the way it works in this is great.

  21. Nice I will use your app again havent for a while the old one was crap

  22. love it

  23. About time

  24. I’d use the new version if there was a counter widget like the old. I’ll be sticking with the old until then.

      1. Famous Last Words dept – that phrase, “Coming soon”, appears three times on the splash screen of the old app, and has for years. Just sayin’…

  25. Can’t wait for them to create a widget counter for this app

  26. Looks good, but how do I change the text size so I can actually read it?

  27. I love the new app, a lot. But, I’m not a huge fan of the new logo. When almost every other company is moving towards a more minimalist design, the updated logo seems like a step backwards.

    Also, it would be nice to have the comment box on top of the comment section.

  28. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to move between articles without going back to the main feed. I was hoping for a “swipe to change” upgrade.

    1. This is feasible but we are waiting on user feedback on this one. We don’t want to go down the wrong path with the wrong UI before we get feedback from the user base first. This could easily be a setting too. Thanks for the feedback!

  29. I like the link up in corner to share the news link with different methods. I think there should be a seperate link for comments.

  30. This app is phenomenal… Definitely 5 star material!

  31. Much, much better! Great Job!

  32. Would definitely like to see swiping between articles. Outside of that, great improvement over the old app .

  33. Testing

  34. very nice, but where’s the chat and profile e.t.c?
    so far looking good.

  35. Not meaning to sound rude, but the aesthetics of this application are simply not appealing. The palette is not delightful, the green and blue used here look absolutely atrocious together, and the gradient under the tabs looks dreadful.

    If anything, a redesign is in order.

  36. I LIKE IT!! First time in years that I’ve been able to successfully post comments via the Phandroid app, which is the only way I access Phandroid!

  37. Ok, very nice so far…uninstalled the old app, new one went right on my main home screen.

  38. It took over a year for this?

    Lets hopeit doesn’t take another year for the forum app to come out ;)

  39. Hey, you guys fixed the androids face!

  40. Yes!!!!! I have waited sooooooo long for this, many have.

  41. I like it. Looks much better and is quicker. I used to use the old app quite a bit so glad to see a complete overhaul for the better.

  42. A thought: perhaps some way to synch between multiple devices (when you star articles). That’d be awesome.

  43. Great job, it looks very nice! Will there be any support for the forums? I spend just as much time there as i do in the news section. Also i cast my vote for being able to swipe between articles.

    1. Read under the video.

  44. Also it would be nice if the comments box was at the top instead of having to scroll through all the comments first

  45. looks much improved. only thing I don’t like is having to arrow down thru pages of comments to give feedback. should be at the top IMO but I understand its powered by disqus. overall much much improved

    1. i actually prefer reading what others have said first. So I really hope the order will stay as is. or an option in the settings.

  46. How do I increase font size?

  47. i like this update. it runs very smooth on my Gnex!

  48. Like the new app other then having to scroll all the way to the bottom of the comments to leave a message. To bad it isn’t like Gmail app where the header stays in place, but overall I like.

  49. Nice work. Not too happy with the background on the main page. I think it disturbs the reading experience hen scrolling. If there would be a hiding option I’d use it. as for colors, I’d make the blue a little darker and change green into sth else. Really happy that comments are on the same page as the article.

  50. I can’t wait for the iOS version to come out…lol

  51. lmfao iOS

  52. Much better, loving it. Are the activity/fragment transitions custom? I’ve not seen any like them in apps or in the framework unless I’ve missed some API for them. Only suggestion I have after initial use is to move/have another comments box at the top of the comments as posts with lots of comments like this 1 involve a lot of scrolling. Possibly article list|article fragment composition too for tablets.

  53. “Mark all read” isn’t working.

    1. Works just fine here

  54. Very nice! I actually didn’t mind the old app too much, but this is a great improvement. I will be uninstalling the old ASAP.

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