The main view of Heartfeed presents a grid with your feeds:
This view scrolls both horizontally and vertically, showing all the news items for your subscribed feeds. To read an item, simply click it, and if you want to jump directly to the linked web page, long-click the item; see below for further details on reading. Long-click the feed’s name to copy the feed address to the clipboard, in case you want to e.g. send the address to someone else.
A gray background indicates that the item has been read. To mark all items as read, click the ✓-button in the top left. If you click this button by accident, you can click it again and it will “de-mark” those items (this only works while you are looking at the same group of feeds, and until you have refreshed those feeds).
Note that if you haven’t bought the upgrade for unlimited feeds, you will only see at most 3 feeds in this view. You can add more feeds to your feed list but only the top 3 will be shown in the grid. To buy the upgrade, go to the settings (the small cogwheel to the top right).
Some users might want to quickly go through all new items in all feeds to select which ones to read. If so, there is a quick pick functionality which you can access by clicking on the quick pick-list symbol in the top right spot:
Once clicked, the whole view enters quick pick-mode. Here you click any item which you want to read later (any item currently in the quick pick-list is marked with orange ), and once you are satisfied, you simply select Quick Picks from the menu to read them:
Items in the quick pick-list are saved over restarts but not synched across devices. Once read, items will be automatically removed from this list at a later time (normally, when app is restarted).
Pro-tip: If you click with two fingers on an item while in the regular mode, i.e. without having switched to quick pick-mode, the item will also be added to the quick pick-list.
Feeds are refreshed, i.e. new content is fetched, when:
- App starts
- You manually pull down the main view so that the spinner which becomes visible starts spinning
- If you have left Heartfeed for another app and come back to Heartfeed, if more than 30 minutes have passed
If you have allowed it in system settings, feeds will also be refreshed in the background a few times per day (exact times depend on when iOS allows this to happen). The app will also cache the latest 50 items for each feed, even if the actual current feed data only supplies fewer than that. Together, this means that even if you don’t use the app in a while, as long as no more than 50 new items have appeared in one of your feeds during this time, you will not miss any of them.
To read an RSS item, just click on it in the main view and you will see a presentation of the item:
This view presents the context of the actual RSS item, formatted for efficient reading. Here you can swipe to move between the items in the feed, or if you prefer, click on the navigation bar at the bottom. All items you read will be marked as read in the main grid view.
You can also:
- Bookmark the item (see Bookmarks for more about this) by clicking the bookmark-button:
- Share the item using the sharing-button:
If you want to read the news item on the web (some RSS feeds only contains summaries), clicking on the top link for the news item (or at the bottom, or any other link in the item, if you want to), will take you to a regular browser:
This browser view is essentially the standard web browser Safari. This means that configured content blocker, account logins, etc, all work as they do in Safari. It also means that the app using the view, Heartfeed in this instance, cannot check what you are doing; all data shown, addresses input, etc are hidden from the app developer. In other words, the user can be certain that what s/he is doing is not seen by the app developer, i.e. me. Nifty! 🙂
Also, as mentioned previously, if you want to jump straight to the web page for a news item, you can long-click the item in the main view.
So day-to-day usage is very straightforward: Click, read, swipe. Personally, I always end my session with clicking on the All read-button so I know that next time, all ”white” items are new to me.