Rocket-in-Bottle Small Wonders for Web and Mobile


Sunday, December 12, 2010

NewsSquares has been Updated! (1.1.0)

In this new version we have reworked the rendering to resolve a graphics issue that crashes the Chrome browser. Please notice that at the time of writing Chrome Dev is still a bit unstable so any intensive HTML5 graphics may still crashes in certain specific machines and settings. Please mail us at rocketinbottle AT gmail DOT com with your OS and version if your NS still crashes. Thank you for your contribution to the beta test!

If you have tried to disable notifications via NewsSquares' notification window - it won't work properly (sorry Chrome bug! haha). Please go to our options page to disable notifications instead. If in some cases NewsSquares get disabled instead, please go to "chrome://extensions" then find "NewsSquares" and click "Enable". It should be back on the new tab page. It's kind of funny, we know, but please forgive Google - Chrome's App functionality is new!

You can actually manage your subscriptions in a one screen interface. Just click on the manage button in the Add dialog. :P

Thanks again. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NewsSquares for Chrome - Come and Try!

Hello fans of FeedSquares! Today we proudly introduce NewsSquares, our latest incarnation of news reader for Google Chrome! It's our latest creation that caters to the news and blog reading needs of casuals and power users alike. It has everything that FeedSquares offers, with a bunch of new features and every part as beautiful. Come and try it out!

Everyone who wishes to get updated with news and blogs will find NewsSquares helpful. NewsSquares syncs with your Google Reader like FeedSquares does, but it doesn't require existing Reader subscriptions to work. So if you have friends and family members who likes to read from the web but never tried Google Reader before, do us a favor and ask them to check out this beauty! You can click here to go to our Chrome Web App page. Enjoy!

Yay! Show me the App Now!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thank You for Installing NewsSquares for Chrome!

Congratulations! Click on your NewsSquares icon any time to start reading your news in style. Or check out this very short intro video and help us spread the news by sharing it to your friends!

You can also click here to get an FAQ or here to get an update history, or here to get back to Chrome Web App page. Enjoy!

Other Apps and Extensions from our friends!

Need simple session management? Several users on the same Chrome? FreshStart is a simple cross browser session manager. Now supports synchronization through bookmarks, and crash recovery!

Bored with the default start page? Incredible Startpage is a new, customizable start page for Chrome. Easily find your favorite bookmarks and closed tabs. Take notes as you browse.

Using NewsSquares FAQ

(Last Updated: 7 Jun 2013)

Q: Concerning Google Reader

A: Since version 1.5, NewSquares will no longer depend on Google Reader (which will be discontinued on 1st July 2013). Currently subscriptions will be stored locally, please check out this post for more details. FeedSquares users please install NewsSquares as it will be discontinued on 1st July also.

Q: How to import my subscriptions to NewsSquares?

A: Once NewsSquares is installed, you will be asked to import your subscriptions using a OPML file, or from Google Reader (before July 1st 2013). Or you can just start with some demo feeds and gradually build up your subscriptions. For details on how to get a OPML file, please check out this post.

Q: How do I start reading?

A: Just click on any squares and click whatever that interests you! NewsSquares is a very visual news reading experience.

Q: How to edit my subscriptions, folders?

A: Click on the "Add" button, that will show the dialog that allows to add/remove subscriptions. Click the "Manage" button on the top right corner to organize your feeds in different folders.

Q: Why are some Squares larger than the others?

A: Large squares allow previews and notify you when there are updates. You can enlarge and shrink Squares according to how important they are to you. They consume more network resources though (to fetch previews for you), so please don't make 100s of them.

Q: I need more Squares on my News Wall!

A: Click on the Add button and type in your favorites. Or when you are browsing blogs and news sites, right click and choose "Add to NewsSquares"!

Q: Can I order or sort my Squares?

A: NewsSquares learn your reading preferences and order them automatically. Trust us, NewsSquares do a good job on that. If some subscriptions are especially important to you, enlarge it. Or start typing a particular subscription name anytime and our filter and bring it to you.

Q: I am a power user - what's in it for me?

A: NewsSquares is great tool for keeping track with small number of blogs with its notifications on new items. It is ideal to use in conjunction with a full "Google-Reader" replacement. If you have difficullty finding feeds on your wall, just start typing anytime in NewsSquares to filter by name. Did I tell you we have shortcut keys similar to Google Reader? Try spacebar or '?'. :P

Q: Why can't NewsSquares be launched like FeedSquares with an extension button?

A: NewsSquares is a Chrome Web App (or packaged app to be exact). Currently Chrome does not allow web apps to have a launch button on toolbar like extensions. To launch a web app, you will have to go to the New Tab Page and click the app icon there.

In case you are using New Tab extensions that do not support web app listing yet. You can try this extension called AppJump which allows you to launch any web app directly from its popup.

Q: I love NewsSquares! How can I help?

A: Follow us! Tell your friends about us! 

Q: There's bug! How can I help?

A: Please mail to rocketinbottle AT Sometimes Chrome has its own share of bugs in development and beta channels, so sometimes we can only transfer your report to them.

Questions Not-So-Related to Using NewsSquares

Q: What's the Inspiration for NewsSquares?

A: NewsSquares (and prequel FeedsSquares) came from an art experiment. It was about creating a dynamic artwork that visualizes a person's information inflow. It's then developed to become a Web App that everyone can use. Explains why it looks so gorgeous, doesn't that? :P

Q: What do you think about Flipboard/Pulse/etc.? Did you/they copy them/you?

A: LOL. Funny it's not an uncommon question. Prequel of NewsSquares, a RSS client called FeedSquares, was created and released April 2010 - months before the recent revival of RSS readers. Plus NewsSquares is not about touch interfaces - it's about power of HTML5 and the cloud. So it's Apples and Oranges.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (1.1.7)

With the latest version, we have made several major bug fixes. In addition, you can now:

  • Add comments to Friends' Shared Items
  • Read your Stared or Shared items even you have selected "Show Unread Items Only" in options
We will be making a big move for feed lovers out there before Christmas. Stay tuned and thanks for the support so far!

Monday, June 28, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (1.1.0)

You can post comments on your shared items in FeedSquares now. When you share an item, a comment box will appear and you can click "Add Your Comment" to add a comment.

The box will show comments posted by people you follow and yourself:

We have also added "Your Shared Items" and "Your Starred Items" to the wall. You can access them by a single click or with the keyboard shortcuts "g then shift+s" and "g then s" respectively.

Update (Version 1.1.1): You can customize whether to show the special squares such as Friend's Shared Items. The settings are available in the option page:

By default only the Friend's shared items are shown. You can add more squares for quick access. Hope you like it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (1.0.2)

FeedSquares now have built-in podcast support! When you view an article with attached podcast, we will notify you:

You can save the podcast by right clicking on "Original Link", then choose "Save Link As":

Even better, you can click "Play" and play the podcast directly in FeedSquare's built-in player!

You can hide the player and navigate to other feeds. The podcast will keep playing in the background. Very handy, isn't it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (1.0)

FeedSquares have reached 1.0, and we have keyboard shortcuts now! The keys used in FeedSquares are similar to Google Reader's built in shortcuts, you can see a complete list below:

  •  j/k: next/previous item
  • n/p: next/previous item
  • space: next item or page
  • shift+space: previous item or page
  • shift+n/p: next/previous subscription (will go through all feeds instead of feeds in current folder)
Item actions
  • s: star item
  • l: like item
  • t: tag item
  • shift+s: share item
  • shift+d: share item with note
  • v: view original
  • m: mark item as read/unread
  • shift+a: mark all as read
  • g then h: go home
  • g then a: go to all items
  • g then s: go to starred items
  • g then shift+s: go to shared items
  • g then shift+f: go to friends' shared items
  • g then shift+t: open trends page in a new tab
  • g then c: open comments page in a new tab 
  • g then d: open discovery page in a new tab 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome - Supercharge your Google Reader!

Want a refreshing way to use Google Reader? Check out FeedSquares for Chrome now and begin to read your favorite feeds in style! It's beautiful, it's easy to use, and Google agrees - we have just been picked by Google Chrome team as a top extension! If you are not using Google Chrome as your browser, come see one more reason why you should.

Google has definitely done a great job on Google Reader's default interface. But after sticking with the same interface for years, you might be itchy for something new. If you are a visual person, or you just love to see what "HTML5" can really do, or you just want to try new, beautiful things, you should check out FeedSquares!

FeedSquares fully synchronizes your subscriptions and items' read/star statuses from and to Google Reader. It gives you a visual, personalized lightweight listing of feed items with image previews. It also provides easy sharing to your Reader stream, twitter and such.

Make no mistake about it, despite the ease of use, we also provide a full arsenal for the feed warriors out there to battle their unread counts. Shortcut keys is coming up in the next version.

So, news and feed lovers of the world, please do give us comments and your feedback! And hope FeedSquares will be an enjoyable experience for you all. Here's a big download button for the Chrome version:

Download Links:
FeedSquares in Google Chrome Gallery (screenshots/link to download)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (0.9.0)

Good news to the "hardcore" reader users, you can now:
  • Click the unread count on the feed square to mark feed as read!

  • Scroll items to mark as read, please enable the feature in "personalize!" section

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (0.8.8)

FeedSquares now includes a bunch of new features to improve your feed reading experience!

Personalize your FeedSquares! Say, you can now set FeedSquares to automatically hide all your read feeds and read items. More personalization features coming soon.

Other new features include:
  • Mark all feeds as read (long due, we know!)
  • Link to Google Reader (for management)
  • Remember last selected folders across sessions
We may have just interrupted your FeedSquares session to notify you of these changes. Please be assured this will only when we have some major changes that are important to users.

What's coming:
  • Keep items unread (Done in 0.8.9!)
  • Share with note (Done in 0.8.9!)
  • New sorting options

Monday, May 10, 2010

FeedSquares for Android 0.7.7

The Android version of FeedSquares have been updated! Here are the new features:

Non-Gmail Email Addresses
  • You can login with non-Gmail email addresses now. This is for users who were using Google Reader with emails in custom domains.
Error Reporting
  • Now if FeedSquares encounter a "forced close" error, you can submit an error report to help us diagnose the problem. The report contains the version of FeedSquares, phone model and a description of the error.
  • We changed the sharing tag to "via #FeedSquares" so you can track your shared items more easily.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (0.8.7)

Cluster feeds by folder

  • Good news for people who have lot of feeds: now you can select a folder and the feeds would be organized in a centralized clustered view!

Select a folder...
...(insert sound effect)...

Edit tags of items

  • Tagging is in!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome is updated! (0.8.6)

Check out what's new in version 0.8.6~

Now you can view your friend's shared items in the new square "Friend's Shared Items"

Too many items? Mark all item as read now enabled.

More functions coming up. Thank you for your support.

FeedSquares for Chrome Tutorial

FeedSquares for Chrome provides a refreshing way to experience Google Reader on Chrome and read your favorite feeds in style. To begin using FQ, please first login to your Google Reader Account (via Google).

After you login, your very own wall of feed squares will spring into view. Each square represent a feed from your Google Reader Subscriptions. Simply scroll horizontally (or mouse wheel) to view all your subscriptions. To give your better grasp of what's latest for that feed, you will notice that some thumbs will show up gradually.

The top is a list showing the folders you have assigned for your feeds. Click on a label to see feeds inside that category.

To begin reading a feed, simply tap any square and enter the feed view.

Roll over your mouse to start viewing the list of horizontal items from you feed, just click on it to open the item view and view its content. You can star and share the item here as well.

Customizing FeedSquares

If you favor a darker background, just click on Night to get a darker theme. Click on options to open FQ's options page. You can further adjust how frequent you want to update your feed data. For notebook users who uses trackpad, please enable the trackpad mode.

FeedSquares on Android

Are you an android user? You may want to check FeedSquares on Android as well! It's FREE!

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FeedSquares for Chrome released!

Want a refreshing way to use Google Reader on Chrome? Check out FeedSquares for Chrome now and begin to read your favorite feed in style!

FeedSquares synchronize your subscriptions and items' read/star statuses. It gives you a lightweight listing of feed items with image previews. Visit the tutorial here.

Last but not least, if you are an Android user, remember to check out FeedSquares for Android!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thank you for installing FeedSquares for Chrome!


Google Reader will be retiring 1 July 2013 so FeedsSquares will be discontinued soon. See details at:

Please try our app NewsSquares at 

You can take a look at our full tutorial here. Or just click on our little icon and start right away - FeedSquares is super easy to use!

We hope you enjoy it and we would love to hear your feedback! Please notice that image previews are not ready the moment you install the extension. They will get loaded eventually and become part of your personalized feed wall.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New App! FeedSquares on Android

Hello everyone! Rocket-in-Bottle is excited to announce its first Android App, FeedSquares. Getting a daily dose from your feeds is a must for many Android users. If you are looking for a slick and beautiful feed reader on Android, FeedSquares is the way to go!

Apart from being a beauty, FeedSquares comes with a host of on-the-go reader functionalities:
  • Synchronize your subscriptions and items' read/star statuses
  • Lightweight listing of feed items with image previews
  • Full content view for feed items
  • Sharing to Google Reader and other platforms (e.g. Twitter and Facebook)
Check out our full tutorial here.

Enjoy using FeedSquares? Just tap on "ABOUT US" square and help to spread FeedSquares! Interested to try FeedSquare? Grab this QR Code and install it now!

Email us at if you have comments or bug report for FeedSquares. Hope you enjoy using FeedSquares. Thanks!