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.