Rocket-in-Bottle Small Wonders for Web and Mobile


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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.


  1. When there is a pop-up notification from this application, I clicked disable it. Then it disappear in my newtab page I cannot find enable choices in the option menu and don't know how to enable it. When I go back to the app page, it shows this app is installed.

  2. @David: please go to chrome://extensions and look for NewsSquares, then click 'Enable'. The app should be back on the new tab page.

  3. I have installed this app but cannot access it. There is no icon on my chrome toolbar.

  4. same as P Knight... can't find or create an icon in Chrome to access this... help?

  5. Oh, Chrome Web Apps show up on new tab pages. If you are using SpeedDial, you need to either temporarily disable it to launch NewsSquares, or use an App launcher like AppJump ( to use Web Apps. Sorry for any inconveniences caused! When Chrome Web App goes public I guess SpeedDial will support Web Apps in time. :P

  6. I love News Squares -- when it works! Layout is great. I like being able to make some squares larger and get a preview. But I have no icon to access it. So I opened it and pinned the tab. Unfortunately, the pinned tab disappears after opening Chrome a couple times. I repinned and this morning it's gone again. Unfortunately, so is the link in my bookmarks to the setup page where I can get the link to the NewsSquares page. So now I'm here trying to figure out how to find my NewsSquares! I would really like an icon in the aps bar like the former FeedSquares.

  7. OK, sure, as soon as I post that comment I find a new tab over the bookmarks square on my Incredible Start Page that reads "my aps" so I click it and sure enough NewsFeeds is there. YAY! I swear that tab wasn't there yesterday (or maybe I'm blind?)

    Anyone using Incredible Start Page check it out!

  8. How do you disable the new news popup?

  9. @Jonathan: Please go to the options page and disable the notifications.

  10. Why are the squares colored the way they are? Is there a way to choose your own colors?

  11. Accidentally disabled this app. How do I enable it?

  12. would you consider providing some way to preview the full story within newssquares similar to super reader within google reader or others, thanks

  13. Awesome guys, between this and as said..."Start Page"
    I have now a new internet experience.. I want it on my droid pad, I want as a home page and I want it on my HTC EVO..Please, please... I love the way that "apps" allow smart people to bring us ways of using tech at our finger tips..

  14. Love this app, but even with the app pinned, it does not load automatically upon startup and a manual refresh has to be performed.

    Looking forward to the new features!

  15. Hi, my app won't load. everytime I open it, it will just show a blank window though it has loaded...

  16. Hi,
    Thanks, I started using this application. It looks be interesting app.
    However I have basic query,How do I categorize the new item ?


  17. Just a wonderful app :)

    Can there be a way of reloading the news? Using CCleaner deletes the news

  18. How do I categorize a news square?

  19. @Everyone Thanks for the suggestions! We will consider them.
    @Krissh @LJ That's considered advanced function and you can only do it in Google Reader. :P Thanks.

  20. Do you plan to add "Share to Google+" button? There is a Reader extension for that, but (obviously) it does not work for NewsSquares. This is really a must nowadays!

  21. News Square is good to use. But, unfortunately and most frustratingly, it never launches after a shutdown of the computer and will not respond when I start up the computer again. So, I had to uninstall and load the program again to enjoy this wonderful facility. But, I cannot be doing this each time I want to use news square??!!??

    CS Khew

  22. @QDynamics Do you mean your NewsSquares is not loading? Please email us for support. You may pin NewsSquares tab and remember Goggle login, then it will launch every time you start Chrome. Hope it helps.

  23. please if you could add the services of facebook, twitter and google + it be wonderful to see everything in one place

  24. It would be nice if the story selection bar would go aaway when youu select a story and come back when you close it.

  25. Just installed the app on chrome. I like the look and feel and would like to use it. However the order of the news feeds is very confusing. I need to sort them and put them into some sort of order that makes sense to me.

  26. The best of its kind as a newsreader, but, lack visibility in the titles of each painting, is a rebellious not find some news even when writing the address, there is no way to contrast the colors of the source. is otherwise well

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. With google reader now gone will it have it's own engine to continue providing feeds or do I need to move my feeds to another service?

  29. I'm glad you're still functioning (with news squares rather than feed squares) now that google reader is defunct. But on my phone I use Newsify, and it (thankfully!) has tied itself into Feedly as its source as a replacement for Google Reader. Feedly is useful for organizing things in a similar interface to Google Reader on the laptop and seems to be "the big one" to fill the void they left, but I like News Squares format better for just browsing and reading the feeds. So right now I've got three different services I use for RSS feeds, and two of them are linked... Could News Squares be linked to Feedly as well? That way when things are marked as "read" or are starred/bookmarked/whatevered, they will be synchronized across all my platforms and readers.

  30. I get notifications in my status bar and when I click the notification, it takes me to newsquares, but: it does not take me to the particular source that I was notified about. Why? Is there any way to have newsquares "focus" on what is notified?

  31. I had my google reader items in folders. Newsquares has preserved the folders, but ... I can't find out to edit the folder contents or create new folders???

    (for example, I have a couple items that are mis-filed, it would be helpful to move them to the correct folder. How do I accomplish this?_

  32. @pvl The notification is controlled by Chrome, it has to be plain text therefore it cannot direct you to the news source. We might change this if there is alternative later. For the folders, please click "Add > Manage" then you can edit the folders.

  33. Hello to everybody,

    I need a fast solution for receive notifications from only one blogspot (without RSS), how can I to receive emails notifications directly in my inbox??

    Thanx a lot!