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Posts tagged with "reddit"

Reddit Launches Official iOS App

For a long time, Reddit was unique among large online communities for its lack of an official mobile client on any platform. That gap was filled by third party developers who made popular Reddit clients like Alien Blue and Narwal. Then in 2014, Reddit purchase Alien Blue, which has been the official Reddit client for the last 18 months.

Today, Reddit launched a new official iOS client called appropriately, Reddit. At the same time, Reddit has removed the iPhone version of Alien Blue from the App Store. The iPad version of Alien Blue remains in the App Store and is free because for now at least, Reddit is iPhone only.

Some of the highlights of the new Reddit app include card and compact views, a dark mode called ‘Reddit night’, which was also available in Alien Blue, a ‘safe for work browsing’ toggle, and support for multiple accounts. In addition, if you log into Reddit during launch week, you get a free three-month trial of Reddit’s gold membership, which is normally $3.99/month or $29.99/year. Based on my initial use of the app, Reddit is a solid debut. The card view is nice for browsing media, but switching to compact mode is great for skimming through lots of items quickly. I also appreciate the inclusion of a night mode.

Reddit, which is iPhone only, is available for download on the App Store for free.


Alien Blue Update Gifts Pro Users with Four Years of Reddit Gold

Nice move from Reddit (via MacRumors): if you bought a Pro upgrade for Alien Blue (which was acquired by Reddit in 2014), the latest update will get you a four-year Reddit Gold subscription for free.

I realize that I’m spending quite a bit of time on Reddit each day (some subreddits can be surprisingly civil and informative), but I never really considered the Gold membership. It’s got some intriguing perks.

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Reddit Acquires Alien Blue

Alien Blue, perhaps the most popular third-party Reddit app available on iOS, has been acquired by Reddit. Greg Kumparak writes at TechCrunch:

We heard whispers of this deal going back a few weeks. While reddit isn’t disclosing terms, they’ve just confirmed to me that they’ve acquired the Alien Blue project and that its Melbourne-based developer, Jase Morrissey, will be joining their team.

Curiously, reddit seems to hesitate in calling the app their “official iOS reader” — they’re keeping the “Alien Blue” name, for example, rather than changing it to just be called “reddit” or “reddit reader” or something.

I’ve covered Alien Blue several times here at MacStories over the past five years – it’s always been a fantastic Reddit client packed with nice design touches and powerful functionalities to customize the way you read Reddit, browse sub-reddits, and interact with comments. It’s interesting to see Reddit acquiring a power-user app such as Alien Blue rather than more simplistic and minimal clients, and it makes me wonder if the company will keep on adding features for reading and user management, or if they’ll begin to simplify the app and remove its advanced features (always been a fan of subreddit grouping and iCloud sync in the app).

Alien Blue joins the dedicated Reddit AMA app on the App Store, and it’s available in two versions for iPhone and iPad; Reddit is keeping the app’s “Pro” In-App Purchase, but to ease the transition to the separate app, they’re offering it for free for a limited time.

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Redd, A Reddit Client for iOS 7

Redd

Redd

I’m not an active Reddit user, but I enjoy checking the front page and a few subreddits to stay on top of tech/gaming news and the latest meme. For years, I’ve been using Alien Blue on my iPhone and iPad to read threads, view links and photos, and navigate to my favorite subreddits, and I think that the app remains the premier Reddit client for iOS with tons of options and settings. I was curious, however, to try out Redd, a $0.99 Reddit client for iPhone specifically designed for iOS 7. Read more


Alien Blue Updates for iOS 7

Alien Blue, developed by Jason Morrissey, is the only Reddit client that I keep on my iPhone and iPad. The app has been constantly and thoughtfully updated throughout the years, with Jason adding support for new iOS and Reddit features while also maintaining a clear identity for his app.

For iOS 7, Alien Blue has been updated with some subtle design changes and improvements, but, overall, the app’s interface was already minimal enough to fit with iOS 7’s general aesthetic (unless set to the Forstallian wooden theme). Alien Blue doesn’t integrate with iOS 7’s Dynamic Type setting, so you’ll still have to adjust font size in the app’s Settings under Appearance.

In terms of features, the iPad app received some minor additions like a new gesture to toggle the iOS status bar, whereas the iPhone version, which is free with a $1.99 In-App Purchase, has been improved in several areas. Notably, there are now inbox notifications on iOS 7, GIFs and videos are supported in the Canvas view, and the Optimal browser view has been enhanced to work with more sites, large GIFs, and to completely declutter YouTube videos. Some previously Pro-only features like comment link previews and Retina thumbnails have been ported to the free version, and, overall, the Canvas view has become a fantastic replacement for the standard list view.

Alien Blue has been on my Home screen for years and it keeps getting better. There are some aspects that I’d still like to see improved (the sharing menu, for instance, it a bit archaic) and I don’t like the alternative themes, but Alien Blue remains my favorite Reddit client. The iPhone app is free with an In-App Purchase, and the iPad version is $3.99 on the App Store.


Alien Blue 2.6

Alien Blue 2.6 for iPhone

The latest update to Alien Blue, the best Reddit client available on the iPhone, adds a number of features, interface refinements, and improvements that bring the app on par with the iPad version, last updated in May. Alien Blue 2.6 is a major update that adds iCloud sync, subreddit grouping and discovering functionalities, and an entirely new Canvas view that offers a more convenient layout to browse Reddit images.

When version 2.1 of Alien Blue for iPad came out adding subreddit grouping, I wrote about the feature:

Subreddit grouping, however, has changed the way I use Alien Blue. Aside from the convenience of neatly categorizing similar subreddits in the app’s sidebar, each group can be turned into a “front page” collecting all the most upvoted links of each subreddit. This means that, for instance, I was able to create a “Learn” group within Alien Blue, throw TodayILearned, HistoryPorn, Wikipedia, and ExplainLikeImFive in there, so that when I’m in the mood of learning new things and cool facts, I can enjoy my own “Learn” Reddit front page made of the subreddits I grouped. It’s incredibly smart.

In using the iPhone update released last night, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the iCloud sync promised by the developer weeks ago worked as advertised. Upon logging into the app with my Reddit account, Alien Blue took seconds to fetch my existing groups of subreddits. In scrolling through my various front pages and tapping on links (Alien Blue for iPhone now has “optimal” views for articles, images, and videos – which are incredibly handy on the iPhone), iCloud also synced read statuses back to the iPad, dimming links that had already been checked out on the iPhone. Unlike most iCloud-enabled apps I have tried, Alien Blue’s cross-device implementation looks solid.

Among the new features (a complete list is available on Reddit), the updated Canvas view stood out because of its elegant design and gesture-based navigation. Setting its color scheme to black to make image thumbnails really pop out on the Retina display, I was able to quickly skim through images with taps (load a single image), swipes (swipe horizontally to navigate, swipe vertically to go back to grid view or advance pages), and double-taps (open image in full-screen mode). Even more than on the iPad, Canvas view makes for a great mobile browsing experience on the iPhone’s smaller display.

Alien Blue 2.6 is a great update, and the app is available for free on the App Store with a $1.99 in-app purchase to unlock more features (including Canvas and Retina thumbnails).

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Alien Blue 2.1

Alien Blue 2.1

My favorite Reddit client for iPad, Alien Blue by Jason Morrisey, was recently updated to version 2.1, adding a number of functionalities (including iCloud sync, which will work alongside an upcoming update to the iPhone version) aimed at increasing the app’s Reddit-based discoverability features.

From Alien Blue’s subreddit:

Inside Alien Blue, you’ll now find a well curated and up-to-date list of active subreddits ranging across a wide variety of topics. This list is maintained and updated nightly. If you see something missing, you can make a recommendation in any of the categories and they’ll be live soon after.

To better leverage Reddit’s wide-ranging amount of information available every day, Alien Blue now lets you easily organize similar subreddits (sections of the site) into groups that are synced to iCloud, and will automatically carry over to the iPhone once the new version comes out. At first I didn’t get the usefulness of groups – I was used to accessing my most-visited subreddits through Alien Blue’s sidebar, which, by the way, in version 2.1 seems to be more reliable at switching between “compact navigation” and extended panels depending on whether you’re holding the iPad in landscape or portrait mode.

Subreddit grouping, however, has changed the way I use Alien Blue. Aside from the convenience of neatly categorizing similar subreddits in the app’s sidebar, each group can be turned into a “front page” collecting all the most upvoted links of each subreddit. This means that, for instance, I was able to create a “Learn” group within Alien Blue, throw TodayILearned, HistoryPorn, Wikipedia, and ExplainLikeImFive in there, so that when I’m in the mood of learning new things and cool facts, I can enjoy my own “Learn” Reddit front page made of the subreddits I grouped. It’s incredibly smart.

Check out all the improvements in Alien Blue 2.1 in the official announcement post, and download the app at $3.99 on the App Store.

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Reddit Client Alien Blue for iPad Receives Major 2.0 Update

When I’m not writing, reading, or talking to my team, one of the things I like to do online is casually check on Reddit for the latest meme, links to interesting news, or more serious discussion that can only take place thanks to Reddit’s unique nature and community. And when I’m not using my computer, which is “most of the time” these days, I like to do so using Jason Morrisey’s Alien Blue, a Reddit client for iOS that I recently re-reviewed in its newest iPhone version, and that today received a major 2.0 update on the iPad.

Just like the 2.5 update for iPhone, Alien Blue HD 2.0 includes several interface changes to make the Reddit browsing experience more pleasant, as well as various new features that take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen. For instance, Alien Blue HD is already Retina-enabled for the new iPad, with the exception of launch images, which will be updated soon. But the biggest change in this version, new coat of interface paint aside, is the new panel-based navigation that allows you to seamlessly move through Alien Blue’s main sidebar – which lists Reddit sections and subreddits – and posts, comments, and web views. Inspired by Twitter for iPad’s panel-based UX, but much simpler to use, Alien Blue lets you swipe through panels to move around in the interface, or simple pinch on these panels to dismiss them. In fact, the entire app has been tweaked to allow for more gestures, as listed below:

  • Double-tap header for fullscreen
  • Hold-tap on Posts list to show post options
  • (Alternative) 2-finger swipe to show post options
  • 2-finger tap to upvote items
  • 3-finger tap to downvote items
  • 2-finger left swipe over comments to collapse to root
  • Drag Posts list up to load more

I’ve found myself using the double-tap and 2-finger tap gestures a lot, and I think they contribute to making the app faster and easier to use. A visual guide for gestures is available in the Settings screen as well.

There are several improvements and optimizations that found their way in this 2.0 update. The app now supports larger thumbnails, and you can view videos alongside comments in any thread. The post and comment interfaces have been redesigned, alongside the new pull-to-refresh gesture that works similarly to its iPhone counterpart (the subtle animation is pretty amazing). Image links and YouTube videos are now displayed more elegantly, and a new “Optimal” setting for web views enables webpages to scale intelligently to fit Alien Blue’s window. There’s more: you can now delete posts, and links to subreddits open directly within Alien Blue. The app sports Evernote integration to let you save posts in any of your notebooks, and you can check out a submitter’s details right from a post you’re viewing. There are new tags for NSFW posts, and Facebook and Twitter sharing have been fixed. There are dozens of little improvements and fixes in Alien Blue HD 2.0, so I recommend you check out the release notes for the complete list.

More importantly, I like how Alien Blue’s experience is still intact in spite of the interface changes and new navigation schemes. You can still switch to Canvas view to browse images as large thumbnails, and there are several themes to choose from in the Settings. The new UI doesn’t add weight to the app in terms of performance, as Alien Blue still scrolls smoothly and updates fast on the iPad 2.

Alien Blue HD 2.0 offers a rich and intuitive Reddit experience in a native app that comes with many options to interact with Reddit content and links submitted to the site. Even if you don’t spend hours on Reddit every day, the app still offers an incredibly polished experience that I recommend you consider if you’re planning on browsing Reddit from your iPad.

Alien Blue HD 2.0 is available at $3.99 on the App Store.