Automatic Refresh, Widgets, and Accessibility


Den v1.25.0 is now available on the App Store. The star of the show is automatic refresh and widgets, but it also contains a bunch of accessbility and performance updates.

Automatic refresh works via background tasks on iOS or a recurring timer that runs while the app is open on macOS. In either case, the new "Refresh Interval" setting is how you turn it on and adjust how often feeds will be refreshed. On iOS, background tasks are limited to ~30 seconds of run time, so if refreshing your library exceeds that limit you may see some inconsistencies. That's the primary reason it has taken me so long to add auto/background refresh even though it's often considered essential for a feed reader. Adding a feature that I can never guarantee will work 100% of the time for everyone is a hard pill to swallow. That said, I'm really happy with how it turned out and suspect it will be reliable and useful for the vast majority of users.

Adding a widget is the obvious next step after automatic refresh. Nothing too fancy is going on here. It simply shows the latest items from your inbox, a page, or a feed. There's definitley some room for improvement. Currently item previews in the widget look nearly identical to those in the app, but I'm thinking it may be better to shrink and densify some.

Last but not least, this version includes accessiblity improvements. For iOS, I've fixed dynamic type sizing in a number of areas so now the app scales all the way from the smallest font sizes to the largest. For macOS, a short bit of help text will popup when hovering over most buttons.

It's nearly that time of year, WWDC, when I switch to the beta versions of iOS and macOS so I can work on incorporating new hotness into the app. I'm planning on a smaller release sometime in June then things will probably slow down for a while until fall.