Download!Download Point responsive WP Theme for FREE!

Flud reader available for Windows Phones

Well, sort of.  According to their Facebook page, they’re asking users to “help us test it”, so you *can* search in the Marketplace for it.  (It doesn’t show up in the auto-find list as you type, but as soon as you hit Enter, it shows up.)  That, unfortunately, answers the reason why there is no mention of Windows Phone support on their landing page or anywhere on their website.  And why the picture on the left (from the press kit) is from an Android device.

So first, visual impressions.  It’s on-black background (my preference; it’s easier to see), and Metro-fied nicely. The top-tier panels are the flud stream; most fluded (shared); a personal panel with your name, user picture, my news, find new sources, my profile, saved news and settings links; and a some friends panel, to find your flud, Twitter, or Facebook friends.

Each article in each feed is shown as a large tile you can press to read the source article. You can also press a little “reading list” button at the bottom of the tile to save it to read later. (The “saved news” link in your profile. They should have used the same verbage for both items. While you can figure that out, it’s a little confusing.)

The “find news sources” item works really well, actually.  I entered the name, not the url, for my personal blog, my mother’s blog, and my husband’s blog-feed-thing, and it found them all (along with similar items, but it did find them). Since it returns similar results, you can press each title and see the feed in the flud formatting, and see if that’s the correct source.  That was handy.

You can also import feeds from your Google Reader.  Unlike the find news sources, you CAN NOT press the feed’s name to see what the content is.  (I’ve got feeds in there I’ve forgotten what they are because the names aren’t very descriptive.  C’mon – we all do, right?)  I’d like to see that be consistent, if possible.

So I added news feeds first, then the Google Reader feeds.  Suddenly I got a notification that I had reached the maximum feeds and should delete some to add more.  WTF?  Um, this is the digital INFORMATION age.  We’re all about Information Overload.  I read a half dozen world news sites, a dozen tech blogs, a few social/lifestyle blogs (hello: Chick!), so why are you limiting me?  So 40 seems to be the limit.  I deleted two, added two, then attempted to add a 41st.  The app crashed. 

The app also crashed when I linked my Facebook account to it.  A check of my Facebook Account Settings –> Apps showed that it had permissions. Well, okay.  No Facebook or Twitter friends were found, but it’s a new app. I suppose that’s ok.  I should post on Facebook to see if anyone I know is using it.  That might be a test of the cross-platform access.

Another gripe: the app is slow to respond to the back soft key, and is a little slow in swiping.

Overall, I would love to have everything in ONE app, and this one has a ton of potential.  I will be really looking forward to updates.  I might even actually READ the stuff I put in my Google Reader now.

This article has a post-script that MUST be discussed:  I got the app and started playing with it.  You can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to share what you read, so I immediately went to add my Facebook account.  The app crashed.  I tried again; same result.  I checked Facebook, and the app HAD been given permissions, so I went to their Facebook page and said something, and that I was working on a review.  Then I found out there was a 40-item feed limitation.  I mentioned that.  I quickly got a “Hey, can you email us at ____? We’d love to discuss this.”  Perfect.
So I did.  The customer rep immediately included a technical support person on this, but I had to go get Junior from school and take him to a medical appointment.  That was about 1:30pm. They responded at about 2.  The tech answered ALL my concerns about 4.  So MASSIVE kudos for their service.
So here are the answers:
The Facebook-causing-a-crash is if you have Secure Browsing “on” in your Facebook Account Settings.  It had been working fine; it looks like Facebook changed something recently.  They’re working on it right now.
Slow Swiping: Also a known issue.  They submitted a new build on Monday, March 26 to fix that.  Evidently the Marketplace must be heating up; the rep said it may be another 2 or 3 days before the update is released.  The button press is also an issue that they are looking into. 
Crashing when adding more feeds:  Also known; fixed in the submitted update.
Previewing Google feeds:  A known limitation of the current release.  The rep will be submitting that for enhancement.
Adding information that that are supporting Windows Phone: Well, okay, this is a “soft release,” so once it goes Announced, it’ll be up.

You can get it in the Marketplace, here, or use the code below.  If you’re using iOS or Android, check your respective App Stores.