Newsplaya app for iPhone & iPad Mini

Club AppleVis Member

Hi,

I recently downloaded this app.
I have subscribed to four or five fees several times but each time several hours later when I go back in to the app for updated content the fees have disappeared.
I have been in to settings and ticked the sync with iCloud and don't delete read posts but with no joy.
Also where it says you can purchase the pro version, the button do buy is dimmed.
Anyone else having issues with this app?

I am using the iPhone6 and iPad Mini with retina display if this makes any difference.

Kind regards

Graham

Forum: 

#1 iCloud issue

App Developer

Hi Graham,

Firstly, really appreciate you taking the time to use NewsPlaya and thanks for bringing the iCloud sync issue to my attention. Not ideal, but may I recommend disabling iCloud sync on both devices until I have chance to fix and release a patch - apologies for the inconvenience.

The 'upgrade to pro' button issue has also been raised by others in the community. A fixed version is in the review phase with Apple and should be available in one week. The button does works when VoiceOver is (temporarily) de-activated.

Regards
Alex

#2 iCloud should now be working

App Developer

Hi Graham,

Further to my previous reply, I have made some changes server side - which should have taken effect instantly. iCloud should now be functioning as expected and feeds should no longer disappear between runs and devices.

Please can you retry at your earliest convenience and let me know if you have any further problems?

Thanks
Alex

#3 Needs Better Voices

I have also been unable to upgrade to the pro version. I hope this issue canbe resolved.

I did want to bring an issue to your attention regarding the way the voices are used to read the stories. I would suggest that the voices should default to the language and region you're in. When I tried the app, some of the articles were read with the UK English voice. I might also suggest that additional voices be offered. I especially love the new US English voice from Voice Text. The male voice is ideal for this app, since it really reminds me of a professional news announcer. It would also be helpful to let the user speed up the reading rate. I noticed that the reading rate seemed to be too slow. Finally, I'd like to have a choice of the order of voices. Thanks

#4 Hi Alex,

Club AppleVis Member

Hi Alex,

Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly on this. I set up my feeds again last evening and all works well across both my iPad and iPhone. I also get push notifications to my watch as well.
However there is a strange bug which I have only just stumbled on.
Lets say I've subscribed to Applevis, Orangevis and Pearvis.
I tap Applevis feed and read all the new posts there, I then return to the main menu.
I then tap on Orangevis. I tap the play button and am able to read all the Orangevis posts no problem. However the main screen shows Applevis as though Voiceover hasn't caught up to the change of feed.
I then change to Pearvis and the same thing Voiceover tells me I'm reading the Applevis feed when I'm actually reading the posts from Pearvis. Hope all my rambling makes sense.
If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

Warm regards

Graham

#5 News playa on IPhone6 & iPad mini with retina display

Club AppleVis Member

Hi Alex,

After I sent my post this morning, the problem of the feeds disappearing re-occured. Whilst I was out i happened to check the feeds on the iPhone and you guessed it they'd gone.
When I got home, they'd also disappeared from the iPad.

Warm regards

Graham

#6 Feeds disappearing

App Developer

Hi Graham,

That is frustrating! I am hopeful a few changes I have made will improve the stability of the iCloud sync. In addition I will add a user prompt when NewsPlaya detects a feed has been removed from the cloud, before taking any action. Factoring in release times I would say these should be available around 20th July. In the interim I would suggest disabling cloud sync for now.

I will also take a look at your other issue, whereby the VoiceOver status label incorrectly identifies the current feed.

Kind regards
Alex

#7 Reply to: Needs better voices

App Developer

Hi Tina,

Thanks for the feedback, it really is invaluable. I will look to incorporate some of these changes into NewsPlaya. The next version (eta 12th July) will already address a couple of these items such as being able to turn off certain voices and adjust the speech rate. I will look into other speech sources other than the ones packaged within iOS, in my opinion the Ivona voices are very high quality, though rate limited. Region-defaulting and voice ordering are also reasonable features.

Best regards
Alex

#8 Voices Revisited

Thanks for responding to my comments on the voices. When I tried the app, I was taken by surprise when some of the articles were read with a UK voice. That is why looking into offering other voices can only make the app better. Thanks.

#9 More on Voicces

I'm pleased you're looking at giving the user more control over the voices. I do want to point out that for an app like this, I want the reading to be understandable. I'm not after speed as a high priority, but I do want to set the reading rate at a pace that is neighther too fast nor too slow, but just right.

#10 Improved Intelligibility when Reading Posts

I have another suggestion for reading posts. When the reader selects a post, it should readthe text immediately. I'm assuming it does that, but if not, I'd like that. Thanks.

#11 Intelligibility

App Developer

Hi Tina, just wondered if you could expand on your suggestion - specifically what do you mean when 'the reader selects a post'? If you could walk me through the flow here that would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Alex

#12 re: Feeds disappearing

App Developer

Hi Graham,

Just to let you know that I finally have a handle on why feeds are disappearing when cloud sync is enabled and a proper solution. An update should be with you in around 8-10 days.

Best regards
Alex

#13 More on Intelligibility

I think I mean that the user simply wants the text read immediately without having to listen to extra stuff. I would like to hear the title of the article, followed by the full text. Thanks.

#14 Hi Alex,

Club AppleVis Member

Hi Alex,

From what I've seen in the latest update you're doing a good job. Like the choice of voices, being able to change the voice speaking rate and the swipes to move through articles.
Hopefully with the update you spoke about yesterday fixing the feed issue will really make this a must have app.

Warm regards

Graham

#15 Feed Cloud Sync Issue Fixed

App Developer

Hi Graham, please do update to the latest version of NewsPlaya (1.0.6). As well as a number of important enhancements, it fixes the annoying feed deletion issue. Let me know if you encounter any problems.

Tina, speech rate adjustment is now controlled from a slider which you will find under settings. Still have not had a chance to address your other suggestions.

Best regards,
Alex

#16 Nice Work, Keep Working on Voices

Thank you for this recent update. I did indeed notice the reading rate slider in the Settings menu. It seems that the main issue now is adding more voices for the variety of languages. I'm not sure if the voice is stored on the iPhone or if the file is being generated from the cloud. Whatever the process, I hope we can add more US English voices to the mix. I'm somewhat puzzled as to why only one US English voice was offered in the app. I know that voice is popular, but after a while, you'd need some variety.

As I have said before, the new US English male voice from Neospeech is ideal for this app, since it's comparable to a professional news announcer. Both of the US English male voices give me that sense Some of the Ivona voices give me that feeling as well.

Keep up the good work, and keep me posted. Thanks.

#17 Hi Alex,

Club AppleVis Member

Hi Alex,

I updated the app on Saturday and the feed issue definitely seems to be resolved. Many thanks for sorting this. The app is now working really well for me. One thing on voices, I wish you could add more than the one male voice that horrible Daniel English voice which even though I'm in the UK I find terrible.

Warmest regards

Graham

#18 Still investigating new voices

App Developer

Hi Graham and Tina,

I am still looking at new voices for NewsPlaya - will keep you all posted when I find something suitable.

Cheers
Alex

#19 Good to Know

It's good to know you're working on new voices. Another reason this app desperately needs more voices is that anyone using one of the default iOS voices for both this app and voice-over can get confused. In the case of the US English female voice, I notice that a lot of apps are using that voice. After a while, you get tired of it. I am getting around this by using the male US English iOS voice for Voice-over, so I know when Voice-over needs to tell me something. If I didn't, the audio would be ffunny at best and confusing at worst.

I can certainly understand why some people don't like the UK English male voice. It's another popular voice, and while some people like it, others don't like its sound. I don't blame them at all.

Personally, I think the female US English voice is pretty good. It's fairly understandable, especially in its enhanced incarnation, but after a while, I just get tired of it and want something else. Thanks.

#20 Will this be updated for IOS 10

Will this be updated for IOS 10? I would give this app a spin. I didn't know of it's existance until I just read this post. Wow. Where have I been? Lol.