Welcome to the AOL Reader blog! Stay up to date with the latest news, announcements and more from the AOL Reader team.

We're back!

And we've made a few updates to views. When you visit Reader, you should now see:

  • A new summary view
  • An updated card view
For more information about the views, please click here

Moreover, there have been some significant changes to the way that Reader manages feeds and articles. Please let us know if you notice any issues.

As always, if you have any questions or issues, please let us know.

A Few Minor Updates

This update contains the following changes:

As always, please leave comment or contact us directly if you have any questions.

Mobile and Tablet updates

In this update, we have updated our tablet and mobile views for congruency and better usability. We hope that this will help our tablet and mobile device users better browse their feeds and subscriptions.

The two main updates to the tablet and mobile views are as follows:

New Subscription List View

We have moved your subscription list to the navigation panel on the left. Clicking on the folders will expand or collapse the feed list.

New List and Card View

To maximize the number of articles you can view without scrolling, we updated the list view to show only article titles. Our new card view will give you a more in-depth view of each article with a featured image (if available) and a snippet of the article content.

List and Card view for tablet

List and Card view for mobile

As always, please let us know how we're doing by leaving a comment below, or by visiting the feedback forums.

New Homepage, Search within Your Feeds, and HTTPS

We have revamped our homepage to provide a better idea on what AOL Reader is and what are we doing to bring you the best reading experience on the web.

Additionally, with this release you can now search any articles (up to 30 days old) within your feeds. All starred articles, regardless of their age, can be searched as well.

A new drop down option to let you search within your feeds

Tabbed search results allow you to switch between feeds, articles, and starred results

We have also updated our mobile interface to reflect these changes:

Article search for mobile

New homepage for mobile

Using your favorite HTTPS browser plugin with AOL Reader is no longer a problem! We have now enabled HTTPS. For users who don't use a HTTPS browser plugin, you can turn on HTTPS in Settings.

We hope these features will make your reading more enjoyable! And as always, let us know in the comments or contact support for any questions.

Update September 30

Introducing Smart Feeds

Smart Feeds automatically scans tens of thousands of premium news sources across the internet and provides for you the most important stories for each topic that you're interested in following. Simply enter a search term in the search box, and you will receive smart feed item(s) that matches the term.

Smart feeds also works with location-based content (U.S. only). Enter a valid zip code and we will provide a smart feed for that location to which you can subscribe.

International domains

Great news for your international users! AOL Reader is now available in the following countries:

To access the page, scroll down to the bottom of the sign in page, and click on the country icon.

New Font Preference
For users who have been asking us to provide better usage of your screen's space, here you go!

With these new font preference settings, you can now customize AOL Reader to best suit your browsing preferences.

More Features and Bug Fixes

Announcement: Down for Maintenance

To prepare for our next release, AOL Reader will be down for maintenance between 6:30pm to 7:00pm EST. During this time the site will not be available to users. If you are still logged in during the maintenance, please be advised the site will not function properly.

If you have any questions, leave us a comment or contact support.

Update September 12

This latest release of AOL Reader comes with many new exciting features and changes. We have taken steps to make your experience richer and more user-friendly, taking into account your feedback and suggestions. Take a look below!

Changes to the Add Subscription process and the Discover section
We've streamlined our Add Subscription workflow by removing the modal and separate the topics directory.

You can either enter a RSS feed, URL, or a search term (which then takes you to the search result view).

Clicking on the Browse Directory button will take you to our new Discover (previously known as Topics) section.

Updated Search
The new search bar now supports auto complete + suggestions.

For Chrome users, you don't even need to type - just click on the mic icon, say what you want to search, and we'll automatically give you the results!

More Options in the Left Panel
Previously we introduced options to edit and unsubscribe to feeds by right-clicking on the feed name in the left panel. In this release, we have added more options and they are available for All, categories, and feeds.

Right Click on AllRIght Click on CategoriesRIght Click on Feed

New Organize View
The new view allows users to edit their feeds and categories in bulk.

Organizing Categories
Organizing categories

Organizing Feeds
Organizing feeds

To edit a single feed or category, options are available on the right side of each item. Bulk options are available on the top of the screen; you can select multiple items using the checkbox next to each item, or you can use the 'Select All' checkbox next to the 'Add Tag' icon.

New Mobile Layout
With this new layout, we brought feed and view options to the bottom of each page to streamline the navigation process.

Now you will be able to navigate between articles and perform any actions with only a click or two. We have also added an option in Settings which allows you to see only subscriptions or feeds that have unread articles.

Bug fixes and User Inputs
First, the reader team would like to thank everyone who has given us feedbacks and suggestions, allowing us to build a better product for YOU. For the past few weeks we have been trying to push out as many bug fixes and feature requests as quickly as possible, while continuing to build some bigger features. Here are some of the items we have completed based on your input:

Update August 27

We've done some minor changes to improve usability. As always, please let us know in comments or notify us what you like about AOL Reader and things we can improve on.

Bug Fixes
  • Auto mark as read in the first post in full view
  • J/K not working in full view
  • Images and text overlapping
  • Word formatting in card view
  • Quickadd URL does not work with encoded feed URL
  • [Mobile] article links opened when opening article view
  • [Mobile] missing Home option for Android default browser

Update on Tablet

For those who prefer using their tablet in desktop view, we now provide you the ability to make that selection under Settings.

Because you are using the desktop version on a tablet, the usability may decrease depending on the resolution of your tablet.

API Documentation

We have also updated our API documentation, hopefully this gives our third party developers a better understanding on how they can integrate with AOL Reader.

Update August 8

We have a new release for our users. We have attempted to address as many issues and requested features and continue to do so. However, we have mostly fixed what features we currently have before adding new ones. If there is an issue or feature you may have given input about, it will hopefully be coming out soon.

One of the new features is actual usage of the search bar up top. We've enabled the use of the search bar to search for feeds. You no longer strictly need the URL of an RSS feed. If you are not sure of the URL or want to search a common term, you can now use the search bar to find whatever type of feed you are looking for. On top of that, we've enhanced the search results when searching for a feed, making it much easier to find whatever feed it is you're looking for. This is only our first release for the search and as we continue to work on it, we will be rolling out excitingly new and enhanced features so be prepared for it to only get better!

Using the Search Bar

Search Terms

For those of you who have enjoyed our new method of sharing posts through emails sent out by the reader itself, unfortunately, we must part with the new ways. Our new mailing system has been taken advantage of and is being used to send spam messages out to thousands of people. As a result, we will revert to using the old method of sharing emails by opening an email client, such as outlook, installed on your computer. If you have received a spam message, we apologize for the inconvenience. We also apologize to those that have enjoyed the new feature. We will attempt to find different ways to share articles through email. If we discover a better way, we will implement it as soon as possible.

A final big change we've made is to our tablet version. The tablet layout has been completely changed for optimization. It is modeled after the mobile version with some key desktop elements, such as the left hand list staying open. Much like the search feature, we will only be attempting to make improvements as we move along. Check it out yourself:

Home View

Subscription View

Bug Fixes

  • When there are no starred items, the reader display has changed from 'No Unread Items' to 'No Starred Items'
  • Some pane view users have noticed that the tiles of the feeds were slightly off screen. They no longer shift to the left and should remain on screen for your viewing pleasure.
  • Some feeds cause the articles to become misaligned and scroll to the left, underneath the feed bar. All feeds should currently display properly.
  • In mobile, when you mark all as read in the list view, you should no longer be missing the feed title.
  • Also in mobile, we've managed to make sure that when you select a subscription as your start page, it stays that way.

Update July 31

Lately, we have been receiving reports of the appearances of duplicate articles of previously read items. Ironically, this is due to a code change we have made to prevent the possibility of duplication in the future. Feeds do not always publish articles in a consistent order. Often times, they publish older items on their RSS feeds. When this happens, we need a way to prevent these duplicates from appearing in the reader. In order to do this, we need to cache some identifying information about the articles processed, so that we can cross check new articles with previously processed ones. If a newly grabbed article matches a previously processed one, we won't allow it to be reprocessed. However, we need to allow identifiers to expire after set amount of time or the cache will grow indefinitely, we chose 7 days because it worked well with our cache size.

Every time a feed is processed we update the expiration date on articles that are still in the feed and in theory this would prevent the possibility of duplication under normal circumstances. Of course, nothing is that simple, and this is where Etags and last modified come in. Etags and last modified are bits of information that are used on websites to let you know if anything has changed since the last time you downloaded it. At Aol/Reader we use etags and last modified to save publishers bandwidth and us processing. When a publisher publishes infrequently (greater than 7days) and they provide us etags/last modified there is a possibility that articles could expire from the cache before a feed is reprocessed. This (on rare occasions) could cause duplicates. To address this we are taking several steps, the first of which is to add a lifetime to our etags/last modified that is shorter than our cache expiration. The unfortunate side affect of this is that all feeds that have had no updates in the last 7 days will duplicate the current articles in their feeds exactly once. The good news is that it is far less likely that articles will duplicate in the future. Thanks for bearing with us while we make Aol Reader even better.

We've just released this patch, so you should no longer see this happening, unless the feed is not updated within the week, as stated previously. We have also fixed a couple of bugs since the previous update:

  • We have fixed the loading issue. You should no longer have trouble with loading the reader.
  • When in full view, you were unable to use the n/p shortcuts unless you first scrolled. You can no use them freely.

If you continue to see any of these problems feel free to contact us at help.reader.aol.com