Popular Hacker News app news:yc has been revamped and is now available for the iPad for the first time. Building on the first version, which was created more than a year ago, news:yc 1.2 expands support beyond the iPhone, and brings the app to the iPod Touch, as well as the iPad.
The revised app has been refreshed beyond just adding new devices and, most notably, its browsing interface has been updated to provide improved support for comments and scrapping, two very important elements of the Hacker News experience.
Developing for the iPad requires a different approach to the iPhone, and news:yc 1.2 for iPad has been customised to suit the blockbuster Apple tablet:
The iPad version of news:yc is an attempt to re-interpret the design of the iPhone-sized UI onto the bigger screen. The list of submissions remains identical, as do the tabs on the bottom. However, on the right, the comment browsing has been re-imagined to match the iPad’s conventions. Actions have been moved to the top right, spacing has been adjusted, and popovers have been added.
Here’s how it looks:
Creator @newsyc_ explains that the app now shows comments hierarchally, a feature that was a late addition to the original app, in which it was hidden by being buried in a. Now, however, it the default setting:
Hierarchal comments are now enabled by default, and tapping on a comment drops down a Tweetbot-inspired action panel.
Listed comments are also no longer truncated, as they had been in the previous version, allowing app users to better navigated the usually informative comments that follow postings on the popular site.
Thanks to work done on formatting within the comment section, they now appear fully formatted in the list, meaning that links within comment can be opened with far greater ease, loading in the in-app browser after just one tap.
The other headline update is enhanced scraping Hacker News, which @newsyc_ admits that previous versions of the app “often had issues” doing. But past problems should all now be overcome:
As of version 1.2, you should be able to load enough posts and comments to view the entirety of any list.
Other smaller but still noticeable tweaks include the option to jump straight to parent comments, new “less obnoxious” styling, a nifty feature that allows comments threads to be saved to Instapaper and a number of bug fixes.
If you’re a Hacker News regular and iPad or iPhone users, this app is going to be worth your time and effort. Go here to read details of the app in full, check out the source code on GitHub and, most importantly, download it via the App Store link below.