Wishlist for Unread 2

While I am a big fan of Reeder I still use Unread more or less heavily for reading my RSS feeds1. The developer of Unread recently pre-announced the release of Unread 2 as the next evolution step of the popular feed reader.

Apparently, it is too early to publish any information about new features, but the announcement still got me started to think about what features I would personally want from the new release. Here’s a list:

  • Ability to filter for all and starred articles (in addition to the currently implemented new articles). Minimal UI, I know. But still, I’d find this very helpful.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. The support for keyboard shortcuts would add nothing to the UI and still be helpful in many cases.
  • Change fontsize in smaller increments, at least on the iPad. Currently the difference between two increments is the difference between too big and too small. It’s hard to hit the perfect size, especially on the iPad.
  • Readability view on a per-feed basis. This would keep the friction of using the app low because one tap is saved to switch to readability mode.
  • Administration of subscriptions. Add, rename, and remove feeds. Move to folders.

Of all of those wishes, I want the smaller increments in fontsize the most. I read most of my feeds on the iPad, and this factor would give me the most benefit out of a new version of Unread.

  1. Sometimes I prefer the versatility of Reeder and sometimes I’m more about a minimal UI to concentrate on the process of reading itself.

13 Minutes to the Moon

If you‘re in the market for a podcast recommendation, here it is: go listen to 13 Minutes to the Moon, produced by the BBC World Service. It‘s an in-depth walk-through of topics around the nearly 13 minute-long final descent1 of the Eagle lander from the Columbia command module down to the surface of the Moon.

I have read about, listened to, and watched tons of material about this expedition. But one thing I learned from listening to episode 9 of the series was that the landings in all cases have been expressly planned to happen in a region close to the terminator when the Moon was in a waxing phase2.

Thanks to the low position of the sun (in the back of the LEM) over the horizon, the overall amount of light was reduced and the structures on the surface cast long shadows. These create contrasting markers in the blinding whiteness to assist the LEM pilots in recognizing and avoiding potential obstacles that might be a hazard to the landing procedure.

In hindsight, it seems totally natural and obvious to plan the landings this way, but it never actually occurred to me until I listened to 13 Minutes to the Moon.

  1. That inspired the title of the podcast series
  2. This conclusion is also backed up by the flight path of the mission, see e.g this illustration.