Enabling Touch Gestures in Chrome

FeedsAnywhere supports swipe gestures and they have been working well on mobile browsers, but don't work in Chrome on Windows or Linux due to lack of support for the Touch Events API. Fortunately there is a simple fix.

Go to chrome://flags/ and set the Touch Events API option to Enabled or Automatic and touch gestures will function just like on a mobile device.

Supported gestures are:

- Swipe left to expand or collapse an item
- Swipe right will either mark the item read or unread
- Long (edge-to-edge) swipe left will open the original URL

Recent Server Problems

If you've logged into FeedsAnywhere recently you've probably notice problems ranging from no response at all to some items showing up when you aren't subscribed to the feeds. These came during an upgrade when some changes were made to software that we missed. Most issues have been resolved and the site has been usable for a little while, however we are still cleaning up the incorrect data and will hopefully have that done soon.

We apologize to the inconvenience as we got back on our feet.


In a long overdue move, FeedsAnywhere has switch to https to take advantage of SSL encryption. Thanks to the service at letsencrypt.org for enabling free certificates.

Infrequent Feeds Not Always Checked Correctly

To improve feed fetch time, those with invalid URLs or that haven't been updated in more than 6 months are no longer checked. However in some cases feeds will be silent for a long time and then pick up.

FeedsAnywhere tries to get around this problem by checking any feed that is viewed individually, but a bug existed that wouldn't add new items more than 30 days old. That is now fixed. Once a new item is found the feed is added back into the regular rotation and its 6 month clock starts over again.

Server Storage Upgrade

A little over a week ago we upgraded from AWS's standard EBS storage to the new General Purpose SSD backed volumes and the speedup has been tremendous. A set of queries that was taking ~28 minutes is down to a little more than ~2.5 minutes, which shifts the feed fetch bottleneck to be mostly the download times.

New Updates to Close Out May

There have been some background changes to the site that shouldn't be user noticeable, but you'll also start seeing a few visible changes as well today. The most apparent will be the Refresh icon and new Settings icon when viewing feeds. I never included a Refresh icon in the past because the browser's could always be used, but now that I've been using FeedsAnywhere as a Chrome WebApp on Android the normal browser buttons aren't available. Having the button fills that gap while still allowing the benefits of being a WebApp.

Chrome on Android Changes and Improved Feed Fetching

A few new updates were posted today. First up were a couple of changes targeted at some Chrome on Android behaviors that have been annoying me. Chrome tries to do an automatic font resizing after new pages are slid in and since it overwrites what the user has already set it results in an annoying mismatch between elements. The resizing is now blocked so everything will behave as it does in other browsers.

New Gestures and Category Creation

I added a few new touch gestures today. Each of works on the entire page rather than an individual item like swiping left and right. The goal with these changes is to allow users to take the actions at any point on the page instead of having to scroll to the bottom first.

- swipe diagonally from top left to bottom right: Mark Page Unread
- swipe diagonally from top right to bottom left: Mark Page Read
- swipe diagonally from bottom left to top right: Go to Previous Page
- swipe diagonally from bottom right to top left: Go to Next Page

How to Integrate Your Website with Ubuntu Unity WebApps

When I decided to add Ubuntu WebApp support to FeedsAnywhere I found a surprising lack of available reference material online. The API links that were included on most sites went to either dead links or links that were about building an installable component to manage the app. However, I was looking for something simple that could be done completely using Javascript within the website itself. After much searching I finally found an old reference here.

Ubuntu Unity WebApp Integration

A couple releases ago Ubuntu added a feature to Unity called WebApps. Most supported WebApps I've come across are available from the repositories, but it is possible to enable support from a website. FeedsAnywhere now integrates with this capability and here's how it works.

Syndicate content


j/k selects the next/previous item in the list
n/p in title view, selects the next item without opening it
space/shift+space moves to the next/previous page
shift+m open/close the main menu
shift+o open/close the options menu
enter select the highlight entry from a menu


enter,o in title view, expands or collapses the selected item
shift+a marks all items in the current page as read
d go to the item's list of similar stories
i/u designate the item as interesting/not interesting
m marks the item as read or unread
s adds or removes a star from the selected item
shift+s open/close the item's share menu
shift+u marks all items in the current page as unread
v opens the original source for the item in a new tab

Go To a New Page

g then h go to the homepage
g then i go to the Interesting items view
g then a go to the All items view
g then s go to the Saved items view
g then p go to the Popular items view
g then f go to the Select a Feed page


- decrease the font size
= increase the font size
esc close any menu if open, otherwise deselect all items
? open/close a decription of keyboard shortcuts