Ayran (Newsreader for COW)

My new iPhone app, Ayran (Newsreader for COW) has been on the App store since May 8, 2012. It is a Usenet newsreader designed specifically for using the METU-CENG (Middle East Technical University, Dept. of Computer Engineering) news server. It is free for everyone to download, but you will need to have a METU-CENG username and password in order to be able to use it.

Motivation

Well, when I was a student at METU, I used COW (Ceng On the Web) almost every day. I didn’t have an iPhone then, but still I thought having an app for using the COW on the go would be cool. Now I’m a graduate of METU CENG, I continue to use COW and now I have my own app for reading COW. How cool is that? 🙂

Current Status

The latest version on the App Store is v1.0.1. It’s been live since May 15, 2012. You can find the app on the App Store by searching “Ayran”, or using this link.

Development

Ayran is under active development. Currently, the project is private and the only developer is yours truly. I’m thinking of releasing the source code in the future. But for now, I’d like to keep it to myself. 🙂

I received some suggestions on new features to be added to Ayran. Some of them are listed below:

  • Push notifications

This is a very neat suggestion. The idea is, you will be notified via a push notification when a new article is posted in one of the newsgroups you had previously designated. Although the idea is very cool, it is not easy or straightforward to implement. There’s a lot of coding that needs to be done. So, although Ayran will probably have this functionality in the future, it might not be in the next few releases.

  • Choosing newsgroups to read

Currently, when you log in to Ayran, the list of all newsgroups hosted on the server is presented to you. This is a little overwhelming, since there are a lot of newsgroups on the server and one is usually interested in only a few of them. In the near future, Ayran will provide the functionality to select the newsgroups to be shown to user, so you won’t have to go through all other newsgroups that you’re not interested in.

  • Porting Ayran to Android

This, too is a neat suggestion that I received from multiple people. However, currently I do not have any plans for an Android port. I don’t have much free time to do this and I would like to focus on my iOS app first. I would love to see an Android port of Ayran, though. So, I hope somewhere out there, someone is writing the Android app right now. Even if they’re not actually writing it right now, maybe they’ll get inspired by this text. Who knows? If anyone is working or planning to work on an Android port of Ayran, you can always contact me for questions, suggestions, comments, or anything else. I’d love to help you if I can.

I will keep writing here about Ayran as it evolves. I’m always open to ideas, suggestions, questions and comments. You can email me or leave a comment to this post if you have something to say.

Happy Happy Joy Joy.