Vincent Ritter

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Gluon for Micro.blog

An app for both iOS and Android, built on React Native, for Micro.blog.

Gluon is a highly opinionated, but customisable, cross platform app for Android and iOS for Micro.blog.

If you’d like to find out more, please visit the Gluon website. Or keep scrolling to read the development blog.

With Gluon, you can do the following:

* Posting is available for Micro.blog hosted sites only. Posting to third-party blogs is coming soon.

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Alright, some self promotion. Just in case you missed it… a new update to Gluon is out for iOS (version 2021.1). And if you’re wondering to see what it looks like in the wild… here you go, have a look at the Discover screen:

Gluon — iOS 2021.1 update now available.

They say you should ship software on a Monday, and here we are... I did! Now technically it's Tuesday as I write this. ANYWAY!

I'm super happy to announce the first update to hit your fruity phones for this year, and don't worry Android is coming soon too!

This release has mainly concentrated on the Discover screen, including some bugs. There are always bugs... always will be!

So here goes:

And that's it everyone. Super excited that I got this out for you. I hope you enjoy it and hope it doesn't mess things up for you haha.

As always, thanks so much to everyone that has been following along and gave me feedback. You're the best ✌️❤️

If you want to get your podcast or other interesting thing into the Discover Promoted Content section, let me know: [email protected].

You'll need to be active on Micro.blog and preferably not a big business (because they usually ruin the world... I mean just look at Appl... I mean the EMPIRE... I mean... damn... you know what I mean!).

Gluon 2021.1 for iOS was in review for… 3 minutes! The empire works fast!

There are a few more things I want to get into Gluon this week before I send it off to the EMPIRE… I mean Apple App Review Team. Mainly a dedicated section for icons.

I’ll be renaming "Ad" to "Promoted" in Gluon. I think, after some feedback, that it’s not an ad as such and more promoted content for members of the community. I don’t want to take payments to "advertise" in Gluon — so I think this would be best.

I’ll add details on the Gluon website at a later stage where anyone can just get in touch. Of course I may just email you personally to see if you want to be part of it.

One more tiny tweak to Gluon today is that if you have supported me in the past, you can disable ads on the timeline for as long as you want. I also give you the 5 day option. I believe the content is still relevant for the "Discover More" section though.

This is part 2 of the new challenge screen for Gluon. You can see I have added profile images of everyone that suggested the prompts. I did want to add usernames, but it felt too cluttered. Tapping on a profile picture takes you to their profile.

Conscious not to make too many UI tweaks to Gluon, however I have tweaked the Challenge screen somewhat. More I want to do here, but it will have to wait. Happy with what I did though.

Just finishing off work, on Gluon, to allow pinning of the discover emoji, so it’s easy to get back to your favourite ones on the discover timeline.

Gluon — TestFlight 2021.1 (Build 7). Micro Monday, Ads & Promotions, Inline images.

Happy Friday/weekend everyone. There is a new build out on iOS TestFlight for both fast-track and slow-track.

Now that my brain had the chance to let go of some steam by releasing Sublime Ads I could finally get back into the swing to give Gluon some ongoing love.

In this build there are a few new things.

Native privacy focused, and friendly, ads.

I built Sublime Ads so I can add promoted content/ads into Gluon (and other things too!), so I took the time to integrate those.

Super happy with the result, which is not obtrusive and actually looks really great.

Here is the discover timeline:

And here is the discover "more" section:

Now I totally get that not everyone likes ads or promoted content. For this purpose I have some settings for you. However, these ads are only relevant to Gluon and the community on Micro.blog. I think it's one of the best places on the internet and, as such, I'd love to promote anyone with a podcast or even an indie app.

You may disable ads on the main discovery timeline for 5 days. After this time it will reset and you'll have to toggle once again. Ads will still show on the "discover more" screen because I think it's relevant.

I am also building a permanent off switch into that screen for anyone that has supported my work. More time is needed to make that happen — it will ship within the next few weeks though.

Here is the settings screen:

And here is the little toggle when you turn them off:

Micro Monday

I gave the Micro Monday section some care and attention. Now we have a nicer preview of what it is, including a special header linking to the website, profile and the podcasts.

There is a little more I want to do here and perhaps surface it on the discover timeline when it's Monday. I'll make it an option so you can hide it of course, might get a bit too cluttered there.

Here are the screenshots:

Inline images

You can now inline images in the compose window when creating a new post, if you have a hosted Micro.blog account. It's simple, but I hope you like it. Just tap the image after it uploaded and select the inline option.

Before Gluon sends the post it will check if it can see the special URL for that image in the text area. If not, it will fallback to appending the image as usual. I think that's a good tradeoff.


There is more I want to do here, for example multi image uploading and displaying all the media you have and being able to use those. More details on that as I go with the build. And nope, I won't add a "uploaded with Gluon" or anything.

More to come

There is more to come as the weeks go. I am happy to be back in swing with this.

Let me know how you get on... and if you want to see your own podcast or app on there, let me know: [email protected].

Steady as she goes.

✌️❤️

Gluon — TestFlight changes

It's been a busy week, so I wanted take some time and look at my testing set up for Gluon on iOS.

As you may be aware I run a few different TestFlight versions for Gluon. There is the official one on the Gluon website and then there is one that I link to when someone asks me to be on the "beta" or otherwise.

Over time I have started giving people the option of a "fast track" and a "slow track".

The problem is the way I work. I like to make little changes, push them up and build a new TestFlight version, and then release. However that means you can sometimes get 5 - 8 builds a day when I'm actively working on Gluon.

I do this because mentally I am "done" with a certain task, it's ticked off and I don't need to do anything else. Mental baggage gone.

However, this also means that you're going to get bombarded with "NEW TESTFLIGHT!!!!" notifications (if you have them enabled) on your devices. For some this is totally fine. For others it's just plain painful.

I get it!

So, going forward I will offer everyone two versions.

Slow track - once every one/two/three weeks, during development:
https://testflight.apple.com/join/RwbLiFcR

Fast track - overkill, on the edge builds, sometimes multiple a day followed by longer breaks:
https://testflight.apple.com/join/2sbnWuMK

I urge you to have a look and see if you want to switch around.

Thanks for reading. You always know where I am.

For tonight’s entertainment I’ll be reworking the challenges screen in Gluon. Needs some love and I feel inspired after adding those ads/promotions yesterday.

If anyone is interested, I am looking at adding podcasts and indie apps ads to Gluon. This is only a test (during the current TestFlight and a few months), so no money will exchange hands. For active Micro.blog users only.

Get in touch: [email protected]

Urgh, my mind is active! So I’ve added inline images to the Gluon posts screen. It’ll inline the image at your cursor. Also allows you to set the ALT text if desired. If you delete the inline text, it will check before it sends and append the image like magic.

Alrighty, build 4 for Gluon coming via fast track TestFlight — I know they came fast today — it’s how I work, little pieces at a time. Added some general fixes and also an option to disable ads in the settings… I urge you to leave it on for a while though (testing).