il manifesto per iPhone: Features and Roadmap

Today, il manifesto per iPhone has been approved on the App Store. This is a big moment, since the wait has been longer than expected and it is definitely a pleasure to be able to install the app I developed on my iPhone for an unlimited time!

So, here goes a list of the main features in the program:

  • access to the latest issue of il manifesto;
  • access to last month’s issues;
  • graphical display of il manifesto cover page in a photo gallery that allows to browse all covers published in the last month;
  • full (scree) size display of cover pages;
  • popup menu based navigation;
  • jump to given section or specific page;
  • Vauro’s comic strip, when available;
  • full HTML rendering of text;
  • reading state: the app will remember what you where reading and take you back there when you open it again.
There are several more features that I would like to implement, but this is subject to how well (or bad) the app is received, both with the customers and with “il manifesto” itself. Here goes a list:
  • offline reading: select an article or entire issue for reading when you have no internet connection;
  • share: send an article content via email, share it on facebook, or link to it from twitter;
  • starred items: articles marked for later reading or to be kept indefinitely on the device.

il manifesto per iPhone

“il manifesto per iPhone” is Freescapes Labs‘ first app for iPhone. It is a specialised reader for an Italian newspaper offering a native user experience for subscribers. Unfortunately, at the present time, full access to il manifesto is only allowed for subscribers, so the app has to stick to this.

The app is presented in more depth here, where you can also have a look at its nice UI. Here I would like to focus on an architectural aspect that makes it especially interesting, in my opinion.

I like to think of “il manifesto per iPhone” as a “concept-app”, since it investigates the possibility of building a fully native app based on content provided by a non-mobile-ready website. In other words, “il manifesto per iPhone” is a web scraping app able to convert a “traditional” and unadapted website into a native user experience on the iPhone. If you take the time to give a look at the screenshots at the address I linked above, you will see that there is very little resemblance between the app UI and a newspaper webpage.

il manifesto per iPhone

“il manifesto per iPhone” is currently under review at the App Store, where it will eventually be available for free. I have been thinking about whether including ads in it, just to collect some small revenues, but in the end I decided that that was contrary to my philosophy about this app, and possibly also contrary to il manifesto’s own philosophy. So, it is just a plain, simple, and free reader. I hope you will enjoy it when it will become available.


il manifesto per iPhone

“il manifesto per iPhone” è la prima app per iPhone di Freescapes Labs.

Si tratta di un navigatore web specializzato per “il manifesto“, con l’obiettivo di offrire una esperienza di lettura del quotidiano migliore di quella offerta dal sito web de il manifesto.

Maggiori informazioni sull’app possono essere trovate qui.

“il manifesto per iPhone” è altresì una concept app che investiga le possibilità di costruire una app per iPhone interamente nativa a partire da materiali web non specificamente predisposti per l’uso mobile. In altre parole, “il manifesto per iPhone” converte un sito web tradizionale in una esperienza d’uso nativa sull’iPhone.

il manifesto per iPhone

“il manifesto per iPhone” è attualmente in fase di approvazione per la pubblicazione nell’App Store, dove sarà disponibile gratuitamente.



Freescapes Labs Launches

Hi! This is Freescapes Labs, nice to meet you too.

We have never met before because I am new. Or sort of… My name is Sergio De Simone and I am an Independent Software Developer for iOS.

Freescapes Labs is my firm for free and open source projects, and this is the blog where I collect thoughts, tutorials, book reviews, etc. You can find my code snippets at github.

Today, Freescapes Labs launches. Indeed, I have just submitted my first official application for iPhone to the App Store. It is called “Il Manifesto per iPhone” and it is a custom reader for an Italian daily newspaper. You might ask: why an Italian newspaper? Hey, why I am from Italy, so I am fluent in that language and as an expat I strongly need reasons to keep exercising it!  It took me some time to get it ready for prime time, actually a few months of my spare time, but in the end it is out and I am proud of it.

I will soon submit my second app, if time allows; more on that soon…

I hope you enjoy staying here!



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