Hakn

A reader for Hacker News


For the thirteen23 development team, Hacker News is a favorite daily read, one of our go-to resources for what’s happening in tech, startups, and computer science.

So, when in October 2014 Hacker News announced the availability of a new API to access their post data, we decided to try it… and make a quick, new Hacker News iPhone reader app, thirteen23-style.

A New Language

Also recently released was Swift, Apple’s new programming language for iOS and OSX. Swift is the future of iOS app development, and will eventually replace the aging Objective-C language that we’ve used and loved for many years.

Swift is a modern, functional, type-safe language that aims to fix many of the pain points of Objective-C. It’s also the new kid on the block, and since we wanted to get our feet wet with it, we decided to use Swift to implement Hakn.

A New API

HN’s new API is built on top of Firebase, a powerful data storage platform and SAAS. One of Firebase’s touted features is its ability to push updates of latest-greatest data changes. In Hakn, we leverage Firebase updates to receive comments and post information.

A New App

So what did we end up with?

  • A clean, minimal Hacker News reading experience
  • Intuitive, easy gestures for navigation
  • Comment collapsing
  • In-app webviews for content reading
  • Both automatic (via Firebase) and pull-to-refresh updating of content

If this sounds like your jam, give Hakn a try. It’s available for free in the App Store.


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