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.


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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get in touch at thirteen23.com.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.