Everyone on the staff at Mac360 has long been an advocate of the lowly RSS reader. There’s no better way to browse many different websites from a single app, without managing bookmarks; all point and click.
It all has to do with RSS, an antique technology by modern standards, but one that mostly is ubiquitous and just works. All you need is an RSS reader, and Mac users– arguably more in tuned with the internet and trends than PC users– have plenty of these great apps from which to choose. Here’s a good one because it’s a reader for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and, yes– Apple Watch and Apple TV.
Get It All, Everywhere
If you’re at all like me then you have plenty of bookmarks for websites you visit frequently. That need for news and information is what separates the internet into two distinct groups. Those who go get the news. And those who let the news come to them. An RSS reader is for the former. Facebook is for the latter.
Familiar? Yes. RSS subscriptions are listed and organized as you prefer in the lefthand sidebar. Click on a website and view the most recent headlines and summary for each. Click on the headline to view the entire article– without having to open Safari or switch to Chrome or another browser. It’s all built-in.
The only real negative to an RSS reader is gathering the RSS subscriptions in the first place. Most websites have an RSS feed. In most cases, all you need to do is enter the website’s URL into the reader and it can find the feed. From then on, News Explorer updates the headlines and summary automatically. No more clicking around to find the news.
News Explorer syncs subscriptions and settings with iCloud so it’s easy to set up on each device, start reading on one then switch to the other and pick up where you left off using OS X and iOS’s Handoff feature.
The app works particularly well for those of us who are inveterate news junkies. It doesn’t take long to have a huge list of RSS subscriptions and while they can be organized however you want and by groups in the sidebar, you may need to search, find, and even filter. That’s built-in, too.
In the end, you get a single app that syncs RSS subscriptions between devices. The Mac and iOS versions are mostly the same but a few features are missing on the latter; for example, importing and exporting OPML files, so it’s better to setup your RSS subscription collection on the Mac and have it sync to iPhone or iPad over iCloud. Obviously, Watch is missing a few features such as search, adding feeds, timeline, themes and other items that don’t really apply to the Watch screen size.
What’s missing on all versions is a try-before-you-buy option. The Mac version goes beyond my throw-away-price just to try so a trial version would be a plus. So would reviews on the App Store, but News Explorer is sufficiently new that responses are thin; even from family and friends.
Still, there’s just no better way to keep informed these days than an RSS reader.