How do you browse the web for news, information, entertainment, videos, gossip, and social sites? Most of us use the Mac’s Safari browser, with a growing portion of Mac users on Google’s Chrome browser or Mozilla’s Firefox. The browser is how we brows, right? No.
How does Apple help users browse the web? Honestly, Apple plays to the lowest common denominator. How else do you explain the cumbersome Safari bookmark system, the anemic Reading List in the sidebar, and the nearly useless Safari pinned tab functions in the latest version of macOS Sierra. Apple thinks Mac users cannot spell R.S.S.
Yes. You. Can.
If you already have an RSS reader on your Mac all you need to know one or two of those I recommend, but many good RSS readers are available to improve your web browsing experience, save you time, and make browsing life easier. Here’s how it works. RSS is a somewhat antiquated technology that dates back to the early days of the public internet, a standard used to subscribe to website’s article headlines and summaries; ostensibly to make browsing faster, easier, more efficient.
Nothing works better than a good RSS reader to browse the web– far better than Apple’s bookmarks, Reading List, or Reader. Apple’s popular Mac, iPhone, and iPad have so many switchers from Windows that the company felt a need to dumb down the browsing experience, hence no RSS, either.
If you’re a Mac user (or, iPhone or iPad) user, because Reeder is everywhere) who frequently browses through more than a dozen or so websites, then get an RSS reader instead of using Safari. Here’s what I use. It’s called, appropriately enough, Reeder.
RSS feeds are made up of a list of recent articles (with headline and a summary) which websites publish, and which can be subscribed to by a reader app such as Reeder. Every so often Reeder (and it works the same way with most RSS reader apps; Mac, iPhone, or iPad) will check the website’s RSS subscription list and update itself so you always get the latest headlines and summaries.
The RSS visual interface is time honored and efficient. The list of RSS feed subscriptions are in the left sidebar, click on one and reveal that website’s recent articles (by headline and summary), click on the article you want to read and it shows up in the main browser window.
It doesn’t get much easier than that, and it’s a far more efficient way to rummage through dozens or hundreds of websites than using bookmarks or Reading List or Reader. Reeder works with a variety of RSS services, including Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Readability, Instapaper, and more. It features themes for visual variety, and gestures for easy navigation.
And, yes, there is a similar version of Reeder for iPhone and iPad, and they sync up subscriptions between devices.
And, even better than Safari, Reeder lets you share with more than a dozen online bookmark online sharing services, or social sites ranging from Twitter to Facebook, Mail and Messages, plus, Pocket, Pinboard, Delicious, as well as Readability and Instapaper. I like Reeder and the hundreds of four and five star ratings testify to what other Mac users think, but almost any decent RSS reader– regardless of price– works better than the anemic bookmark and reading list options Apple provides with Safari.
To be fair, there’s a browser already built-in to Reeder, so you’re still getting the browser viewing experience but without the pain of managing Reader Lists or Bookmarks in the old fashioned way.