It seems like only yesterday when Mac360’s writers were cutting their teeth slinging words left and right about how great the Mac was for humankind. Well more than a dozen years later and we’re still singing its praises despite the fact that Apple has become the iPhone company.
We started Mac360 to discover and promote new Mac apps and utilities not always covered by mainstream technology media, and along the way helped to uncover some gems like SuperDuper!’s great backup utility, first mentioned days after we opened the doors. Just a few weeks later we pronounced RSS to be a gift from the gods. Here’s a free way to make it even better.
By technology standards of the 21st century, RSS is ancient, yet it’s almost everywhere; found on nearly any website worth reading, including Mac360 (assumption of worth implied). Here’s how it works:
RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video. An RSS document (called “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and author’s name.
All that techno mumbo jumbo means an RSS reader app on your Mac (or, iPhone or iPad) can retrieve website headlines and summary information and display it for you automagically. Instead of clicking on Safari browser bookmarks again and again, an RSS reader brings the website’s to you, displays them perfectly in a browser-like window, tracks what you’ve read, and makes it easy to share sites with others.
The problem many Mac users who are new to RSS is two-fold. First, which RSS reader should they use? I have recommendations. Second, how can they find that RSS subscription URL? For that, there’s the free RSS Menu Extension for Safari. Download it. Double-click to install as a Safari extension. The next time you visit a website with an RSS subscription feed you’ll see the little alert (like the one in the image above) in the Safari toolbar. Click it, and choose what to do. Either open it in Safari to view, or send it to your favorite RSS newsreader app.
Settings are dead simple.
Now, what does an RSS feed look like in Safari? Not too scary.
When you click Continue Reading… you’ll open the webpage in Safari. That’s all well and good but there’s an even better way and that’s to move the RSS subscription you found in RSS Menu Extension to an RSS newsreader. Most you’ll find on the Mac App Store are decent and worth the few dollars. Some with limited features are free.