That browsing usually requires clicks; often lots of clicks; often multiple clicks on the same website simply to find an article that’s worthy of reading. There’s a better way to browse and it’s free. All you have to do is to Think Different™ and download this free app to your Mac.
Old, Meet New
Way back in the day, at the dawn of the public internet in the mid-1990s, a clever group of tech folks cobbled together a technology which came to be known as RSS. In essence, RSS enabled computer users to subscribe to a website’s content– headlines and summaries– without visiting the site first through bookmarks or direct entry of the website’s URL.
In other words, an article’s headline and summary were summoned from the website first. That somewhat simple technology spread worldwide and most websites these days have RSS feeds which users can subscribe to. RSS technology also spawned a cottage industry of RSS feed reader apps. Enter an RSS feed into the application and it checks the site regularly for updated articles. Automatically. One of my favorite RSS readers is free and remarkably easy to use.
It’s called Vienna and it looks like this.
Vienna looks and feels much like Photos or iTunes. There’s a list of subscriptions (website RSS feeds) in the left sidebar. Click on a website and view all the recent articles– downloaded automatically– in the top main section. Click on an article in the list and view the summary or details below.
That may seem a bit simplistic but that’s how RSS works. Visit the websites you normally visit, grab the RSS URL and drop it onto Vienna, and, well, that’s it. Vienna takes over and checks the sites regularly and updates the headline and summary, whether you read them all or not. Just open Vienna and browse around.
Preferences are typical for a Mac app; nominal in number and self explanatory.
The advantages of an RSS reader are enormous. You won’t need to click on bookmarks, or open a site and browse around (more clicks) to find an article worth reading. The articles come to you.
The latest version of Vienna remains free, has multiple reading layouts, smart folders for subscriptions, multiple tabs for easier viewing, and automatic detection of news feeds on websites.
I cannot stress this enough. Vienna is a big time saver for any Mac user who browses the web and clicks on multiple articles on anything on more than a handful of websites. Vienna makes it easier to save and share articles. In one form or another RSS has been around about 20 years and still is the most efficient way to view the contents of websites you frequent. There are other RSS readers with more features. And a price tag. Vienna is a good way to start using an RSS reader to help reduce the time it takes to browse the interwebs.