After the basics, Apple’s customers still have some universal requirements, and one of them is web browsing. How do you do it? Point and click? Bookmarks? Just bounce around in the News app? There is a better way.
Browser, Meet RSS
For whatever reason Apple chose to remove the RSS reader from Safari years ago. RSS is the time-honored technology which websites use to send out headlines and a summary of new posts and articles. Safari dropped it in favor of the easier Reading List which is not as useful.
RSS… Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication… is a type of web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a standardized, computer-readable format.
Any website worth reading has an RSS subscription feed (free) that can deliver both headline and summary to an RSS reader. The readers are Mac, iPhone, or iPad apps that read the RSS feeds and let you browse the entire article with fewer clicks and less effort than Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. One of the first on the Mac was NetNewsWire.
Despite what companies like Apple and Facebook claim, you don’t need a giant corporation telling you what news stories you should read every morning. Nearly every website (worth reading) still operates an RSS feed. And now one of the oldest and most robust RSS readers, NetNewsWire, is back from the dead and worth your consideration again.
The key to using an RSS reader is your desire for control. If you don’t care about who or what gets shoved down your throat in Apple News, then go for it. If you prefer to select your own news and information sources, an RSS reader is the way.
I use an RSS reader. So does Andrew Liszewski:
In the simplest of terms, an RSS reader lets you access a list of a website’s most recent stories without actually having to visit them directly. If you only read two or three sites every day, an RSS reader probably isn’t for you. But if like myself, you obsessively stay on top of over 100 different news sources, an RSS reader is a must-have.
For now, NetNewsWire is free and worth a try. The Mac App Store and the iOS App Store have plenty of RSS newsreaders available in varying prices, but my choice is News Explorer which has versions on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. As with many of the best RSS newsreaders, News Explorer allows you to read articles within the app, share articles via Messages or Mail, and save for later reading. It also syncs your list of websites between devices.
RSS might not be the newest technology available for news, but it allows you to curate what you want to view, then does the updates automatically and behind the scenes. We think RSS is a must-have for every Apple customer.