Mar
5
2013

MacHash Apple News Aggregator Gets 4.0 Update

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MacHash

I've always been a fan of MacHash, a service that aggregates RSS posts from Apple-related websites. From January 2012:

I’ve been a huge fan of MacHash since I started using the service last year. With a straightforward web interface that aggregates the latest Apple headlines from websites like ours, MacRumors, TUAW, Macgasm, AppStorm, iMore and many others and an iOS client that offers more customization options alongside an in-app browser, MacHash has become my go-to place to stay on the top of the latest Apple news and commentary from the community.

Released yesterday, MacHash 4.0 brings a new, cleaner interface, iCloud syncing for settings, and improved sharing.

Sites are now available in a Facebook-like sidebar that you can access by swiping horizontally on screen or tapping the list button in the top left corner of the title bar; you can pull to refresh this view, or “star” sites that you want to display in the Favorites tab. Starring a site will give you quicker access to its standalone stream of articles, which, as in previous versions of the app, is fetched via RSS: if a site doesn't have a full-text RSS feed, it will be truncated in MacHash (just like any other RSS reader).

MacHash already had a filtering option to “mute” sites that you weren't interested in seeing in the main stream, and in this new version filters should sync alongside sync across various instances of MacHash (say on the iPhone and iPad) through iCloud. I say “should” because, in practice, my settings are being constantly reset to default state every time I start the iPad app. I have no idea whether this bug is due to MacHash itself or iCloud, but I wouldn't be surprised to know the latter is the culprit.

My favorite new feature of MacHash 4.0 is the tap & hold menu for sharing. You can now tap & hold any article to bring up a Copy & Paste-like menu with options to view the full website, a mobilized version, share the link on Twitter, or open more sharing actions. Because the middle button is configurable, and because auto-sharing can be activated, I can now send articles to Evernote with just two taps without having to confirm the clipping action every time. It would be nice to be able to send links to specific Drafts actions, though I understand the added complexity of specifying a Drafts URLs to send links to.

MacHash 4.0 comes with other speed and stability improvements (though the app still crashed for me once) and an overall more polished interface. MacHash continues to be my daily destination to get a quick overview of a day's Apple news, and the app is free on the App Store (with In-App Purchase to hide ads).

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