Posts tagged with "RSS"

The Fastest Way to Save RSS Articles to A Read-Later App

Skimming through the day's tech headlines in Reeder.

Skimming through the day’s tech headlines in Reeder.

I follow about 180 RSS feeds, and I skim through all of my tech feeds every day, looking for interesting news, angles, opinions, and inspiration. A lot of what I see is repetitive, but I’ve gotten very good over the years at speed-reading snippets of stories and homing in on the interesting ones. Some stories get read right away because they’re time-sensitive in some way. However, I have other things to do besides read the web, so I rely heavily on read-later apps to save many of my finds.

That context is important because although some of what I save is what I’d classify as ‘leisure reading,’ most of it isn’t. It’s information processing, and given my other obligations, speed is important. As a result, what I value most are:

  • The design of my RSS reader
  • The speed with which I can save stories for later
  • Access to my saved articles for anywhere
  • The tools available in my read-later app for organizing everything

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feeeed: Embracing Feed Diversity and Personal News Curation

With The Iconfactory launching Project Tapestry this week, I was reminded of an indie app that I first started testing a few months ago. feeeed – that’s with four ‘e’s – by Nate Parrott is a feed reader app unlike any other I’ve seen on iOS.

Today, with our favorite content scattered across social media platforms, apps, blogs, and newsletters, it’s honestly really hard to keep up, and there is clearly a demand for an app that could juggle with all of them. feeeed is an attempt at embracing that diversity, and letting you build your own feed, merging all those sources into one continuous and beautifully designed stream.

I was excited about this app when it originally came out, and for the past week, I have once again given it a prime spot on my iPhone Home Screen to properly try it out as my main reading app.

Let’s jump in.

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The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media, and More

Source: The Iconfactory.

Source: The Iconfactory.

We’re at an exciting moment in the history of the Internet where the downsides of walled gardens of content have become painfully obvious to more people than ever. Those downsides weren’t so clear when companies like Twitter got their start. As it and other companies grew, the convenience and instant gratification of social media put a dent in things like blogging, RSS, and other ways people shared their thoughts, links, and other media online.

But, if there’s a silver lining to what’s become of Twitter, it’s that it opened the eyes of a lot of people who are now helping revitalize the open web standards that never went away for many of us. The trouble is that the feeds we monitor are spread over more places than ever before. There’s RSS, of course, but there’s also ActivityPub, Bluesky, and more. That makes it the perfect time for a new approach like the one The Iconfactory has announced via a Kickstarter campaign.

The campaign was launched today to fund the creation of Tapestry, an iOS universal inbox for the feeds in your life. The Iconfactory makes it clear that it doesn’t intend for Tapestry to replace your RSS reader or Mastodon client, though. Instead, the company wants Tapestry to be a unified, chronological timeline that will help you keep up with what’s new so you can pick the best that your favorite sources have to offer. The Iconfactory has also said the app will have a simple API for adding your own data sources to your feed.

I love this idea and backed the project immediately. The Iconfactory says that they expect the development to take 9 - 12 months, which comes with the usual caveats about the risks of funding a Kickstarter campaign, which is why I rarely link them except in cases like The Iconfactory’s, which has a proven track record. The initial goal is $100,000, and as of the publication of this story, they’re about 25% of the way there. The first stretch goal is $150,000, which would add features like muting, theming, bookmarking, filtering and searching, local notifications, a share plugin system similar to Shortcuts, a curated library of plugins, and a Mac app.

There are also multiple reward levels with a variety of rewards for anyone who pledges $5 to $1,500. To learn more, check out the campaign on Kickstarter and The Iconfactory’s blog.


Fiery Feeds for iOS Added an In-App Split View Mode That I Wish More iPhone Apps Offered

Vertical split view in Fiery Feeds.

Vertical split view in Fiery Feeds.

A few weeks ago on Mastodon, I shared a simple feature request: a split-screen mode for iPhone RSS readers that would allow me to scroll headlines in the one half of the screen and preview actual articles in the other.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone: back in 2007, Steve Jobs demoed pretty much the same thing for the first version of the Mail app for iPhone OS 1.0. That layout mode never shipped, and probably rightfully so at the time given the limited screen real estate of the first iPhone.

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Automation April: Thinking About Linking

Links are the currency of information overload and distraction. There’s more media available than we could ever get to in a lifetime, and more things we might want to buy, places may want to visit, and other things to explore online than can be fit into a day.

The same problem exists in our work lives. That’s especially true for the kind of work I do. Links are part of everything. Whether I’m researching, writing, or preparing to record a podcast, I’m collecting, managing, and sharing links. I could follow all those trails as they cross my path, but I’d never get anything done.

Instead of flitting from one online discovery to the next with no plan, wasting precious time, I save links for later, putting them aside until I have time for them. I’ve been doing this forever, but I’ve also never been happy with my system. So, it was inevitable that I’d begin tinkering with my setup again, both with the apps I use and the shortcuts that support them.

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Unread 3.3

Saving an article from Unread to Readwise Reader.

Saving an article from Unread to Readwise Reader.

Unread, the elegant RSS reader by Golden Hill Software that we’ve covered before on MacStories, received its 3.3 update today, and it’s an interesting one I’ve been playing around with for the past week. There are two features I want to mention.

The first one is the ability to set up an article action to instantly send a headline from the article list in the app to Readwise Reader. As I explained on AppStories, I decided to go all-in with Reader as my read-later app (at least for now), and this Unread integration makes it incredibly easy to save articles for later. Sure, the Readwise Reader extension in the share sheet is one of the best ones I’ve seen for a read-later app (you can triage and tag articles directly from the share sheet), but if you’re in a hurry and checking out headlines on your phone, the one-tap custom action in Unread is phenomenal. To start using it, you need to be an Unread subscriber and paste in your Readwise API token.

The second feature is the ability to save any webpage from Safari as an article in Unread, even if you’re not subscribed to that website’s RSS feed. Essentially, this is a way to turn Unread into a quasi-read-later tool: the app’s parser will extract text and images from the webpage, which will be then be saved as a ‘Saved Article’ in Unread Cloud, Local feeds, or NewsBlur, or as a ‘Page’ in Feedbin.

If you’re a new Readwise Reader user, I recommend checking out Unread 3.3, which is available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

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ReadKit 3.1 Adds Smart Folders, More Customization Options, and New Lifetime Purchase Options

Around this time every year, I tend to start fiddling with my RSS setup. Last year, I drastically simplified my setup, and it worked well. Still, with Twitter’s fate uncertain, I thought it would be an excellent time to reexamine what various sync services and apps have to offer to refine my RSS reading experience.

One of my goals with this year’s experiments is to find better ways to filter and sort the articles in my feeds. Folders are a useful top layer of organization, but I’ve wanted more control over my feeds for a while now, especially when I’m busiest. One way to accomplish advanced filtering is server-side with an RSS sync service, but support for them by third-party RSS apps is limited. That’s why I was excited to see that ReadKit 3.1 has added a new smart folders feature.

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Mela: An Elegant and Innovative Recipe and Cooking App for iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Silvio Rizzi, the developer of RSS client Reeder, has released a brand new recipe and cooking app called Mela for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, which has immediately become my favorite apps for planning and preparing meals. For me, the two essential aspects of an app like this are how it handles adding new recipes and whether it is easy to use while you’re cooking. Mela excels at both.

I’m going to focus primarily on the iPad experience for this review because the iPad strikes the best balance of portability combined with a large screen that works well when you’re in the kitchen cooking, but the app is also available on the iPhone and Mac. Although my overwhelming preference is to use Mela on an iPad, an equal amount of attention has gone into the design of the iPhone and Mac apps, accounting for the different screen sizes and making the most of each. That’s true on the iPad, too, where the experience differs depending on the size of the iPad you’re using.

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Reeder 5 Review: Read Later Tagging, iCloud Sync, and Design Refinements

Last year we named RSS client Reeder 4 the Best App Update as part of the MacStories Selects awards for a good reason. Reeder has been one of the best-designed RSS apps available for a very long time. With the release of version 4, developer Silvio Rizzi rebuilt the app on a modern foundation from the ground up. Roughly one year later, version 5 is out as a brand new app that takes what Rizzi began last year and extends it further with a host of excellent new features and design refinements.

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