Consuming News on Mac and iOS

Hi there,

I place this under Mac, as it's primarily my Mac I am interested in. Does anyone have a great go-to app that is good at finding and presenting the news?

I am heavily considering Apple News plus, however, from the reviews and a quick look into it, it seems to be more magazine focused. I'm looking for more current events, both US and global.

I'm not interested in RSS feeds; I'm not willing to go after them and do the work. If you can convince me of a good RSS service and app, must be iOS and Mac accessible, I will consider it again.

Thanks so much for your time!

Forum: 

#1 RSS is your best option

App Developer

The problem with Apple News is that a lot of their magazines are not readable via VoiceOver, because they are just images.

I have been using News Explorer and a self-hosted aggregator for a few years now and quite frankly, there is nothing out there that can top this.

News Explorer works great both on the Mac and iOS, your reading position syncs via iCloud, and the developer is aware of and added VoiceOver-specific settings to customize the reading experience.

The disadvantage is that, as you mentioned, you will have to create your own list of feeds, either by adding the various feeds to News Explorer, or by using an aggregator that generates a single feed of all the feeds you add. This way, you won't lose articles, in case they are posted faster than you can update, which is very rare.

The beauty of RSS is that you can generate feeds from various sources, even if they do not have a feed for you to follow. For example, you could follow a Youtube channel or a specific Twitter account this way.

#2 Question for Erion

Hi Erion,

I'm curious to know which self-hosted option you are using and whether there are any accessibility niggles with setting it up?

I've used TTRSS in the past, and can't recall now why I stopped. But, with services such as Inoreader and Feedly either putting up prices or offering less for free, it might be time to revisit self-hosting.

#3 Hi Eileen.

App Developer

Hi Eileen.

I'm using Selfoss. To host it, you will need php and a sqlite database, I believe. Configuring it is as easy as editing an .ini file, and it automagically generates a single feed for you. You can also configure it to mark items as read when they are fetched via an RSS client, and the author added a few plugins, such as Reddit, Twitter, Youtube, and even PDF text search, which you can add as a source. You will also need a cron service, I recommend FCron, to periodically call a php script that updates your feeds. I think the setup experience will be a lot easier than it is with TTRSS.

While I need something more complex, the included web reader is nice, article titles are marked up as proper headings, so you can use any web browser, in case you do not have an RSS client readily available.

news Explorer has similar capabilities, for example enhanced support for podcasts, Youtube, Twitter, and JSON-based feeds, so you don't necessarily need a middleman as it were, I just like my data to be in one place, where I know I have full control over it. In particular, on a Raspberry Pi, running Arch Linux.

Let me know if there's anything I can help with.

#4 Thanks

Thanks Erion for the link.

I've just re-installed Tiny Tiny RSS, so it will be interesting to see how the two compare.

#5 Re: RSS

I was afraid this would come up so quickly. Ugg.
Well, I guess it'll have to do; I'm not wanting to host my own RSS, however. are there any credible, decent ones out there?

RSS just hasn't been the same since Google Reader.

Also, thanks for the tip on apple news. I won't bother with it at all, then.