News and RSS readers can take what’s otherwise an unwieldy online information overload and turn it into a manageable—and useful—stream of content you’re actually interested in. The TMO team all have their own ways of managing that information onslaught. Read on to see which apps we use to keep on top of the topics that interest us.
News Readers versus RSS
Andrew Orr did a great job of explaining the difference between news readers and RSS readers. If you’re interested in learning more about the two be sure to check out his article. Keep reading to see which apps the TMO team uses every day.
I use RSS feeds on a daily basis in a few different ways. Of course, I track feeds of publications that are of interest to me for both personal and professional reasons, but I also use customized feeds from both Google searches (aka Google Alerts) and Google News to deliver me news from a variety of sources about topics of specific interest.
To manage all these feeds, I pay US$30/year for a Feedbin subscription. That gives me one central place where all my feeds are synced, including per-article read and unread status. On my Mac, I simply read my feeds in Safari using Feedbin’s web interface. On iOS, I am a huge fan (and user) of Reeder for iOS. I keep meaning to try Reeder for Mac, but I haven’t made that leap yet. I do most of my feed reading on my iPad, anyway.
John has a different approach to sorting and reading his online news. He uses a collection of apps and websites, and he has a hierarchy to go along with his various sources. Here are John’s picks, in order of use:
- Twitter. I follow all major political and technical news sites.
- MacSurfer. Always has the most important Apple news.
- iPad apps: CNET, TechCrunch, Mashable, iMore, USAToday/tech
- Our own Slack channel for leads. Leveraging teamwork.
- Flipboard. For interesting, off-beat or deeper technical news.
I don’t miss much thanks to the 450 authors and sites I follow on Twitter. When I’m on news duty, I add my RSS reader, the open source Mac app Vienna.
I use a variety of ways to gather information and research articles. For a news aggregator, I use Google News, as well as Google Analytics’s trending service. I also use Reeder as an RSS reader. Internally, we have some specific Apple feeds piped through to a dedicated Slack channel. Twitter, Facebook, and email leads also play a big role in my efforts to keep abreast with what’s happening in the Apple tech worlds. Our new Apple Context Machine Facebook Group has been a big help, too.
The apps I use are Apple News and Feedly. I like Apple News because it gives me news from a wide range of sources, and it groups news based around categories, like Tech, Music, and Entertainment. I can get breaking news alerts as well. Also, I like the fact that Apple has real news editors that curate the content.
I like Feedly because as an RSS aggregator, I can add any website’s RSS feed that I want. Like Apple News (and pretty much any news app) it sorts news into categories. It’s a minimal app that contains the tools you need, without any unneeded fluff like a social aspect (which I personally don’t like).
My go-to for daily news is Feedly, which serves as my RSS feed manager. I use the the Feedly web interface in my browser on my Mac, and the Feedly app on my iPhone and iPad. The Feedly apps are free, as is using the service. You can pay for a Feedly subscription if you want more robust sorting and searching, keyword filters, unlimited feeds and boards, and more.
I use Flipboard for my more casual news reading. The magazine-like format for the articles works great for me, and if I see something I want to follow up on I can send it to Instapaper—my must have app for keeping track of article links.