NetNewsWire Update Supports iCloud Sync, Twitter Feeds

Open source RSS reader NetNewsWire released an update on Tuesday that adds features that may be welcome for users: Sync via iCloud, BazQux, Inoreader, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and FreshRSS, Share extension, Widgets for Today, Unread, and Starred articles, Special support for Reddit and Twitter feeds. So far this has been my favorite RSS reader to use and I enjoyed moving from Feedly to iCloud.

Google Chrome Brings Back RSS… Sort of

Google Chrome is to get a new ‘Follow’ feature. As TechCrunch noted, it’s not quite an RSS reader… but it’s pretty close.

In Chrome, users will soon see a ‘Follow’ feature for sites that support RSS and the browser’s New Tab page will get what is essentially a (very) basic RSS reader — I guess you could almost call it a “Google Reader.” Now we’re not talking about a full-blown RSS reader here. The New Tab page will show you updates from the sites you follow in chronological order, but it doesn’t look like you can easily switch between feeds, for example. It’s a start, though.

RSS Reader ‘NetNewsWire’ Arrives on iOS

Introduced on July 12, 2002 NetNewsWire was the most popular RSS readers by 2005. It offered people custom feed views, downloading/opening podcasts, syncing feeds between devices, and a built-in browser. After a company acquired it in 2011 it ultimately shut down in 2015. Since then, the original developer Brent Simmons has control once again, and after releasing an updated version for macOS, NetNewsWire is now available for iOS and iPadOS. It’s free and open source. We also have an interview with Mr. Simmons where he talked about the app.

The Story of How RSS Came to Be

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way for websites and podcasts to offer a feed of updated content for people. It’s a fairly standard technology but many people don’t use it.

The story of how this happened is really two stories. The first is a story about a broad vision for the web’s future that never quite came to fruition. The second is a story about how a collaborative effort to improve a popular standard devolved into one of the most contentious forks in the history of open-source software development.

Long story short (Although you should still read the long story): RSS was too complicated for non-tech users, and the internet slowly became centralized into data silos like Google and Facebook.