Either way, there’s a better way. Instead of sorting through bookmarks, clicking here and there to find something interesting, use some tried and true technology to make browsing easier, faster, more efficient. How? RSS.
Most websites these days use an RSS feed which allows RSS readers to download articles– headlines and summaries– to your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and nearly any competing device. It starts with an RSS reader app. First, what’s RSS?
RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format. These feeds can, for example, allow a user to keep track of many different websites in a single news aggregator. The news aggregator will automatically check the RSS feed for new content, allowing the content to be automatically passed from website to website or from website to user. This passing of content is called web syndication.
OK, that’s a mess of definition but it boils down to using an app that subscribes to websites you want view and brings the headlines and summary right to your device so you don’t have to use bookmarks or point and click until carpal tunnel syndrome inhibits your news junkie habit. You’ll find a few dozen RSS readers on the Mac App Store and iOS App Store and they range in price from free to a few dollars. My favorite is News Explorer. Here’s what it looks like on a Mac.
What you see is typical for the better RSS readers. A list of RSS subscription websites in the lefthand sidebar; categorized and organized however you see fit. Click on a category and see the headlines and summaries, click on one to view the entire article in the main window.
You won’t need Safari or Chrome or Firefox or bookmarks or need to go through the effort of clicking all over the interwebs to find something interesting to read. Articles come to you. You choose the websites and organize them however you please. There’s even a built-in Reader View like in Safari so you can skip over the ads and graphics and just read.
If you’re a news junkie then you probably have Instapaper or Pocket (I have both) and News Explorer can populate those for later reading. And, of course, whatever you read can be saved for later or shared elsewhere. Hands down, this is the best of the RSS readers and there are many worthy of your time and effort. Plus, News Explorer runs on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and it syncs up your RSS subscriptions between devices.
What’s not to like? You choose what you want to read and when. On iPhone and iPad you won’t need to rummage through a dozen or two dozen website applications because the same content is in News Explorer. This one– and RSS readers in general– is highly recommended as a way to save time, be more efficient, and to get choosy about what to fill your brain with each day.