This fiddling period coincided with getting used to the transition from Feedbin — one of the snappiest, smoothest purpose-built web services I have ever used — to iCloud, which behaved exactly the way I should have expected it to: It was slower. It showed out-of-date data on screen for an almost-uncomfortably long time until the sync was finished.
Never miss another website update with RSS feeds
It rarely — but not never — created a double version of an article I had just accidentally opened and quickly left or whatever. After three days, I opened up Safari, went to the Feedbin website, and began to sign up again. So, there I was. But this was the perfect situation to encourage me to stick with News Explorer and see if I could get used to it. Over the next few days, I figured some things out.
I figured out that things went more smoothly between the Mac, iPhone and iPad on which I was running News Explorer if I set the background refresh time to the longest convenient interval, based on how much I use the device for RSS, rather than them just wailing on iCloud constantly. I could just wait a few seconds, and it would sort itself out.
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I just soldier on with confidence, and News Explorer works things out with iCloud just fine. Then came the big test. I was going offline for five days for Passover in the Desert , and I knew to expect to come back on the grid with as many as unread RSS items.
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If News Explorer choked on that, it would seal the deal. Guess what: It took it like a champ , and I think I know why. There was, of course, no activity — and therefore no syncing — happening while I was offline. When I turned on my phone and launched News Explorer, it would have been obvious to the app that its data was way out of date, and it dutifully updated all the feeds. But because of the iCloud sync model, there was only one computer doing the work!
The phone version of News Explorer could feel free to handle everything itself. That whole experience changed the mood, and after that, I started discovering features of News Explorer that are affirmatively better than my past experiences with RSS. Nevertheless, I still read articles from a good number of such websites. In the past, I would run those feeds through another website called FeedEx , which scrapes the full contents of truncated RSS feeds and publishes them in its own RSS feed, to which you can subscribe instead of the actual one.
It works remarkably well, but I always worried about FeedEx going away and breaking all these feeds of mine. This gives you a button in the share menu in Safari to find and subscribe to any feed on any website.
Again: complexity. This feels much neater. I encountered exactly one issue with my actual list of feeds, which might be 15 years old at this point. It took me a while to figure out a solution, but then it hit me: use FeedEx! Get used to it first.
NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source
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