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Apple boots pair of RSS readers out of the App Store in China


AllOfUS says Apple helps censorship in China
Apple faces a tough situation in China.
Photo: AllOfUs

Apple has reportedly removed a pair of RSS reader apps, Reeder and Fiery Feeds, from the App Store in China due to their ability to allow users to access information the country would rather they not see.

It’s not clear exactly what prompted this particular banning, but China has been cracking down on RSS feeds since 2007. That year, it initiated a blanket ban on all web-based RSS feed aggregators. In 2017, Apple removed RSS reader app Inoreader from the App Store in China.

In other words, this may be less a case of “What did Reeder and Fiery Feeds do wrong?” than “how did they manage to survive as long as they did?”

My 5 most-used apps this year


best apps beatmaker 3
Beatmaker 3 is my favorite app this year.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

For my job at Cult of Mac, I test a lot of apps. But of course, I also use a lot of apps, for work, for recreation, and for making music. I thought I’d make a short list of my most-used apps this year. Few, if any, of these apps are new this year, although some of them received major updates in 2019. But all of them are excellent, well-made apps, well worth checking out.

So, let’s get started.

Fiery Feeds adds Instapaper-like universal read-later service


Some illustrative fire.
Some illustrative fire.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Fiery Feeds is my favorite RSS reader app on iOS. It strikes the perfect balance between power, good looks, and ease of use. For instance, you can customize the entire look of the app with themes, you can set it to share stories to your chosen apps with a single swipe, and the whole thing is navigated with swipes. Version 2.2 just showed up, and it’s a biggie. Apart from some neat UI changes, Fiery Feeds now has iCloud syncing, and its own built-in Instapaper alternative.

How to stop reading the news on Twitter or Facebook


News readers gather all the latest stories from your favorite sites in one place.
Photo: CocoaCake

How do you read the news? If you do it on Twitter, you’ll be used to missing things as they fly past on your ever-updating timeline. If you read the news on Facebook, you’re being fed articles picked according to Facebook’s own agendas. And if you read the news on regular websites, you spend forever visiting sites just to see if there’s been an update.

If only there was a better way. If only you could open an app and see, at a glance, all the new stories from your favorite websites. Wouldn’t that be something?

The good news is, there are many apps, and many services, that exist to bring you the updates to your favorite sites. They work like Google Reader used to — only way better.

Forget Twitter, Fiery Feeds is the best way to read the news


Fiery Feeds adds Pinboard support, finally lets you ditch Instapaper.
Fiery Feeds looks great in black.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Fiery Feeds is an iOS news-reading app that lets you subscribe to any sites you like, and read all their new stories in one place. It’s way better than relying on Twitter for you news, because important stories never get lost in a sea of doggy GIFs. And the new v2.1 gets a visual overhaul, plus support for using Pinboard as a read-later service. I love it.