We all have our favorite news sites, independent blogs or webcomics. A lot of people keep up with new posts on Twitter — it’s where a lot of Cult of Mac traffic comes from. With a mass exodus of Twitter users after you-know-what happened, there’s a way you can still keep up with your favorite sites. It’s a technology that has powered the web for over twenty years called RSS; let me show you can follow the news without Twitter.
The best to-do, Markdown and RSS apps this week
This week we “watch” our to-dos with Things, read the news really, really fast with NetNewsWire, make Keynote-style presentations with Markdown, and more.
Mailbrew turns Twitter, YouTube and Reddit updates into email newsletters
Apparently, people love email newsletters. Perhaps it’s because they are clean and free of annoying ads and endless “related” “content.” Or maybe its because everyone secretly still uses their email inbox as a de facto inbox for everything in their online life. If you are one of these newsletter lovers, then you will be super-stoked to hear about Mailbrew, which gathers up the latest posts and news from your favorite time sinks, and converts them into emails.
Fiery Feeds adds Instapaper-like universal read-later service
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.
Forget Twitter, Fiery Feeds is the best way to read the news
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.
How to save any audio file to iPhone without a Mac
Did you ever download an audio file to your iPhone, and then wonder just how you are supposed to listen to it? Maybe you have a few recorded lectures you want to listen to on a plane, or you have some audiobooks you’d like to listen to on the beach. The bad news is a that you can’t add music or any other audio to your Music app library without a Mac or a PC.
Since iOS 11, you’ve been able to download and save audio files in the Files app, but good luck listening to them. It’s like listening to audio in the Finder on your Mac, with no way to save your place, or really control the playback much at all.
But there’s a better way. The Overcast podcast app, which is pretty excellent in general, also lets you upload your own audio files, and then it treats them as regular podcast episodes. We also have a more complex method that takes a bit of setup, but can be used with any podcast app, including Apple’s own. Here’s how to use them.
Guitar Gravitas, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, and other awesome apps of the week
This week we have apps that will help you to learn everything about your guitar, read up on the latest news, and use the Touch Bar to edit text on your MacBook Pro. But who are we trying to fool with all those? This weekend you’ll all be playing Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition all day long.
Drag-and-drop the news with Lire RSS reader
Lire is an RSS reader for iOS, and it just added a great update in the form of drag-and-drop. Now you can grab any news story and drag it either to Lire’s own drop-shelf (iPhone and iPad), or to another app (iPad). It really makes great use of iOS 11’s drag-and-drop, but is let down by other apps’ poor implementation for receiving dropped items.
Feed Hawk hunts down YouTube channel RSS feeds for you
Are you still using RSS? If you are (and you should be, as we’ll see in a moment), then you should use the Feed Hawk app on your iPhone and iPad. Feed Hawk puts itself in your iOS Share Sheet and locates the RSS feed(s) from any website you visit. If you want, it can automatically subscribe you to the RSS feed in your RSS reader of choice.
The latest version of Feed Hawk can even find feeds for YouTube channels. That, in case you’re wondering, is huge.
Castro developer Supertop saves Unread app from the grave
We love Unread, an RSS reader by developer Jared Sinclair. We’re also big fans of Castro, an exquisitely beautiful podcasting app by Supertop. So we’re delighted to hear that both apps are under the same roof, saving one developer from poverty and frustration while making another developer’s catalog ever stronger.