OMG I love Apple News on macOS/Mojave

I periodically used Apple News on iOS and found it got better and better as I added Subjects and News_Sources and proceeded to blacklist some sources and give thumbs up/down to individual articles.

Still, I never used it as much as I did the awesome Zite app (bought out and closed by Flipboard) to which Apple News has an uncannily similar look and feel.

BUT… Apple News on macOS, while offering the same news as the iOS version, is a much more usable app, especially on a big screen. It looks great and as long as you spend the time to customize your interests and likes/dislikes, it provides an awesome experience. So easy to navigate…

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Do you have any advice on “training” Apple News? I’m trying to ditch 45 minutes of morning “news” podcasts, in favor of a curated list of stories - although it seems like there’s a lot of training to do to get Apple News to sift out junk.

Thoughts?

Is there any way to get a link to the original article from the Apple News app on the Mac?

As I showed in my pic above, I added specific websites (GQ, DaringFireball) and topics (Stephen Colbert, Instant Pot). I also blocked specific sites I never wanted to see. And finally, I ‘loved’ articles I liked and even articles I didn’t read but approved of seeing in my feed. It definitely gets better over time, but it needs time for the machine learning to learn.

On the Mac I get the Apple News URL from the Share menu by sharing by Message. That gives me an Apple News URL in Mac Messages, which I copy (then I close Messages) but when you visit it in a web browser it sends you to the site’s own URL. (If there’s a simpler way to grab that URL I’ve not found it.)

So for example this article:

Gave me this share link, which when clicked on (in Chrome, at any rate) sends you to the actual POLITICO article (with a cute little “?cid=apn” appended to the URL so the website knows it came from Apple News).

I’m in Denmark, we don’t have acces to Apple News unfortunately on either platform. Although it is available in the Today View on the iPhone, but as an app, which is strange.

There are ways around that:

In Safari, my default browser, entering the link just tries to open the Apple News app.

I don’t know whether this is a dealbreaker for me.

I’ve been looking for a news aggregator like hvper.com, but one where I could completely customize the sources. Apple News might be it!

Seems to be a setting related to MIME type application handler that you can probably (hopefully) change inside Safari.

When for example a server says “This is text/html” and Safari understands “Ah, this is an HTML document, I can render that internally”, and if the server says “This is application/pdf” the client can go “Ah, I need to launch the PDF Reader plugin that the user has installed and that has registered itself as the application/pdf handler.” If you can change the setting for how the browser reacts to that filetype you that URL will do what other browsers do and will punt you over to the actual article.

When I click on that Apple News link in Chrome or Brave, for a brief moment I get this screen before being transferred to the regular article at Politico:

Actually, the Safari browser may do an end-run around MIME. I found the following posted from 2005:

Safari uses the Launch Services API for this purpose, the OS X replacement for this part of the Internet Config. API, and also the same database used by the Finder when it handles file extensions and MIME types.

RCDefaultApp is freeware that allows you to modify this info via system preferences… http://www.rubicode.com/Software/RCDefaultApp/

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Ooh, I don’t like that site. Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop site has been around forever and does a better job, I think.

https://alltop.com/

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Apple News is part of macOS Mojave in every installation. In unsupported countries like Denmark or in my case Germany it is just hidden, but you can launch the app via a terminal command:

open /Applications/News.app

Unfortunately not all news sources work internationally. If you don’t want to use the terminal every time you can write an Apple or Automator script to launch the app.

I’m surprised to see it’s been more than two months since this topic started. I’m definitely liking Apple News – it’s replacing Google News as my go-to news check-in. Often I just look at the News widget on my phone home screen and see there’s nothing I need to pay any attention to at the moment and move on.

However, I do wish there was a native way on the Mac to open an article the browser. I found you can copy the URL using Opt-Cmd-C and then open it in Chrome (but not Safari). That works, but it’s ugly.

I agree. A lot of missed opportunities there, and unfinished work. Many Mac people I respect think feel that while being functionally useful it offers a much worse experience than it should. It seems like Apple is overhauling some of its underlying app infrastructure with iOS plumbing, and they’ve left a lot of unfinished or dubious work in the final product. Benjamin Mayo makes some good points about Home, News, Voice Memos and Stocks here, and John Gruber is right to rail against the Mac App Store’s ignoring of PageUp/PageDown, or the inability to for shared articles from the iOS App Store Today section to be read on a Mac. It seems all of a piece with the limitations of Apple News sharing.

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