Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Switching From RSS to Apple News Format

This blog has been available in Apple News from the beginning, but I’ve recently switched from having Apple News fetch the RSS feed to using the Publish to Apple News WordPress plug-in to push updates to Apple News.



Overall, I think switching to Apple News Format was a win, mainly because the RSS support was so bad. I’m still mystified by Apple News itself. It’s drawn rave reviews from some quarters, but I find the interface cumbersome and have not found its content recommendations helpful. Perhaps the difference is that some people are comparing it with social networks and Google News, whereas I’m a longtime user of desktop feed readers.

Update (2018-04-20): Adam Engst:

For those who are already using the News app, I’m pleased to say that TidBITS is now available in Apple News via the Apple News Format, so our articles look better than ever before on both the iPhone and iPad, as you can see in these screenshots.

Update (2018-07-20): Matt Birchler:

See, I use a WordPress extension to post my stuff to Apple News and it had been working great for a couple years, but apparently iOS 11 made something not work quite right and my posts weren’t getting assigned “categories” on Apple News.

I tried my best, but the nothing solved my problem until the dev updated the plugin.

13 Comments RSS · Twitter

"It’s drawn rave reviews from some quarters"

Or perhaps it is because it is not available in most countries in the world…

I've never felt any need to experiment with Apple News considering Feedly/Reeder let's me read offline on the train and manage my reading list just fine?

Fantastic news!

I love Apple News and hope they bring it to the Mac. All blogs (especially Apple focused blogs) should publish using the native format.

I noticed Gizmodo articles are able to display reader comments in Apple News, have you investigated?

@Logan The WordPress plug-in doesn’t support comments. In theory, one could write a custom plug-in that converts the comments to Apple News’s custom Markdown-inside-JSON format. It’s a shame Apple is reinventing the wheel here, since WordPress and other systems already support using RSS for comments.

The Cons list lacks:

- Apple News is not available in most countries.

- Apple News is not available on macOS.

- Apple News requires Apple News.

- Apple News is a proprietary solution and Apple can decide to blacklist you without any valid reason.

@someone My list was about RSS in Apple News vs. Apple News Format in Apple News. Your list is cons to Apple News in general, so it doesn’t apply to that decision. I continue to prefer RSS in general, but I want to provide the best experience I can for those who choose to use Apple News.

@Michael Okay, it looked like you were totally removing RSS.

@someone The site still supports RSS (and Atom), as before. It’s just an internal change for how to get the posts into Apple News.

[…] Previously: Switching From RSS to Apple News Format. […]

Do you mind sharing how you edited the php files to add a link back to your site.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to do for months on my site.

@Matthew In fetch_exporter(), I added:

$content = $content . "<p><strong>[Comments on This Post](" . get_permalink($post->ID) . "#comments)</strong></p>";

@Michael, perfect thanks for sharing

David A. Desrosiers

Apple News on iOS and macOS no longer supports adding RSS or ATOM feeds from anywhere. Full-stop, period. It will immediately fetch, then reject those feeds and fail to display them, silently without any message or error. I can see in my own server's log that they make the request using the correct app on iOS and macOS, but then ignore the feed completely; a validated, clean feed.

They ONLY support their own, hand-picked, curated feeds now. You can visit a feed in Safari, and it will prompt you to open the feed in Apple News, then silently ignore that request, after fetching the full feed content from the remote site.

Best thing to do is ignore, uninstall/remove Apple News, and use one of the more-powerful, third-party RSS readers out there.

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