Thursday, May 9, 2019

StopTheNews 1.0

Jeff Johnson:

Have you ever been annoyed that Safari on macOS 10.14 Mojave wants to open Apple News articles in News app instead of in Safari? Well no more! I’ve just released a new, free, open source Mac app called StopTheNews that stops Safari from opening Apple News articles in News app. Instead, StopTheNews opens the original article URL in Safari. StopTheNews also works with Safari Technology Preview, if that’s your default web browser.

The trick behind StopTheNews is simple. On Mojave, News app is the default handler for Apple News URL schemes. StopTheNews just registers itself as the default handler for Apple News URL schemes, taking over from News app.

Unfortunately, most of my Apple News links come from Twitter. But if I click an Apple News link in Tweetbot, it’s actually an link, so it opens in Safari. Then Safari recognizes that the expanded URL has a custom URL scheme. And recent versions of Safari use a fake-looking alert to prompt “Do you want to allow this page to open with ‘App’?” every time. I have to click Allow before StopTheNews can intercept the URL to expand it again and open the final URL in Safari. Still, it’s better than opening the URL in Apple News.

Chance Miller:

Why would you want to do this? The Apple News app on the Mac can be a bit buggy and slow to open. If you want to just quickly skim an article, it’s generally easier to read in Safari than it is Apple News.

It’s also not good for sending text or HTML to MarsEdit.

Jeff Johnson:

With StopTheNews installed you can also copy or drag links to Safari from the Stocks app, because Stocks also uses URLs!

Simone Manganelli:

Lol, the built-in “expand URL” workflow step in Shortcuts doesn’t actually expand links.


Update (2019-05-10): This Terminal command:

defaults write com.tapbots.Tweetbot3Mac OpenURLsDirectly YES

tells Tweetbot to expand the URLs itself, which avoids the confirmation dialog in Safari.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

> And recent versions of Safari use a fake-looking alert to prompt “Do you want to allow this page to open with ‘App’?” every time.

This little bit of security theatre has been great. The refusal to respect and remember users' decisions has simultaneously hobbled apps like this and trained a generation through forced repetition to blindly click accept on any clearly non-native, non-system, easily-spoofed permission dialogs that pop up.

Meanwhile, Safari as shipped still opens all downloaded zip archives by default.

@vintner I probably get that dialog at least 25 times a day. :(

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