Thursday, December 26, 2019

Apple News No Longer Supports RSS


Want to add an RSS feed of a site to News app? Can’t find a site you like in the Apple approved list on News app? No problem, here’s how you can add them yourself from Safari in iOS and subscribe directly[…]

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.


Update (2019-12-27): Matt Birchler:

I wish I could remember who it was, but there were some folks who thought I was crazy to use Apple News and an RSS reader since Apple News could aggregate my RSS feeds too. I didn’t use it at the time because I thought it was a bad RSS reader and didn’t do what I wanted. Now I’m happy that I didn’t put my eggs (of feeds) in one basket; a basket that doesn’t have an export option.

See also: Hacker News.

Dave Verwer:

I was all ready to celebrate this change until I realised that the News app still captures the click when you visit an RSS feed, but then just refuses to do anything with it.

Apple News isn’t (what I consider) an RSS reader, yet insisted on capturing every RSS feed I clicked on. Now it’s even worse. Just let it open in Safari like it used to so I can get the RSS URL myself and add it to my actual feed reader. I really hope this gets fixed.

Simon Willison:

What bothers me is that in Mobile Safari the Apple News app still hijacks clicks on Atom/RSS feeds - so if you click a feed icon you’ll be bounced to the News app, which will then display an error message.

I don’t think there’s a workaround for this. Atom links just look broken.

Stefan Arentz:

This is fine, there are plenty great RSS readers for iOS. What is not fine is that Apple News is still claiming the rss:// scheme. What Apple needs to do is implement a proper system wide setting that lets you pick the applications that you want for http, rss, mail, etc.


Stefan Arentz:

On iOS 13.3, tapping on an RSS link in Safari ..

Update (2019-12-28): See also: Hacker News and Slashdot.

Update (2020-01-30): Brent Simmons:

Is there no way, on iOS, to specify the default RSS reader — that is, specify the app that handles the feed and feeds URL schemes?

It looks like Apple News always handles it, no matter what, and then doesn’t actually do anything with it. Which cuts out every RSS reader.

Doug DeJulio:

This is even true if you remove the News app. I did, and when I hit a “feed:” URL, it asks for permission to reinstall it.

36 Comments RSS · Twitter

Apple continues to prove that they no longer make products for people who "think different".

Their software quality is just terrible these days. I was thinking recently, as one example: how long has it been since they added anything meaningful to QuickTime? How is it that I personally think that VLC is a far better app for movie playback than QuickTime, when VLC is actually kind of a cross-platform non-standard mess? (I'm not saying VLC is perfect or that QuickTime should be anything like VLC, but QT could definitely use some improvements every now and then instead of basically not being updated at all in 5+ years).


Totally off topic but I'm curious if I'm the only one:

Has anyone gotten replies to bug reports to Apple since they switched from Bug Reporter to Feedback Assistant? I've reported 10+ over the past several months and I've not received a reply to any of them. Not even when I've added a second comment or additional info weeks later. At least in the old system, they'd mostly all be "Marked as Duplicate" which at least told me somebody looked at it (or at least that was the assumption). And occasionally I'd get a request to send more info or to clarify something. Now? Nothing at all. "Recent Similar Reports: None". And I'm reporting what I suppose must be common user-facing bugs that I see in the normal use of my Mac or iPhone, not some crazy esoteric developer stuff. I find it hard to believe nobody else is reporting obvious UI/UX bugs.

Now I feel bad for trashing Bug Reporter so much. I never imagined they'd give us something WORSE.

@Ben Looks like I’ve gotten replies on about 4/35. I don’t think any got marked as duplicates, which is unusual.

A new wall in their walled garden.

The News app is the sole reason I won’t give Apple a cent for News+ and instead root for it to fail. The engineers who made that garbage should be ashamed. Just trash.

Sören Nils Kuklau

Has anyone gotten replies to bug reports to Apple since they switched from Bug Reporter to Feedback Assistant?


Not always, though. And when replies do happen, they often leave something to do be desired.

That’s not appreciably different to Bug Reporter, though.

Jon Renchowsky

I don't see any issue here. We all saw how dangerous fake news can be with the election of a tyrant in the US. It's important to protect people from "alt" news feeds. Apple does not want someone adding a site like InfoWars for example into their news app, as it can give fake news an appearance of legitimacy. It's very important in this day that users are protected from information that is harmful to them.

who is the arbiter of what to protect people from? You? A government? Are you aware of how extremist and tyrannical your statement is, right in line with the tyrant you decry? That same person would be all in on your suggestion, with different targets of course. Shame on you both. Extremism of any stripe should be pointed out and shamed, your comment fits the bill. Censorship and notions of wrongthink? What is this 1984?

Perhaps Jon draws a distinction between evidence-based news and conspiracy theory, as any intelligent, discerning newsreader should. And perhaps Apple does too. If people want trash, they can get it elsewhere.

Perhaps you can let people decide what they want to read?

Apple is under no obligation to proactively include something they disagree with, but I strenuously object to the idea that Apple or any other company can, or should, control what I choose to read. And if you start making a compromise when you agree with the people making the decision, you won't be in a good position to object when you disagree with the decisions being made.

I am using the beta NetNewsWire. Is test flight. It does RSS. Fuck Apple.

Jon Renchowsky

Exactly, we need more regulation on the information available on the internet. It's great to see forward thinking companies like Apple starting this trend. There is terrible information being disseminated on the internet right now that people believe is fact. Example: anti-vax & climate change is a hoax. That type of non science based material has real consequences for our society and planet. Free speech is fine but not if it's hurting our society or our planet. Censoring these types of fake news is the first step to helping re-educate people that have been misled and will lead to a better society for all.

This is the only sane take on the matter, others seem content to pick up the tools of fascism.

@Bill Thanks! Wasn't aware there was a Test Flight build of that yet.


I wonder why so often successful companies then start to become overly greedy and make bad design decisions (like the macbook keyboard from 2016-2019) and make decisions clearly not in the user interest (killing RSS). And with Catalina they casually introduce a bug in that simply deletes your email. This is painful to watch and from the bottom of my heart: Apple I am starting to develop some deep negative feelings towards you. I regret moving so many friends to the Apple ecosystem.

One part of me thinks Jon is being witty and poking fun at the situation but another side of me thinks he is dead serious....


I sort of agree and disagree. I agree with there are lots of misinformation on the internet, personalities that help spreading a movement, but those so called reputable news sources aren't that much better as they spread narrative and interest they presume are correct. Basically the grand scheme is that Journalism in there new information spread era via Internet is having its problem. Want Apple News in Hong Kong from so called "Reputable" sources, they are all CCP backed. Which is actually what Liam replied, who is there to make a judgement?

I guess at the end of the day the only way to safe quality journalism is quality readers. And I guess may be one reason why all the higher quality publication are not joining Apple News+, their targeted reader are already paying subscription for those content. And they are not looking to save a few bucks at the cost of worst quality offering.

And at the end of the day If the reader aren't thinking when they are absorbing any news, there is only so much we can do.

I'm looking to leave Apple. Just underwhelmed by their performance with just about everything.

.rss is fine for everyone Apple. You just screwed things up again.

[…] Michael Tsai – Blog – Apple News No Longer Supports RSS – […]

@Kevin, Jon

I'd certainly trust a company that claims people "are holding it wrong" to decide what's best for me to see. Yeah, right, geniuses.

Sören Nils Kuklau

I'm confused by this "maybe Apple doesn't want fake news on Apple News" subdiscussion. They still allow their own JSON format, and I assume the approval process hasn't changed. Removing RSS doesn't make the reported information any more or less accurate; it just removes a format. Alex Jones can output JSON.

The bottom line is that RSS/Atom is a perfectly fine, flexible way of syndicating content using an open Internet standard, but Apple doesn't want people using open Internet standards. Apple only cares about "monetizing" its users these days. To Apple and to a disturbing amount of people in the tech industry, freedom of choice and diversity of thought are just quaint concepts left over from a bygone age.

Whoa! Some people are arguing that Apple reducing support for standards is about fighting fake news? Okay, then. Not curating random sites is one thing, but to eliminate the ability to add your own feeds, well, open feeds using atom/rss is a push for control of distribution, nothing less.

[…] according to that News Publisher site — to create a new channel based on RSS. However, it is no longer possible to subscribe to an RSS feed as a user with Apple News. iOS still declares that News is the handler for feed:// URLs, but it no […]

Wow, so many disturbing comments here.
> Free speech is fine but not if it's hurting our society or our planet.
How is it different from "Free speech is fine but not if it's hurting our Master Race or our Reich?"

[…] there’s still plenty that people may dislike about Apple’s take on News (like the removal of support for user added RSS feeds, or Apple’s harassment about the News+ service), this makes the News app substantially […]

[…] there’s still plenty that people may dislike about Apple’s take on News (like the removal of support for user-added RSS feeds, or Apple’s harassment about the News+ subscription service), this one little tweak makes the […]

[…] nonetheless a lot that folks could dislike about Apple’s tackle Information (just like the removal of support for user-added RSS feeds, or Apple’s harassment concerning the News+ subscription service), this one little tweak makes […]

What could be the reason why apple no longer supports rss? But hey thanks for sharing on how to still have rss feed.

[…] to handle RSS links – and Apple News publishers can create RSS channels – but the app returns an error if an individual tries to subscribe to an RSS link provided by a website. And there’s […]

macOS no longer supports adding RSS or ATOM feeds from anywhere is a sad news for every webmasters

[…] bien todavía hay muchas cosas que a la gente le disgustan de la versión de Apple de News (como eliminación del soporte para feeds RSS agregados por el usuario, o el acoso de Apple sobre el servicio de suscripción News +), este pequeño ajuste hace que la […]

I don't know when they fixed it, but iOS 15.1 does the right thing. Clicking an RSS link shows a dialog with "This is a link to an RSS feed. Would you like to search the App Store for apps that can display RSS feeds?" with a Search button that opens the App Store (and does nothing after that).

[…] RSS usage has waned. Mozilla removed RSS support from Firefox in 2018. Apple stopped providing RSS for Apple News in 2019. And in 2021, Google removed RSS feeds from Google […]

[…] RSS support is getting weaker every year. More and more popular services Discontinue this support. Apple did it in 2019. Google has stopped serving RSS to Google Groups in […]

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