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News Explorer 1.20: Mastodon support

The main reason to release version 1.20 of News Explorer, instead of continuing to work at version 2.0, are the new subscription prices of Twitter for using their API. Previously the Twitter API was free, but now Elon Musk expects developers of news app like News Explorer to pay $42,000 per month or more. There are cheaper subscription tiers, but these are way too limited for News Explorer. Long story short, we are no longer able to support Twitter in News Explorer without going bankrupt. To partly fill this gap, we introduce native support for Mastodon in this update.

Two months ‘Pending Developer Release’

We started developing version 1.20 in Februari 2023, after receiving the first signals about the new Twitter API pricing plans. Version 1.20 was completed in early April. On April 14 all platform versions were approved by Apple. Since then the apps have been on standby with a ‘Pending Developer Release’ status. The Twitter integration continued to work much longer then we expected, and we didn’t want to end that by releasing the new version. While returning from a short vacation on June 14 we received the first reports from customers about non-working Twitter feeds. Two months after the approval of Apple, we finally released version 1.20 on June 15, after a quick check to make sure the binaries still work on the current OS versions.

Mastodon support

Mastodon is now natively supported, based on the official Mastodon API.

  • Toots (or Posts as Mastodon officially named them) are rendered similar as on the Mastodon website, including status info.
  • Replies to Toots are automatically downloaded when opening, and if the Toot in question is a Reply itself, the preceding Toot is also automatically downloaded.
  • Downloaded Toots can be updated by using the Mastodon dropdown menu in the toolbar.
  • You can add account feeds by using the Search New Feed dialog, or by entering the account name directly in the Add New Feed dialog.

News Explorer 1.20

Twitter removal

News Explorer had one of the nicest and best looking Twitter integrations, compared to other news app. Unfortunately we are forced to remove Twitter support in the app.

  • Twitter feeds will no longer be updated, but remain present in the database, including all Tweets
  • It is no longer possible to add new Twitter feeds to the app.
  • Interactions like Replying and Liking remains possible as long as Twitter doesn’t stop supporting it.
  • It is however no longer possible to reload Tweets, also replies to tweets will also no longer be downloaded.
  • When importing OPML, Twitter feeds are skipped. This will normally only happen when the OPML file in question has been generated by News Explorer.

Additional improvements

We have added some other small enhancements:

  • The initial download of iCloud data after installing the app on a new device has been made more reliable, especially when there is no data snapshot available and a lot of data needs to be downloaded.
  • The Auto-contract feature in the iOS app has been adjusted. Instead of reloading the whole article when the screen brightness toggles between 100% or lower, only the font-color is being updated without changing the article reading position.


News Explorer owners can download the update for free from the App Store on your Mac, iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. In case you have purchased News Explorer directly from Betamagic, you can update the app via menu News Explorer > Check for Updates. Setapp users can update News Explorer in the Setapp app, in case the app is not already updated automatically. If you are not yet a News Explorer user, you can try the app for free on your Mac, 14 days long.

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