News Explorer

Frequently asked questions


Compatibility status macOS 10.14, iOS 12 and tvOS 12

The current editions of News Explorer are not 100% compatible and have not been fully tested with the latest beta operating systems from Apple, macOS 10.14, iOS 12, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12. We'll do our best to release compatible updates when the new operating systems are officially released.

The Add to News Explorer share extension can be found in the Share menu of Safari and other compatible apps.

  • To see the Share menu, click or tap on the Share button in the toolbar.
  • If you don’t see the share extension, then you have to make it visible by tapping or selecting the More… item in the Share menu.
  • The Add to News Explorer should be visible amongst all other share extensions.
  • Enable the Add to News Explorer extension and optionally drag the extension to a higher position to make it easier accessible.
  • Close the configuration dialog.
  • The Add to News Explorer should now be visible and ready to use.

On macOS, make sure you have started the latest version of News Exporer at least one time, otherwise macOS isn't aware of the existence of the Add to News Explorer share extension. Also make sure you don't have other editions or versions of News Explorer on you Mac.

If you use multiple devices with News Explorer, then the first device must have uploaded all changes to iCloud, before you may expect to see the changes on a second or any other device. Uploading changes to iCloud happens immediately after each status mutation, unless your internet connection is offline. In that case, the unsaved changes are uploaded as part of a periodical sync session, as soon as you're back online.

If you switch from device A to device B, then device B must first perform a sync session to retrieve data from device A. If you start the app, it will sync automatically after a few seconds. But if the app is already started (which is often the case on iOS devices), then it may sometimes be necessary to start a manual sync. To do this, click on the Refresh icon on the bottom toolbar of the subscriptions list (macOS) or pull down the subscription list until an activity indicator keeps spinning (iOS).

Please keep in mind that when device B syncs, it also downloads new feed data. As a result, the unread count maybe higher then device A. To compare the unread counts of two devices, you may need to run multiple sync sessions on all devices until all devices are in sync with each other and all current feed data has been downloaded.

The following tips will reduce the time needed to sync via iCloud:

  • Use action Mark All as Read as much as possible.
  • Choose short periods for settings 'Keep unread items' and 'Keep read items'.
  • If possible, remove feeds that aren't updated for a very long time.
  • if possible, choose for JSON feeds.

To resync one feed with iCloud:

  • Mac: select a subscription, right-click with your mouse and select 'Resync'.
  • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: open the subscription, tap on the sync button and tap 'Resync'.
  • Apple TV: select a subscription in the feed subscriptions list, press again on the remote until a menu appears and choose 'Resync'.

To resync all feeds with iCloud:

  • Mac: choose File > Resync All from the menu.
  • iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV: select one of the articles lists in the Smart filters section of the subscriptions view. Tap on the sync button and tap Resync all.

First, make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • Background App Refresh is enabled for News Explorer in the Settings App.
  • The device has a working internet connection.
  • The battery is sufficiently charged, more than 20%.
  • You have used News Explorer at least a few times.
  • You have not force closed News Explorer.
  • The last sync of News Explorer during normal operation has been successful, which also means that new articles were downloaded.
  • If you have more than 20 subscriptions, you should consider to select the subscriptions you want to be part of Background App Refresh.
    • Tap on the settings icon on the top right in the Subscriptions list.
    • Then tap on Open Feed Manager. This option is not available when the app is syncing.
    • Make your selection in the Background App Refresh tab and tap Done.
  • Disable Background App Refresh for all other apps that do not need to be updated in the background.

The frequency of background updates is determined by iOS and depends on the settings of the app, availability of a reliable network connection, battery level, usage history of the app compared to other apps and other factors only known by Apple. Apps that are used often get more time from iOS for background app refreshes than less used apps.

Please take note that the Background App Refresh of News Explorer only concerns the downloading of new articles and the generation of related local notifications. It does not perform a complete sync with iCloud, because this doesn't fit within the allowed 30 seconds time-frame of Apple for Background App Refresh support.

If you still doesn't see any sign of Background App Refresh, like new news articles or notifications, then you should try the following:

  • Restart the app. The app can be closed by double pressing the home button, and swiping the News Explorer app to the top of the screen.
    • Restart the app, open it and let it have one full sync.
    • Then press the home button to bring the app to the background.
    • The first background app refresh may take some time, so be patient.
  • Restart the device. If the procedure above doesn’t help, try to restart your iPhone/iPad/iPod first.
  • Reinstall the app. First remove the app, by performing a long press on the app icon until it starts to wobble, then tap the delete icon. Then restart the device and install News Explorer from the App Store.

Make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • Background App Refresh is enabled for News Explorer in the Settings App.
  • All additional conditions for Background App Refresh are met. See previous FAQ article 'Background App Refresh doesn't work. How do I fix this?'.
  • Notifications with banners are enabled for News Explorer in the Settings App.

If you prefer to have one notification for each new article, then you should consider to set setting 'Summarize notifications' to a higher value.

Notification are generated by your macOS or iOS device, initiated by News Explorer. To adjust or disable notifications you must therefore change settings on system level.

  • Mac:
    1. Open the System Preferences app.
    2. Open the Notification item.
    3. Select News Explorer in the list on the left.
    4. Set 'News Explorer alert style' to 'None'.
    5. Disable all other checkboxes, except 'Badge app icon'.

  • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad:
    1. Open the Settings app.
    2. Open the News Explorer section.
    3. Open the Notification item on top.
    4. Disable setting 'Allow Notification' on top.
  • To copy the URL of a feed:
    1. Select the feed in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Edit > Copy in the menu.

  • To copy the URL of an article:
    1. Select the article in the articles list.
    2. Choose Edit > Copy in the menu.
Due to the nature of RSS feeds, you can’t delete articles. Instead you mark articles as read or starred. You can hide read items by using the Unread Items filter in the sidebar or by applying the global Unread Items filter. The global Unread Items filter can be activated via menu View > Unread Items (macOS) or by tapping on the circle icon in the bottom toolbar (iOS and macOS).

First, make sure you understand the basics of syncing with News Explorer as explained in 'How to use the iCloud sync feature?' in this FAQ. Always perform one or more manual sync sessions on all your devices before concluding that unread counts for feeds are out of sync.

Devices can sometimes go out of sync, for example when incorrect settings are used on one of the devices, or when a RSS feed subscription has been deleted and immediately re-added to the same device without sycning with the other devices.

Perform the following steps when a feed subscription shows different unread counts on your devices:

  • First, make sure all devices use the same values for the following settings:
    • The primary iCloud account must be the same.
    • iCloud Drive must be enabled in the iCloud settings.
    • Within the iCloud Drive settings, News Explorer must be enabled.
    • iCloud synchronization must be enabled in the settings of News Explorer.
    • All settings in category Global must be identical. Normally the settings in this category are synced automatically across all your devices.
    • If you’re using the latest OS versions on all your devices, except for one, then you should use Instant item change upload for setting 'Sync Priority' on the older device.
  • Do this to open the settings of News Explorer:
    • Mac: press ⌘ Command + , on your keyboard to open the Preferences panel.
    • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: press the home button, and start the Settings app. Then tap on News Explorer in the left panel. If you only see one setting then you have to restart the Settings app, in a similar way as described above for restarting the News Explorer app.
    • Apple TV: click multiple times on the home button until you see the start screen. Then start the Settings app. Then select Apps > News Explorer.
  • After all settings are checked, perform multiple manual syncs on all devices, to rule out differences caused by downloading new articles.
    • Mac: press ⌘ Command + S on your keyboard to start a sync.
    • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: pull down the feed subscriptions list until the activity indicator keeps spinning.
    • Apple TV: select a subscription in the feed subscriptions list, press again on the remote until a menu appears and choose 'Sync'.
  • Close and restart the app:
    • Mac: press ⌘ Command + Q on your keyboard to close the app. Then start the app in the normal way.
    • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: press the home button twice, and swipe the News Explorer app to the top, until it disappears. Then restart the app.
    • Apple TV: click twice on the home button on the remote (the button with the display icon) and swipe the News Explorer app to the top of the screen, until it disappears. Then restart the app from the home screen.
  • Restart your device.
  • Perform a resync for the subscriptions that are out of sync:
    • Mac: select a subscription, right-click with your mouse and select 'Resync'.
    • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: open the subscription, tap on the sync button and tap 'Resync'.
    • Apple TV: select a subscription in the feed subscriptions list, press again on the remote until a menu appears and choose 'Resync'.

Follow these steps if you want to resync all subscriptions:

  • Mac: choose File > Resync All from the menu.
  • iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV: select one of the articles lists in the Smart filters section of the subscriptions view. Tap on the sync button and tap Resync all.

If none of the steps listed above works, then it can help to close News Explorer, delete the local database and start a fresh resync based on the data in iCloud:

  • Mac, standard editions: start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste this string:
    ~/Library/Containers/betamagic.News-Explorer/Data/Library/Application Support/betamagic.News_Explorer
    Delete the three files starting with "News_Explorer".
  • Mac, Setapp edition: start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste this string:
    ~/Library/Containers/com.betamagic.News-Explorer-setapp/Data/Library/Application Support/betamagic.News_Explorer
    Delete the three files starting with "News_Explorer".
  • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: perform a long press on the app icon until it starts wobbling. Then press the cross mark to delete the app. After that reinstall the app from the App Store.
  • Apple TV: perform a long press on the app icon until it starts wobbling. Then press the play/pause button. Select Delete, confirm and then reinstall the app from the App Store.

To install the Mac App Store version, you need to delete the trial version first.

Please follow these steps:

  1. Start Finder
  2. Type News Explorer.app in the search box
  3. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard
  4. Make sure that This Mac is selected on top to the search results list
  5. Move each instance of News Explorer.app to the Trash bin
  6. Empty the Trash bin
  7. Install News Explorer from the Mac App Store

If you have used or started the trial version since your last login on your Mac, then first restart your Mac before you start using the freshly installed App Store version.

Yes, you can!

If you have purchased News Explorer from the Mac App Store or from the App Store on iOS, then the store will automatically propose to download the latest compatible version of News Explorer if you use a device that's not compatible with the latest version of News Explorer.
Version 1.6.1 is the latest compatible version of News Explorer for OS X 10.11 and iOS 9.3.

If you have purchased or want to purchase the Betamagic Store version of News Explorer for OS X 10.11, then please use the following download link:
https://betamagic.nl/downloads/News%20Explorer%20Retail%201.6.1.dmg

A bug in OS X 10.11 prevents apps to add themselves to the list of apps that are allowed to use Twitter Account data, in the Security & Privacy settings of OS X. We have developed a small tool to solve this issue, so that you are able to use Twitter in News Explorer in OS X 10.11.

Steps to fix the Twitter Account access issue:

  • Close News Explorer via menu News Explorer > Quit News Explorer.
  • Download the News Explorer Twitter Fix tool from one of downloads links below.
  • Unzip the download zip archive. Normally this is already automatically done by OS X.
  • Start the News Explorer Twitter Fix app.
  • Press the Allow News Explorer to access Twitter button.
  • Confirm the dialog asking "News Explorer Twitter Fix" Would Like Access to Twitter Accounts.
  • A dialog Twitter settings updated appears to confirm that the fix was applied successfully.
  • Close the confirmation, close the News Explorer Twitter Fix tool and move it to the Trash bin.
  • Empty the Trash bin.

Removing the tool from your Mac after use, to prevents future problems with updating the News Explorer app. Please restart your Mac if News Explorer still asks access permission for Twitter Account data after applying the fix.

Download link for Mac App Store and Betamagic Store editions:
News Explorer Twitter Fix.zip

Download link for the Setapp edition:
News Explorer Twitter Fix Setapp.zip

No, but maybe in a future release as an extra sync option. News Explorer uses it’s own built-in sync mechanism based on iCloud.

If News Explorer keeps crashing on startup, chances are very high that the database is corrupted due to an forced update performed by the App Store.

To fix this you'll need to start with a fresh database and resync your data from iCloud. Close the app and delete the current database by following these steps:

  • Mac, standard editions: start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste this string:
    ~/Library/Containers/betamagic.News-Explorer/Data/Library/Application Support/betamagic.News_Explorer
    Delete the three files starting with "News_Explorer".
  • Mac, Setapp edition: start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste this string:
    ~/Library/Containers/com.betamagic.News-Explorer-setapp/Data/Library/Application Support/betamagic.News_Explorer
    Delete the three files starting with "News_Explorer".
  • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad: perform a long press on the app icon until it starts wobbling. Then press the cross mark to delete the app. After that reinstall the app from the Purchased list in the App Store.
  • Apple TV: perform a long press on the app icon until it starts wobbling. Then press the play/pause button. Select Delete, confirm and then reinstall the app from the Purchased section in the App Store.

Start the app after deleting the old database. The app will automatically start resyncing with iCloud to retrieve all your synced data. This may take some time. Do not try to interrupt this to prevent sync problems.

Attention: Please contact support@betamagic.nl if the app still crashes after following the steps above.

How to remove News Explorer data from iCloud

To remove your News Explorer database from iCloud without affecting other apps, navigate to the iCloud pane in System Preferences on your Mac, click the Manage... button in the lower right, and select News Explorer from the list of third-party apps. Click the Delete All button to remove your data from iCloud.

On the iPad, select iCloud in Settings app, tap Storage & Backup then Manage Storage, and select News Explorer from the list of third-party apps. Tap the Edit button then Delete All to remove your iCloud data.

How to remove News Explorer data from your Mac

To remove all News Explorer data from your Mac, you'll need to delete the local Sandbox container folder:

  • News Explorer, standard editions: start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste this string:
    ~/Library/Containers/betamagic.News-Explorer
    Choose Go and move the presented folder betamagic.News-Explorer to the Trash can.
  • News Explorer, Setapp edition: start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste this string:
    ~/Library/Containers/com.betamagic.News-Explorer-setapp
    Choose Go and move the presented folder com.betamagic.News-Explorer-setapp to the Trash can.

Note: Please restart your Mac first, if you use this procedure to start with an empty subscription list.

How to remove News Explorer data from your iOS and tvOS devices

To delete all News Explorer data from your iOS or tvOS devices, you must delete the News Explorer app:

  • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad:
    1. Perform a long tap on the app icon until it starts wobbling.
    2. Tap the cross mark to delete the app.
  • Apple TV:
    1. Select the icon.
    2. Perform a long press on the icon with your remote until it starts wobbling.
    3. Press the play/pause button on your remote.
    4. Select Delete.
    5. Confirm.
In the News Explorer app

All data displayed in News Explorer is directly related to data in your iCloud container, 'what you see is what you have'. However, iCloud may contain some old data that's not visible in the app, due to storage and cleaning settings in the Global section of the News Explorer settings. Perform these steps to retrieve all iCloud data in the News Explorer app:

  1. Open the News Explorer settings. More info about this here, in the Settings section.
  2. In the Global section, adjust the following settings:
    • Keep unread items: change to longest period.
    • Keep read items: change to longest period.
    • Keep favorite items: change to longest period.
  3. Close settings.
  4. Perform a Resync All operation. See question 'How to resync all feeds with iCloud?' above.
  5. When finished, you'll have a local copy off all News Explorer iCloud data in the News Explorer app.

After this operation, you may restore your previous storage periods, to prevent unnecessary grow of your iCloud storage space.

On your harddrive

On device level, the data of News Explorer is stored in a SQLite database. In macOS, the SQLite database files can be found here:

  • Mac, standard editions:
    ~/Library/Containers/betamagic.News-Explorer/Data/Library/Application Support/betamagic.News_Explorer
  • Mac, Setapp edition:
    ~/Library/Containers/com.betamagic.News-Explorer-setapp/Data/Library/Application Support/betamagic.News_Explorer

To easily navigate to these files, start Finder, choose Go > Go to folder from the menu and copy & paste the string displayed aboe. Then hit to Go button.

The latest version of News Explorer contains the following known issues:

  • Pulling down the article list in iOS 11 will show a flickering small line under the navigation title. This is actually an iOS 11 bug. We hope it will either be solved soon by Apple (we have submitted a bug report), or we'll find a workaround for this.
  • The 'Mark all as read' command is being applied on all items of the selected feed, or group of feeds, created and modified before the command timestamp. So far so good. However, this rule is also applied to related items that are downloaded on other devices and that are not yet visible on the active device.
  • Drag-and-drop of subscriptions during a sync does not work. Retry after the sync session is finished.
  • The 'Add to News Explorer' extension does not work when News Explorer is still in trial modus.

Please send a message to the developer if you encounter other reproducible issues.