News Explorer

Tips and Tricks


News Explorer is a newsreader with a built-in download engine that supports both RSS 2.0, RDF, ATOM, JSON and Twitter feeds. News Explorer runs on Mac computers (macOS), iPhone, iPod touch, iPad (iOS), Apple Watch (watchOS) and Apple TV 4th generation (tvOS). It offers automatic iCloud synchronisation of feeds, folders and news including their read and favorite statuses.

The basics

Configuration of feed subscriptions is being synced via iCloud across all your devices. Adding new feed subscriptions is easy.

Click on the device type below to read more.

With the Mac version of News Explorer, you have five options to add new feed subscriptions.

  • Add feeds from a webpage in Safari
    1. Click on the Share button on the toolbar.
    2. Click on the Add to News Explorer menu item. Read the Troubleshooting section below if you don't see this item.
    3. News Explorer will be started, showing the feed URL (when available) in a dialog.

  • Add feed subscriptions manually:
    1. Choose Subscription > New… in the menu.
    2. Enter the feed URL or website URL, for websites with RSS, JSON or Twitter Autodiscovery metadata.
    3. The detected feed or feeds will be presented in a dropdown. Select the desired feed when more than one is detected.
    4. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
    5. Click on the 'Add Feed' button.

  • Add new feed subscriptions by searching:
    1. Choose Subscription > Search… in the menu.
    2. Change the feed source from RSS Feeds to Twitter Feeds if you want to search for Twitter feeds.
    3. Enter one or more search phrases.
    4. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
    5. Select one or more search results.
    6. Choose a folder for the new feed subscriptions.
    7. Click on the 'Add selected Feeds' button.

  • Add new feed subscriptions by clicking a feed URL:
    1. Click on a feed URL (these are URL's that start with 'feed:'.
    2. When a popup appears with 'Add to Shared Links', then choose Cancel. This will only happen within Safari.
    3. News Explorer will be started and will show a dialog with the new feed URL.
    4. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
    5. Click on the 'Add Feed' button.

  • Add new feed subscriptions by importing an OPML file:
    1. Choose File > Import OPML… in the menu.
    2. Select an OPML file.
    3. Click on the 'Import' button.

In the iOS version of News Explorer, you have five options to add new feed subscriptions.

  • Add feeds from a webpage in Safari
    1. Tap on the Share button in the toolbar.
    2. Tap on the Add to News Explorer item. Read the Troubleshooting section below if you don't see this item.
    3. News Explorer will be started, showing the feed URL (when available) in a dialog.

  • Add feed subscription manually:
    1. Tap on the + icon at the bottom of the feed subscriptions list.
    2. Tap Add new Feed.
    3. Enter or paste the feed URL or website URL, for websites with RSS Autodiscovery metadata.
    4. The detected feed or feeds will be presented in a list. Tap the desired feed when more than one is detected.
    5. Tap Done.
    6. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.

  • Add new feed subscriptions by searching:
    1. Tap on the + icon at the bottom of the feed subscriptions list.
    2. Tap Search new Feeds.
    3. Change the feed source from RSS Feeds to Twitter Feeds if you want to search for Twitter feeds.
    4. Enter one or more search phrases.
    5. Press the Search button on the keyboard.
    6. Select one or more search results.
    7. Tap Done.
    8. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.

  • Add new feed subscriptions by clicking an feed URL:
    1. Tap on a feed URL (these are URL's that start with 'feed:'.
    2. News Explorer will be started and will present a dialog with the new feed URL.
    3. Tap Done.
    4. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.

  • Add new feed subscriptions by importing an OPML file:
    1. Tap on the Configuration button on the right side on top of the subscriptions view.
    2. Tap on Import OPML.
    3. A file selection dialog will be shown, showing the content of your iCloud Drive.
    4. Tap on the Locations button if you want to use another source, like DropBox.
    5. Then tap on the OPML file that you want to import.

In the tvOS version of News Explorer, you can add new feed subscriptions by searching.

  1. Press the Menu button on your remote, until the Search tab menu becomes visible.
  2. Select the Search tab.
  3. Change the feed source from RSS Feeds to Twitter Feeds by highlighting the last said option, if you want to search for Twitter feeds.
  4. Enter one or more search phrases.
  5. Select an item from the search results.
  6. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription or make a new one by selecting the + button.

The news article list of News Explorer on the Apple Watch is based on the latest news downloaded by the News Explorer app on your iPhone. There is no additional configuration needed on your Apple Watch.

Feed subscriptions in News Explorer are stored in folders. A folder 'Subscriptions' is automatically made for you when your start the app for the first time. You can add new folders, and in macOS and iOS, also rename folders, reorder folders and move subscriptions from one folder to another. All changes you make regarding folders are synced automatically to your other devices via iCloud.

Click on the device type below to read more.

In the Mac version of News Explorer, you have following folder and subscription management options:

  • Add a new folder:
    1. Choose Folder > New… in the menu.
    2. Enter a new folder name.
    3. Click on the 'Add' button.
    4. The new folder will be added to the sidebar, where you can use drag-and-drop to add subscriptions to the new folder.

  • Move a folder:
    1. Select a folder in the sidebar.
    2. Hold down your left mouse button and drag the folder to a new position until a blue horizontal line becomes visible.
    3. Release the mouse button.

  • Move a subscription:
    1. Select a feed subscription in the sidebar.
    2. Hold down your left mouse button and drag the subscription to a new position until a blue horizontal line becomes visible.
    3. Release the mouse button.

  • Sort subscriptions within a folder:
    1. Select a folder in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Folder > Clean Up > Content of this Folder.

  • Sort all folders:
    1. Select a folder in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Folder > Clean Up > All Folders.

  • Rename a folder:
    1. Select a folder in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Folder > Rename… in the menu.
    3. Enter a new name for the folder.
    4. Click on the 'Save' button.

  • Rename a subscription:
    1. Select a feed subscription in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Subscription > Rename… in the menu.
    3. Enter a new name for the subscription.
    4. Click on the 'Save' button.

  • Delete a folder:
    1. Select a folder in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Folder > Delete… in the menu.
    3. Click on 'Delete' to confirm the removal.

  • Delete a subscription:
    1. Select a subscription in the sidebar.
    2. Choose Subscription > Delete… in the menu.
    3. Click on 'Delete' to confirm the removal.

In the iOS version of News Explorer, you have following folder and subscription management options:

  • Add a new folder:
    1. Tap on the + icon at the bottom of the feed subscriptions list.
    2. Tap Add new Folder.
    3. Enter a new folder name.
    4. Tap on the Add Folder button.
    5. The new folder will be added to the database, and can be used next time you add or manage subscriptions.

  • Move a folder:
    1. Tap on the ••• icon on top of the subscriptions list.
    2. Tap on Edit Feeds in the menu.
    3. Tap on Edit of a folder, it does not matter which one.
    4. A list with folder names appears, with on the right side of each folder a drag icon.
    5. Tap and hold down on this icon next to the folder you'd like to move.
    6. Drag it up or down in the list. Repeat this for each folder you'd like to move around until the order is to your liking. Then tap the Done button in the upper right hand corner.
    7. You'll now be taken back to the previous screen. Tap again the Done button in the upper right hand corner to return to your subscriptions list.

  • Move a subscription:
    1. Tap on the ••• icon on top of the subscriptions list.
    2. Tap on Edit Feeds in the menu.
    3. The subscription list is shown in edit modus, with on the right side of each subscription a drag icon.
    4. Tap and hold down on this icon next to the subscription you'd like to move.
    5. Drag it up or down in the list. Repeat this for each subscription you'd like to move around until the order is to your liking. Then tap the Done button in the upper right hand corner to return to your subscriptions list.

  • Rename a folder:
    1. Tap on the ••• icon on top of the subscriptions list.
    2. Tap on Edit Feeds in the menu.
    3. Tap on Edit of a folder, it does not matter which one.
    4. A list with folder names appears, tap on the folder you'd like to rename.
    5. Tap on Rename at the bottom.
    6. Enter a new name for the folder.
    7. Tap on the Save button.

  • Rename a subscription:
    1. Swipe horizontally from right to left on the subscription you'd like to rename.
    2. Choose Rename in the menu that appears.
    3. Enter a new name for the subscription.
    4. Tap on the Save button.

  • Delete a folder:
    1. Tap on the ••• icon on top of the subscriptions list.
    2. Tap on Edit Feeds in the menu.
    3. Tap on Edit of a folder, it does not matter which one.
    4. Select a folder in the sidebar.
    5. A list with folder names appears, deleteable folders are displayed with a red removal icon.
    6. Tap on the red - button before the folder you'd like to delete.
    7. Tap on the Delete button to confirm the removal.

  • Delete a subscription:
    1. Swipe horizontally from right to left on the subscription you'd like to delete.
    2. Choose Delete in the menu that appears.
    3. Confirm with tapping Delete in the confirmation dialog.

In the tvOS version of News Explorer, you have following folder and subscription management options:

  • Add a new folder:
    1. You can a new folder as part of the feed subscription search procedure by selecting the + button in the upper right hand corner.

  • Move a subscription:
    1. Select the subscription you'd like to move in the feed subscriptions list and select it again on the remote to activate a menu.
    2. Choose Move….
    3. Select the folder where you'd like to move the subscription to.

  • Delete a subscription:
    1. Select the subscription you'd like to delete and press again on the remote to activate a menu.
    2. Choose Delete.
    3. Confirm by selecting Delete in the confirmation dialog.

News Explorer will sync your subscriptions, folders, news items, read status and favorites as long as you use a valid iCloud account on your Apple device. You'll receive clear warnings within the app when this is not the case. Syncing with iCloud is optional for macOS and iOS devices. If you disable iCloud syncing in the settings then your devices will no long be in sync, but you can still use the built-in RSS and Twitter download engine to retrieve new news articles.

Automatic sync

The default interval for syncing and downloading news is 15 minutes. This can be changed in the settings of the app. See Settings. Each status change of an article or feed, like marking as read or favorite, and most other changes will be synced immediately and as part of the periodic sync. In addition to this, some additional syncing is performed by the app to keep all devices with News Explorer in sync via iCloud.

Manual sync

In addition to, or instead of automatic sync, you can also start a manual sync session:

macOS
Press ⌘ Command + S on the keyboard.
iOS
Pull down the subscriptions list until the progress indicator keeps spinning.
Or, when an item list is active, press the sync icon at the bottom toolbar.
tvOS
Select a subscription in the subscriptions list, press again on the remote and select Sync in the menu.
watchOS
Force touch the news articles list, and tap Get News to start a background download session on the iPhone. The News Explorer app on the iPhone will push a refreshed news articles list to your Watch when done. Please note that this doesn't include a full sync with iCloud, due to technical limitations of iOS.
Redownload

Automatic and manual sync will download news items conform the Global settings and also conform the last download data for each feed subscription. If you want to download a complete feed, regardless of the settings and age of the news items within the feed, you can use the Redownload function:

macOS
Select the feed in the sidebar and then select menu item Subscription > Redownload.
iOS
Select the feed in the subscriptions and press the Sync icon in the bottom toolbar. Then tap Redownload.
tvOS
Select a subscription in the subscriptions list, press again on the remote and select Redownload in the menu.
Resync

If a particular feed subscription displays a different unread items count, despite multiple manual syncs and restart of the app, then you can perform a resync with iCloud for the selected feed. You'll lose local unsynced data for the selected feed, when you use this function.

macOS
Select the feed in the sidebar and then select menu item Subscription > Resync.
iOS
Select the feed in the subscriptions and press the Sync icon in the bottom toolbar. Then tap Resync.
tvOS
Select a subscription in the subscriptions list, press again on the remote and select Resync in the menu.
List view

Reading news in News Explorer using the list view is simple and is very similar to reading mail messages in the Mail app:

  1. Select a filter or subscription in the feed subscriptions list.
  2. Select a news article you'd like to read.
  3. The article is shown in the article reading view on the right side or on the next view.

In macOS and iOS you can navigate to the original news article by pressing/tapping the title of the news article.

Timeline view

Instead of using the article list for browsing and selecting news articles you can also use the Timeline view. This view shows all articles in newspaper like way. Please take note that not all feed subscription supports this view. Only articles with large images will be shown in this view.

macOS
  • Press ⌘ Command + 2 on the keyboard to open the Timeline view.
  • Double-click or press Enter to open the original news article.
  • Press Esc to close the Timeline view.
iOS
  • Tap the thumbnails icon on top of the subscriptions list to open the Timeline view.
  • Tap a news item to open the original news article.
  • Perform a long tap to activate a context menu.
tvOS
  • Select Menu on the remote and activate Timeline on top of the screen.
  • Select a news item to open the news article in a separate view.

In macOS and iOS you can change the filter or subscription in the toolbar on top of the view.

Reader view

With Reader view you can download the entire original news article from the web, and read it in a clean and easy-to-read format using the default article viewer. It can be used together with the List view and Timeline view discussed above. Reader view works with RSS, RDF and Atom news feeds.

macOS
  • Select a news article that you want to read in full version.
  • Click on the button with the 3½ lines icon in the toolbar above the article viewer, or press V on the keyboard
  • The original article will be downloaded and processed to be shown in the default article viewer using the standard news layout.
  • The mentioned button will now show an 4½ lines icon, indicating that the viewer is in Reader view modus. You can go back to the original RSS article by clicking this button, or the keyboard shortcut, again.
iOS
  • Select a news article that you want to read in full version.
  • Tap on the button with the 3½ lines icon in the bottom toolbar. If necessary, scroll the article a bit to the bottom to make the toolbar visible.
  • The original article will be downloaded and processed to be shown in the default article viewer using the standard news layout. An activity indicator will be visible.
  • The mentioned button will now show an 4½ lines icon, indicating that the viewer is in Reader view modus. You can go back to the original RSS article by tapping this button again.
tvOS
  • Select a news article that you want to read in full version.
  • Focus and select the article title in the article viewer on the right side.
  • The original full article will be downloaded and shown.
  • A small 4 lines icon will be shown on the right top of the title, indicating that the viewer is in Reader view modus. You can go back to the original RSS article by focusing and selecting the title again.

Reader views can be saved for reuse, and even synced with your other devices, by enabling setting Reuse Reader view data in the settings of News Explorer.

Note: Reader view does not work or does not work properly with all news articles. For macOS and iOS you can select which Reader view engine should be used. Read more in section Settings.

When you open a news article, then it's automatically set to read after 2 seconds. You can change this behaviour in the settings of the app. On Apple Watch you must manually mark news articles as read. Setting items manually to read or back to unread can be done on all platforms:

macOS
  • Press R on the keyboard to mark a news article as read.
  • Press again R to mark a news article as unread.
iOS
  • Swipe horizontally on the news article item in list, from right to left, and tap on Mark as Read to mark a news article as read.
  • Swipe again horizontally and tap on Mark as Unread to mark a news article as unread.
tvOS
  • Select a news article and press on the remote to active a menu, then choose Mark as Read to mark a news article as read.
  • Repeat this and choose Mark as Unread to set the article back to unread.
watchOS
  • Open a news article by tapping on it and force press to active a menu, then choose Mark as Read to mark the news article as read.
  • Repeat this and choose Mark as Unread to set the article back to unread.

While scrolling through the news item list, you can mark all items above or below the selected item as read:

macOS
  • Press ⌘ Command + on the keyboard to mark all items above the selected item as read.
  • Press ⌘ Command + on the keyboard to mark all items below the selected item as read..
iOS
  • Long press on an item and choose Mark Above as Read to mark all items above the pressed item as read.
  • Long press on an item and choose Mark Below as Read to mark all items below the pressed item as read.

These commands are also avaible in the Timeline view.

In macOS, you can also use the context menu to perform the described actions, while in iOS you can also use the shortcuts of macOS, if your iOS device is connected to a bluetooth keyboard.

All items in an article list of a subscription, filter or folder, can be marked as read by a single tap or click.
macOS
Press ⌘ Command + R on the keyboard
iOS
Tap on the Checkmark icon in the toolbar
tvOS
Select the subscription or filter in the list which contains items you'd like to set to read, and choose Mark All as Read in the menu.

Depending on the number of unread items, a confirmation dialog will be shown. This number can be configured in the settings of the app. See section Settings for more info. All items in the Favorites filter cannot be marked as read with one command.

Setting After marking all as read gives you the option Select next subscription or folder, which does exactly what it says. If you are in a subscription list than the next subscription list will be opened. And when you're in a folder, the next folder will be opened. It will also select the first item in the list. It works even better when combined with the global 'Unread items' filter. To get this behaviour you must open the Preferences panel (macOS) or go to the Settings app (iOS and tvOS), because the default option for this setting is Do nothing.

When you're in the 'Unread items' list or when the equally named global filter is active, you can manually clear the items that you've just read with the Clear read items command. In macOS, you can use shortcut key C, in iOS you can use the clear button on the bottom bar, at the right side. See section 'Filter news items' for more info about global filters.

Setting After clearing read items works together with the new 'Clear read items' command. The default option is Select next item, but you can also opt for Select first item or Do nothing.

News items marked as favorite can be found back in the Favorites smart filter in the feed subscriptions list. These items are also longer stored on your device and in iCloud, unless you change this in the settings. So if you want to save an article for later reading, just mark it as favorite:

macOS
  • Press F on the keyboard to mark a news article as favorite.
  • Press again F to remove the favorite mark.
iOS
  • Swipe horizontally on the news article item in list, from right to left, and tap on Mark as Favorite to mark a news article as favorite.
  • Swipe again horizontally and tap on Mark as Unfavorite to remove the favorite mark.
tvOS
  • Select a news article and press on the remote to active a menu, then choose Mark as Favorite to mark a news article as favorite.
  • Repeat this and choose Mark as Unfavorite to remove the favorite mark.
watchOS
  • Open a news article and force press to active a menu, then choose Mark as Favorite to mark the news article as favorite.
  • Repeat this and choose Mark as Unfavorite to remove the favorite mark.
You can apply a global data filter on the subscription list, articles list and timeline, to show only 'Unread items' or 'Favorite items'.
macOS
  • Press ⌥ Alt + 2 to apply the 'Unread items' filter.
  • Press ⌥ Alt + 3 to apply the 'Favorites' filter.
  • Press ⌥ Alt + 0 to remove the filter.
iOS
  • Tap the circle icon in the middle of the bottom toolbar to apply the 'Unread items' filter.
  • Tap the star icon on the bottom toolbar to apply the 'Favorites' filter.
  • Tap the list view icon on the bottom toolbar to remove the filter.

When filter 'Unread items' is active, you can manually clear the items that you've just read with the Clear read items command.

macOS
Press C on the keyboard.
iOS
Tap the clear button on the bottom bar, located at the right side.

Setting After clearing read items works together with the new 'Clear read items' command. The default option is Select next item, but you can also opt for Select first item or Do nothing.

You can search for news items in the current database using full text search.
macOS
  • Press ⌘ Command + F on the keyboard.
  • Type one or more search phrases in the search box.
  • Search results are updated while you type.
iOS
  • Open a smart filter or subscription from the feed subscriptions list.
  • Tap on the Search icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Type one or more search phrases in the search box.
  • Search results are updated while you type.

Sharing news

Share menu

On macOS and iOS, you can share news items by using the share menu. The share menu is located on the right hand corner of the toolbar on top of the news article view.

The items in this menu are populated with the share services of the apps installed on the device. For example, when Evernote is installed on your iPhone, you'll see an Evernote sharing option in the share menu. In addition to the share service items of other apps, News Explorer offers two built-in share services, Instapaper and Pocket. More info can be found in the dedicated sections below.

Preferences

On macOS you can configure share services in the Sharing tab of the Preferences panel. In this tab you can determine the visibility of the share services in the menu, and you can assign shortcut keys to each service. Follow these steps to assign a shortcut key to a service:

  1. Select the service in the list
  2. Press ↩︎ Enter on the keyboard
  3. Type the keys you want to assign to the service
  4. Press again ↩︎ Enter to save your shortcut

Sending news articles to Instapaper is easy in News Explorer, after you have authorized News Explorer to use your Instapaper account. Click on the device type below to read more.

Follow these steps to authorize News Explorer to use your Instapaper account:

  1. Open the Preferences panel
  2. Click on the Sharing tab
  3. Click on the 'Login to Instapaper' button
  4. Enter your credentials in the login form
  5. Save your credentials by pressing on the 'Login' button
  6. A confirmation is being shown when the authorization is handled correctly

For quick access, you can assign a shortcut key to the Instapaper share option:

  1. Select the Instapaper service in the list
  2. Press ↩︎ Enter on the keyboard
  3. Type the keys you want to assign to the service
  4. Press again ↩︎ Enter to save your shortcut

There are two ways to send a selected news article to Instapaper:

  • After assigning a shortcut key, you can use it to add selected news articles to Instapaper.
  • You can also use the Share button in the toolbar, the share menu contains a Instapaper item on top of the list.

Follow these steps to authorize News Explorer to use your Instapaper account:

  1. Tap on the Configuration button on the right side on top of the subscriptions view
  2. Tap on 'Login to Instapaper'
  3. Enter your credentials in the login form
  4. Save your credentials by pressing on the 'Login' button
  5. A confirmation is being shown when the authorization is handled correctly

There are two ways to send a selected news article to Instapaper:

  • Perform a long-press on the news item in the list. A context-menu will appear with an 'Add to Instaper' item.
  • Tap on the Share button on top of the article viewer. The share sheet contains an 'Instapaper' share item. If it's not visible then you must first enable this item by tapping on the 'More' item.

Sending news articles to Pocket is easy in News Explorer, after you have authorized News Explorer to use your Pocket account. Click on the device type below to read more.

Follow these steps to authorize News Explorer to use your Pocket account:

  1. Open the Preferences panel
  2. Click on the Sharing tab
  3. Click on the 'Login to Pocket' button
  4. Your default browser will be started, to open the login webpage
  5. Log into Pocket, if necessary
  6. Click on the Authorize button
  7. Confirm 'Do you want to allow this page to open “News Explorer”?'
  8. A confirmation is being shown when the authorization has been handled correctly

For quick access, you can assign a shortcut key to the Pocket share option:

  1. Select the Pocket service in the list
  2. Press ↩︎ Enter on the keyboard
  3. Type the keys you want to assign to the service
  4. Press again ↩︎ Enter to save your shortcut

There are two ways to send a selected news article to Pocket:

  • After assigning a shortcut key, you can use it to add selected news articles to Pocket.
  • You can also use the Share button in the toolbar, the share menu contains a Pocket item on top of the list.

Follow these steps to authorize News Explorer to use your Pocket account:

  1. Tap on the Configuration button on the right side on top of the subscriptions view
  2. Tap on 'Login to Pocket'
  3. A web form appears
  4. Tap on the 'Log In' button on top of the webpage, if the red button in the middle of the form is titled 'Sign Up'
  5. Enter your credentials
  6. Save your credentials by pressing on the red 'Log In' button
  7. After succesfull login, tap on the Authorize button
  8. A confirmation is being shown when the authorization has been handled correctly

There are two ways to send a selected news article to Pocket:

  • Perform a long-press on the news item in the list. A context-menu will appear with an 'Add to Pocket' item.
  • Tap on the Share button on top of the article viewer. The share sheet contains an 'Pocket' share item. If it's not visible then you must first enable this item by tapping on the 'More' item.

Advanced topics

With News Explorer you can subscribe to Twitter account feeds and to Twitter hashtag feeds.

Click on the device type below to read more.

To use Twitter in News Explorer, you need to authorize News Explorer to use your Twitter account.

Allow access to your Twitter account
  1. Open the Preferences panel.
  2. Click on the Twitter tab.
  3. Click on the 'Allow access to Twitter' button.
  4. A web viewer popup appears, with 'Authorize News Explorer to use your account'.
  5. Click on the 'Authorize app' button.
  6. The popup closes automatically when the authorization is handled correctly.
  7. You can check the status of the Twitter authorization in the Twitter tab in the Preferences panel.
Subscribe to Twitter account feeds
  1. Choose Subscription > Search… in the menu.
  2. Change the feed source from RSS Feeds to Twitter Feeds.
  3. Enter one or more search phrases.
  4. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  5. Select one or more search results.
  6. Choose a folder for the new Twitter feed subscription.
  7. Click on the 'Add selected Feeds' button.
Subscribe to Twitter hashtag feeds
  1. Choose Subscription > New… in the menu.
  2. Enter the hashtag phrase, including the # character.
  3. The current number of matching Tweets will be shown in the footer of the dialog.
  4. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
  5. Click on the 'Add Feed' button.
Interact with Twitter Tweets

You can interact with Tweets as you are used to. Simply click on one of the interaction icons at the bottom of each tweet to reply to, retweet or like a Tweet. A popup sheet will appear to confirm or complete your Twitter action. The first time you do so, you are requested to enter a Twitter account. If you like, you can use a different Twitter account than the account used to retrieve Twitter feed data.

Reload a Tweet
  1. Click on the Twitter icon in the toolbar.
  2. Choose Reload.
  3. The original Tweet will be reloaded, together with the related Tweets and replies, depending on the current Twitter settings.

Please note that reloading a Tweet can lead to losing the replies when the Tweet is older than a few days.

Adjust Twitter settings

Please read the Settings section on this page to learn more about the Twitter settings of News Explorer.


To use Twitter in News Explorer, you need to authorize News Explorer to use your Twitter account.

Allow access to your Twitter account
  1. Tap in the Configuration button in the subscriptions view. This button is on the right side of the navigation bar.
  2. Tap on 'Login to Twitter' menu item.
  3. A web viewer popup appears, with 'Authorize News Explorer to use your account'.
  4. Click on the 'Authorize app' button.
  5. The popup closes automatically. A confirmation will be shown when the authorization is handled correctly.
Subscribe to Twitter account feeds
  1. Tap on the + icon at the bottom of the feed subscriptions list.
  2. Tap Search new Feeds.
  3. Change the feed source by tapping on Twitter Feeds.
  4. Enter one or more search phrases.
  5. Press the Search button on the keyboard.
  6. Select one or more search results.
  7. Tap Done.
  8. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
Subscribe to Twitter hashtag feeds
  1. Tap on the + icon at the bottom of the feed subscriptions list.
  2. Tap Add new Feed.
  3. Enter the hashtag phrase, including the # character.
  4. A check will be performed to see if there are matching Tweets.
  5. Tap Done.
  6. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
Interact with Twitter Tweets

You can interact with Tweets as you are used to. Simply tap on one of the interaction icons at the bottom of each tweet to reply to, retweet or like a Tweet. Or alternatively, tap the Twitter icon in the bottom toolbar to interact with the current primary Tweet. A popup sheet will appear to confirm or complete your Twitter action. The first time you do so, you are requested to enter a Twitter account. If you like, you can use a different Twitter account than the account used to retrieve Twitter feed data.

Reload a Tweet
  1. Tap on the Twitter icon in the bottom toolbar.
  2. Choose Reload.
  3. The original Tweet will be reloaded, together with the related Tweets and replies, depending on the current Twitter settings.

Please note that reloading a Tweet can lead to losing the replies when the Tweet is older than a few days.

Adjust Twitter settings

Please read the Settings section on this page to learn more about the Twitter settings of News Explorer.

In tvOS, a generic system account is used to retrieve Twitter data, which has some limitations compared to macOS and iOS.

Subscribe to Twitter account feeds
  1. Press the Menu button on your remote, until the Search tab menu becomes visible.
  2. Select the Search tab.
  3. Change the feed source from RSS Feeds to Twitter Feeds by highlighting the last said option.
  4. Enter one or more search phrases.
  5. Select an item from the search results.
  6. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription or make a new one by selecting the + button.
Subscribe to Twitter hashtag feeds

On tvOS, you can't directly configure a Twitter hashtag feed. However, each feed configured on another device with News Explorer, will sync with tvOS.

Reload a Tweet
  1. Highlight the title of the Tweet.
  2. Select the title.
  3. The original Tweet will be reloaded.
Adjust Twitter settings

Please read the Settings section on this page to learn more about the Twitter settings of News Explorer.

News Explorer contains some special enhancements for YouTube channel feeds. This article explains how to subscribe to YouTube channel feeds and how to use these subscriptions in News Explorer.

Click on the device type below to read more.

Subscribe to a YouTube channel
  1. Browse to a YouTube channel on the YouTube website, using Safari or any other browser. You can easily navigate to the channel of a YouTube video by clicking on the name of the maker, displayed under the video.
  2. Click on the Share menu button.
  3. Click on the 'Add to News Explorer' share item. If this item is not visible, then you have to make it visible by clicking on the 'More' item.
  4. News Explorer will be started, with a filled in dialog.
  5. If everything goes well then the feed will be recognised as a 'RSS' feed.
  6. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
  7. Click on the 'Add selected Feeds' button.
  8. News Explorer will add the feed with the correct channel title to the selected folder.

If only a Twitter feed is presented (which doesn't contain anything related to the channel), then make sure that you did copy the address of the Home section of the channel and not the address of other sections like Playlists or About.

Play YouTube videos

Each item in a YouTube feed contains one video. Just click on the play button to start the video.

Play YouTube videos full-screen

Click on the YouTube button in the toolbar to play the video in full-window. To play the video full-screen, maximize the window by clicking on the green full-screen button on the top left.

Subscribe to a YouTube channel
  1. Browse to a YouTube channel on the YouTube website, using Safari or any other browser. You can easily navigate to the channel of a YouTube video by tapping on the name of the maker, displayed under the video.
  2. Tap on the Share menu button.
  3. Tap on the 'Add to News Explorer' share item. If this item is not visible, then you have to make it visible by clicking on the 'More' item.
  4. News Explorer will appear with a filled in dialog.
  5. If everything goes well then the feed will be recognised as a 'RSS' feed.
  6. Tap Done.
  7. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
  8. News Explorer will add the feed with the correct channel title to the selected folder.

If only a Twitter feed is presented (which doesn't contain anything related to the channel), then make sure that you did copy the address of the Home section of the channel and not the address of other sections like Playlists or About.

Play YouTube videos

Each item in a YouTube feed contains one video. Just tap on the play icon placed on top of the video to start it.

Play YouTube videos in High Definition

To play YouTube videos in HD, you need to enable setting 'Play YouTube in HD quality' in the settings of News Explorer. See section Settings below for more info. After changing this setting, videos in YouTube news items are configured to use HD resolution. The effective resolution depends on the source material. A side effect of this setting is that the play controls are rather small. Just tap on the video to start it. Then tap the video with two fingers and spread them to play the video full-screen.

Subscribe to a YouTube channel

You can't directly add YouTube channel feeds in the tvOS version of News Explorer. However, each feed configured on another Apple device with News Explorer will sync with the tvOS version, when using the same iCloud account. Each new feed 'landed' on your tvOS will be updated like any other feed.

Play YouTube videos

Each item in a YouTube feed contains one video. Highlight this video with the remote of the Apple TV and press again to play the video full screen. Enjoy!

News Reader supports RSS feeds with Basic and Digest HTTP authentication. If you add a new RSS feed with HTTP authentication, then you will be asked for your login credentials. These credentials will be safely stored in the systems's Keychain after a successful login. You can also change, update or remove the credentials associated with a RSS feed.

Feeds with HTTP authentication are synced via iCloud just like ordinary feeds. The authentication credentials however are not synced between the different platforms. Follow the 'Update credentials' instructions to handle synced feeds that still need HTTP authentication.

Add a new feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Choose Subscription > New… in the menu.
  2. Enter the feed URL.
  3. While entering the feed URL, a login button will appear.
  4. Complete the feed URL address.
  5. Click on the Login button and follow the instructions of the Login panel.
  6. The detected feed or feeds will be presented in a dropdown after you're successfully authenticated. Select the desired feed when more than one is detected.
  7. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.
  8. Click on the Add Feed button.

Update credentials of a feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Select a feed subscription in the sidebar.
  2. Choose Subscription > Credentials… in the menu.
  3. Update your credentials.
  4. Click on the Save button.

Delete credentials of a feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Select a feed subscription in the sidebar.
  2. Choose Subscription > Credentials… in the menu.
  3. Click on the Delete button.
  4. Click on the Delete credentials button to confirm the deletion of the credentials from the system's Keychain.
  5. You can also optionally choose to remove the authentication marking from the feed subscription by enabling the 'Remove also the authentication mark' check box. This will result in handling the feed as a normal unsecured feed until proven otherwise.

If a selected feed doesn't show an enabled 'Credentials' menu item, then the feed is not known as a feed with HTTP authentication. Perform a manual sync to let the app detect the need for HTTP authentication for the selected feed.

Add a new feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Tap on the + icon at the bottom of the feed subscriptions list.
  2. Tap Add new Feed.
  3. Enter or paste the feed URL.
  4. While entering the feed URL, a login button will appear.
  5. Complete the feed URL address.
  6. Tap the Login button and follow the instructions.
  7. The detected feed or feeds will be presented in a list after you're successfully authenticated. Tap the desired feed when more than one is detected.
  8. Tap Done.
  9. Choose a folder for the new feed subscription.

Update credentials of a feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Swipe horizontally from right to left on the feed in the subscriptions list.
  2. Choose Credentials in the menu that appears.
  3. Update your credentials.
  4. Click on the Save button.

Delete credentials of a feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Swipe horizontally from right to left on the feed in the subscriptions list.
  2. Choose Credentials in the menu that appears.
  3. A confirmation dialog will appear.
    • Choose Delete to just delete the credentials from the system's Keychain.
    • Choose Delete and remove mark to delete the credentials from the system's Keychain and to remove the authentication marking from the feed subscription. This will result in handling the feed as a normal unsecured feed until proven otherwise.

If a feed doesn't show a 'Credentials' menu item, then the feed is not known as a feed with HTTP authentication. Perform a manual sync to let the app detect the need for HTTP authentication for the selected feed.

Manually adding a new feed with HTTP authentication is not possible with the tvOS version of News Explorer. Please add the feed with the iOS or macOS version of News Explorer and retrieve this feed on the Apple TV by using iCloud sync. Then use the steps in the next section to authenticate the feed.

Update credentials of a feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Select the subscription you'd like to update and select it again on the remote to activate a menu.
  2. Choose Credentials.
  3. Update your credentials.
  4. Click on the Save button.

Delete credentials of a feed with HTTP authentication:

  1. Select the subscription you'd like to change and select it again on the remote to activate a menu.
  2. Choose Credentials.
  3. Choose Delete.
  4. A confirmation dialog will appear.
    • Choose Delete to just delete the credentials from the system's Keychain.
    • Choose Delete and remove mark to delete the credentials from the system's Keychain and to remove the authentication marking from the feed subscription. This will result in handling the feed as a normal unsecured feed until proven otherwise.

If a feed doesn't show a 'Credentials' menu item, then the feed is not known as a feed with HTTP authentication. Perform a manual sync to let the app detect the need for HTTP authentication for the selected feed.

With Handoff you can start reading a news article on one device and continue reading on another device with just one click. Bluetooth must be activated on both devices to make this work. Just open a news article on a device to 'broadcast' a Handoff notification to all devices in reach of the Bluetooth signal. Do the following on the second device to open the news article initiated by the first device:
macOS
  • Look for a special News Explorer icon on the left side of the dock.
  • Click on this icon.
  • News Explorer will be activated and the news article will be opened. If necessary, the related subscription will be refreshed first, so be patient if nothing happens on first sight.
iOS
  • Press the home button when your device is locked. On the Lock screen you'll see a special News Explorer icon on the left hand corner at the bottom of the Lock screen.
  • Swipe this icon to the top of the screen to activate News Explorer and open the news article. If necessary, the related subscription will be refreshed first, so be patient if nothing happens on first sight.
  • Double press the home button when your device is already unlocked. At the bottom of the screen you'll see a special bar, with on the left side a News Explorer icon, indicating that there is something to hand over.
  • Tap the mentioned bar to activate News Explorer and to open the related news article.
All Apple devices are able to broadcast Handoff notifications, except Apple TV. Read this article to troubleshoot Handoff issues.
You can adjust the color scheme and some other aspects of the app, to make it fit with your mood and taste.
macOS
  • Choose menu View > Theme.
  • Select one of the four themes represented by the submenu items.
iOS
  • Open a news article.
  • Tap the Aa icon at the bottom toolbar of the news article view. Scroll the article downwards when this toolbar is not visible, to make it visible again.
  • Select one of the three themes in the popop menu.
tvOS
  • Open the Settings app of your Apple TV.
  • Open the Appearance setting in the General section.
  • Choose between Light, Dark or Automatic appearance.
  • Open News Explorer. It will use the chosen appearance as theme.
  • The blurred background based on the selected feed can be disabled via setting Use adaptive background in the Settings section in the app.
Automatic appearance swiching in tvOS

The 'Automatic' appearance option changes between light and dark mode based on time of day. Light mode in tvOS is enabled at sunrise and dark mode is enabled at sunset so you’ll need to enable location time zone for the feature to work. Then automatic appearance switching will toggle Apple TV between light and dark mode based on local sunrise and sunset times as they change throughout the year.

News Explorer for macOS is a sandboxed app, which is one of the requirements to be in the Mac App Store. Sandboxed apps are not allowed to change default apps for file types like feed URL's. To bypass this limitation, you have to download a small utility which is not 'sandboxed'.

Do the following to change the default newsreader app in macOS:

  1. Download the News Explorer Configurator app.
  2. Start the downloaded app.
  3. Choose the app from the list you'd like to use as the default app for feed URL's.
  4. You're done!

Additional remarks:

  • To make sure that the new setting actually works, you can hit the Test button.
  • Please restart your Mac if the tool doesn't seem to work.
  • The download file is a ZIP file containing the 'News Explorer Configurator' app. This is a small utility to change the default handler for feed URL's.
  • On most Macs the mentioned ZIP file will be automatically extracted, so you can start the utility app right from the Downloads folder.

Changing the default newsreader app in iOS is currently not possible due to a limitation of iOS 10.

Do this to open the settings of News Explorer:

macOS
  • Press ⌘ Command + , on the keyboard to open the Preferences panel.
iOS
  • Press the Configuration button on the right side of the navigation bar on top of the subscriptions view.
  • Tap on 'Open Settings'.
  • The News Explorer sections of the Settings app is being opened.
  • To navigate back to News Explorer, tap on 'News Explorer' in the status bar on top of the screen.
  • Do this if you only see one setting in the News Explorer section, or if you don't see the section at all:
    1. Press the home button twice
    2. Swipe the Settings app to the top, until it disappears
    3. Restart the Settings app.
tvOS
  • Select Menu on the remote until you're back in the home screen of Apple TV.
  • Start the Settings app.
  • Select Apps.
  • Select News Explorer.

News Explorer contains the following settings:

General settings Description macOS iOS tvOS
Refresh and sync Determines the interval for syncing with iCloud and for downloading new RSS news items. It's also possible to change this setting to Manual.
Refresh and sync on start When active, the app will start a sync session on startup of the app and also download new RSS news items.
Mark items as read Determines the interval in seconds after which a news item, presented in the news article viewer, will be set to read. Can also be set to Immediately or Manual.
Confirm mark all as read Determines the lower limit of unread items for showing a confirmation for the 'Mark all as Read' action. Can also be set to Always or Never.
After marking all as read

Determines what happens afer marking all items in a filter, subscription or folder as read. Options are:

Open next subscription or folder tries to do what it says. If you are in a subscription list than the next subscription list will be opened. And when you're in a folder, the next folder will be opened. It will also select the first item in the list. It works even better when combined with the global 'Unread items' filter.

Do nothing is the default value. It will let you stay in the current filter, subscription or folder.

After clearing read items

Determines what happens afer selecting or tapping the 'Clear read items' menu item or button. This command is available when the 'Unread items' smart or global filter is active. Options are:

Do nothing will remove the read items from the list and close the selected article.

Select the first item will select the first unread item from the list, if available, and it will open the article in the article viewer (if supported by the device).

Select the next item is the default value. It will select the next unread item from the list, following the previous selection, and it will open the article in the article viewer (if supported by the device). If no next article exist, the first item will be selected.

Transparency read items

Determines the amount of transparency applied to read items. The default setting is 50%. This makes them easier distinguishable from unread items. If you don't want this effect you must set the transparency to 0%. This setting is on iOS part of the List view section.

Dock unread count Dermines which source should be used for calculating the unread count of the app icon badge, when visible in the macOS dock. Can also be set to None, to not show a badge at all.
Sidebar unread counts Determines which items in the sidebar should have an unread count badge. It's also possible to not show any badge at all.
App icon badge Dermines which source should be used for calculating the unread count of the app icon badge. Can also be set to None, to not show a badge at all.
Subscription badges Determines which items in the subscription list should have an unread count badge. It's also possible to not show any badge at all.
Summarize notifications Defines when notifications for new news items should be summarized, instead of generated as seperate notifications.
Include image when available Defines if an image should be included in the notification, when the news items contains at lease one image reference.
Use iCloud synchronization When inactive, no any iCloud synchronisation will be performed and the app will only make use of the RSS and Twitter download engine.
Global settings Description macOS iOS tvOS
Keep unread items Maximum storage period for unread items, both locally and in iCloud.
Keep read items Maximum storage period for read items, both locally and in iCloud.
Keep favorite items Maximum storage period for favorite items, both locally and in iCloud. Normally you want this to be longer then the other storage periods, to accomodate the 'save for later reading' concept.
Clean iCloud data Determines the interval for cleaning News Explorer data in your iCloud data container. Cleaning is done according the storage period settings discussed above. It can be a lengthy process, especially when you have a lot of subscriptions.
Reuse Reader view data When enabled, data from Reader views will be saved for reuse and synced with other devices via iCloud. When you navigate back to an article with a saved Reader view, then this will be used instead of the original feed data.
Global settings are synced across all your Apple devices. All period settings are based on the publication date of the news items.
Display settings Description macOS iOS tvOS
Theme The theme that the app should use. Can also be set within the app itself, which is the only possibility for the Apple TV version.
Font The font type used for the news article viewer. Font type 'San Fransico' is the default setting.
Body Font size of the body text of the news article viewer. All other styles are scaled according this setting. Default size is 12 pt.
Use grayscale icons When active, all subscription icons will be rendered in grayscale colors.
Twitter settings Description macOS iOS tvOS
Account statis Shows the authorization status of the Twitter feed engine of News Explorer. Use the button to allow or remove access to Twitter.
Download retweets Determines if retweets should be downloaded as part of each sync session, for each configured Twitter subscription.
Download likes Determines if likes applied by the Twitter account should be downloaded as part of each sync session.
Download replies Determines if replies to Tweets from other Twitter users should be downloaded as part of each sync session, for each configured Twitter subscription.
Download additional replies Determines if replies to the current displayed Tweet should be downloaded after selecting. Data access to replies of a Tweet is only limited to a few days after the Tweet date.
Advanced settings Description macOS iOS tvOS
Default newsreader Shows the current default newsreader for opening feed URL's. Click on the 'Change default reader' link to get help for altering the default handler for feed URL's.
Sync Timeout Determines, expressed in seconds, how much time the RSS and Twitter download session may take. You should increase the default of 20 seconds when you have a lot of subscriptions.
Use feed update interval data Some feeds contains data about the update frequency and interval. When this setting is enabled, the interval data will be used to prevent unnecessary download actions.
Clicking article title Determines which action should be performed when you click on the title header of a news article.
Double-clicking item Determines which action should be performed when you double-click in an item in the news article list.
Force Click action Determines which action should be performed on items in the news list view and on items in the timeline view, when a force click is performed on a trackpad of a recent MacBook or on the Magic Trackpad 2.
Restore article toolbar Determines whether the toolbar on the bottom of the article viewer must be restored after opening a new article. This toolbar has an auto-hide behaviour when you scroll the news article up. It will popup when you scroll the article down.
Open links with Determines whether links should be opened in the built-in Safari view controller, with Safari view controller in Reader view modus, or with the default handler of the news URL. The default handler can also open custom apps for certain news URL's. For example, when the The Guardian app is installed, all taps on links in news articles of The Guardian will be opened in The Guardian app, instead of Safari.
Reader view engine

Defines the engine that must be used to render the Reader view.

Mercury Web Parser is the default engine. It uses an external service that will give most of the time speedy and accurate results.

Arc90 Readability will render the Reader view locally using the classic Readabilty engine. The accuracy is sometimes better than the Mercury Web Parser, but it's also sometimes slower or non-functional for some websites.

Show imageless items in the Timeline view Determines whether the Timeline view contains news items without any image.
Update Apple Watch in background app refresh When enabled, the Apple Watch connected to your iPhone will be updated with new articles as part of the Background App Refresh.
Play YouTube in HD quality When enabled, videos in news items of a YouTube channel feed will be rendered with a high resulution. The actual resolution depends on the source material.
Auto hide subscriptions When active, the subscription list will be automatically hidden when the user navigates with arrow keys (on the keyboard or on the remote) to the article details view (right hand side). Navigating back (to the left hand side) will turn back the visibility of the subscription list. The main advantage is a larger screen space for reading news and less clutter on your display.
Close app after closing all windows When active, the app will be closed when the last window is closed.

You can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly accomplish many tasks in News Explorer. To use a keyboard shortcut, press all the keys in the shortcut at the same time. Shortcuts for common commands in News Explorer are listed in the tables below. In addition to this, News Explorer also supports most common Mac keyboard shortcuts.

The keyboard shortcuts listed here are of the macOS version of News Explorer. To discover the keyboard shortcuts supported in a view in the iOS version, long-press on the Command key on your external keyboard. A info sheet will popup, showing all key commands for the active view.

General actions Shortcut
Open next article, or scroll the current article when needed Space bar
Open previous article ⇧ Shift + Space bar
Select and open the first article in the list ↖︎ Home or ⌥ Alt +
Select and open the last article in the list ↘︎ End or ⌥ Alt +
Add new feed subscription ⌘ Command + N
Add new folder ⇧ Shift + ⌘ Command + N
Search for new feed subscriptions ⇧ Shift + ⌘ Command + F
Search locally for news items using full text search ⌘ Command + F
Start manual sync session ⌘ Command + S
Mark all items in current news items list as read ⌘ Command + R
Redownload the current selected feed ⌘ Command + D
Selects the news items list, or (when already selected) focus the news article view. When setting 'Auto hide subscriptions' is on, the original source of the selected news item will be opened.
Remove read items from the current list, when 'Unread items' smart or global filter is active C
Selects the news items list, or (when already selected) selects the feed subscriptions list.
Close timeline view or the slideshow view. Esc
Select the next subscription or folder (depending on the current selection) N
Select the previous subscription or folder (depending on the current selection) P
View actions Shortcut
Activate or reactivate main window ⌘ Command + 0
Show news items in list view ⌘ Command + 1
Show news items in timeline view ⌘ Command + 2
Show all subscriptions and all items in the current selected subscription or filter (default view) ⌥ Alt + 1
Show only subscriptions that contain unread items and show only unread items in the current selected subscription or filter. ⌥ Alt + 2
Show only subscriptions that contain favorite items and show only favorite items in the current selected subscription or filter. ⌥ Alt + 3
Activate next theme ⌘ Command + T
Use default font size of the news article viewer ⌘ Command + 0
Increase font size of the news article viewer ⌘ Command + +
Decrease font size of the news article viewer ⌘ Command + -
News item actions Shortcut
Toggle selected item as read/unread R
Toggle selected item as favorite/unfavorite F
Mark all items above the current selected item as read ⌘ Command +
Mark all items below the current selected item as read ⌘ Command +
Toggle Reader view for the selected news article. V
Toggle Reader view using the alternative reader engine for the selected news article. ⌥ Alt + V
Open the original source of the selected news article. ↩︎ Enter
Start slideshow for selected news item. Only enabled when the current news items contain images. S
Open the original source of the selected news article in the default internet browser. ⌘ Command + B
Open the original source of the selected news article in the default internet browser behind the News Explorer window. ⇧ Shift + ⌘ Command + B