If you have been a fan of using RSS feeds for keeping updated on the happenings of your favorite Web sites, then you will be happy to know that Apple has added RSS feed support back to Safari. In the past, when browsing a Web site with an RSS feed you would see an indication of this support in Safari’s address bar, and then could click it to view the RSS feed and subscribe to it; however, this was removed in subsequent versions up to version 8, where Apple has brought this feature back.
When you create a social media account, in essence you get your own Web page, where adding or changing content is broadcast to anyone who is following you. While this has been made simple by Facebook, Twitter, and others, the core of this concept has been around for quite some time in the form of RSS feeds. Unlike social media, you cannot quickly share, like, reply, and comment on an RSS feed, and as a result of the adoption of social media by news sites and others, RSS feeds have been somewhat pushed to the back burner, to the extent that Google has shut down its Reader app, and Apple stopped supporting them in Safari.
While it seemed the alternatives to RSS were going to push it out of existence, its simplicity and relatively universal implementation have kept it around, so with an RSS reader you can still subscribe to most of your favorite sites, and simply visit the reader to get an overview of your news. The problem with this mainly lies in what programs support RSS feeds. While there are some long-standing readers like NetNewsWire that are still available, another that has made its return is Apple’s support for RSS in Safari 8.
Now when you visit a site which has an RSS feed, like MacIssues, you can subscribe to it and then see it in Safari’s sidebar. With this new implementation Apple has made subscribing to an RSS feed doable in two ways:
- Click the Share button in the toolbar, and then select Add Website To Shared Links.
- Click “Subscriptions” at the bottom of the sidebar, then click “Add Feed” to select a site (the current one, or one from your “favorites”).
With your site added, the RSS feed updates will show in the Shared Links section of the sidebar next to all other subscriptions you have in your associated social media accounts. Now when you click on a one of the RSS feed stories, Safari will load this in the current browser window.
You can use this toolbar button to add sites with RSS feeds to your shared links, and then view them next to your various social media updates in Safari’s sidebar.