NetNewswire an Ad-Free RSS Reader

Published December 11, 2022

Now that I’ve gone old school and reverted to a static website versus a blog, I had to create an RSS feed. It took me a minute to figure out how to create a basic feed and that’s what I’ve got...a basic feed. However, this feed will help me to keep track of what I’ve written, and what I need to write. It will also help my readers, if they’re interested, to keep track of my ramblings.

Finding the Right RSS Reader

Once I created the RSS feed, I had to find a reader to make sure it was working. Finding an RSS feed reader that I liked took a little time. Since I work predominantly from an iPad, I needed something iOS compatible. I downloaded a few free RSS feed readers, but they all had ads. I think I’m allergic to ads as most people are.

Finally, I came across an ad-free RSS reader in the App Store called NetNewsWire. It’s an open-source app.

When I opened the app, the first thing that I didn’t like was that it was preloaded with several RSS feeds.NetNewsWire Having feeds preloaded is not a big problem, but I couldn’t find a way to select and delete them all at once. Instead, I had to go into each of the 15 or so feeds and delete them. Fortunately, once they were deleted they stayed deleted so no need to repeat the tedious task.

Getting Familiar with NetNewsWire

After clearing out the unwanted feeds, the next step was to add the feeds I wanted. Adding a feed is simple. Just hit the “+” and insert the url of the feed. Since I only have a few feeds currently, there’s no need for me to create folders. However, if my feed list grows, I have the option to create folders and sort feeds by topic.

Delete Unwanted Feeds

There’s also the option to synchronize feeds across devices by using iCloud. Since I have 2 iPads and an iPhone, I decided to use the iCloud feature. Doing so saved me from having to manually add the feeds on each device. Unfortunately, however, I did have to delete the 15 or so RSS feeds on each device that I installed NetNewsWire on.

NetNewsWire Entries Never Go Away

With NetNewsWire, the feeds are either read or unread. There doesn’t seem to be a way to delete read entries. Whatever is on the feed will remain eternally within the app. It’s an annoying feature, but not a deal breaker. I’ll just have to get used to it.

My Ultimate RSS Goal

What I’d like is a way to easily convert the RSS feeds into email notifications. There are companies like MailChimp that have the RSS-to-mail feature that I’m looking for, but I’d really like to do things in-house. Unfortunately, I don’t have the coding know-how to do it on my own so when I’m ready, I’ll have to sign up for a third party service.

Currently, the lack of RSS to email feature is not a big deal because I get little to no traffic here. However, down the line, if things improve, it’s something I’ll investigate further.




Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 1 September 2023

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