Five apps you can use to stay up to date without checking Twitter

A few weeks ago I deleted Twitter from my phone and tablet. It took a long time and the reasons why I chose to do it are obvious, so I’m not here to write an essay on why I did it. Instead, I’m here to give you some tips if, like me, you used to rely on Twitter to keep up with news and events and want to stop using Twitter for that.

I used many of the tools here before deleting Twitter, but they’ve become more useful and important in my non-Twitter screen time calculations. (And no, deleting Twitter hasn’t reduced my screen time, sadly.) Some of them might be obvious and some of them might be new to you, but here’s what I do to keep up with both general news and topics I keep , Keep up. I am specifically interested in.

Apple's News app is great for lengthy content, especially if you're paying for a News Plus subscription.

Apple’s News app has been around on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac for years, but it hasn’t really gotten much recognition for how good it is for those of us who consume a lot of in-depth articles. It’s far from perfect, and yes, even if you pay $9.99/month for a News Plus subscription (or bundle it with an Apple One plan), there are still ads in articles (although I’m not sure am how that is different). from buying a magazine at a kiosk? I digress) and you must have an Apple device to access it.

Still, Apple News gives me top headlines from events around the world, plus a curated selection based on my reading history and the topics I choose, every time I open it. It also offers push notifications from publications I follow and integrates sports scores and reports from teams I care about.

But the best thing about Apple News is that it gives me access to in-depth articles from The Atlantic, The New Yorker, New York magazine, and many others for a flat fee through my News Plus subscription. There is no other service I could find that gives me so much lengthy content at such a relatively low price. I used to rely on my Twitter feed to fill my pocket queue with things I want to read later, but Apple News now gives me plenty of that.

Google News is similar to Apple News but better suited for shorter blogs and local events.  It's also available in more locations.

Along with Apple News, Google News offers a curated list of news articles based on my interests each time I open it. Compared to Apple’s offering, Google News relies more on shorter pieces and is better at giving me local updates, whether it’s upcoming weather, local politics, or restaurant events. It’s available for both iOS and Android and is free, making it easy to learn and use.

Google News isn’t perfect – it relies too much on Google’s website’s AMP format and doesn’t do a good job of remembering my signups to paywall sites – but it also has a plethora of options for my read later queue posted now that twitter is gone.

Google offers a similar feed of articles in its Discover product, available on Android phones to the left of your home screen and on an iPhone in the Google app. But Discover kinda sucks, and in my experience, gives horrible recommendations more often than good ones, so I generally just go straight to Google News.

Believe it or not, RSS is still around and still works great to keep up with updates from various websites. I’ve been using an RSS reader longer than Twitter, and it’s still one of the first apps I open each morning to find out what’s happening on the sites I care about.

Setting up an RSS reader takes more work than using something like Apple News or Google News, but the reward is that you’re targeting the sources yourself, giving you a lot more control. I use Feedly to sync (the free version, never had to pay for it) which I plug into the Reeder app on iOS/Mac and FocusReader on Android. It’s set up with dozens of sources from mostly tech news sites, but also some smaller blogs that I’ve followed for years and are rarely updated.

Take a look as you read this article The edge, You probably have some interest in what’s happening in the tech world. tech meme has been collecting headlines and discussions about technology news for longer than I have been blogging, and it’s an ideal place to get a quick overview of everything that’s happening in space every day. I just visit the site in the browser on my phone.

No wait, listen to me – if you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up those other sources and just want to scroll through a feed like you used to do on Twitter, our site is pretty good for that. We redesigned it earlier this fall to include shorter posts with links to things we find interesting from around the web, including other blogs and articles and social media posts. Our team has used it tons and we’re really excited about the plans to make it even better in the coming year. And of course we have many original reports and long versions as well as videos and other things that you can read and watch instead of looking at Twitter.

Yes, I am biased. Yes, that’s a shameless plug. But hell, you are already here reading this article. You can click around there.

The last piece of this puzzle is a good read later app that I use to save and save articles from all these sources while I review them. I use Pocket, but Matter, Instagram, and others are good options. The Reeder app on iOS and Mac even has its own Read Later feature, as does Safari and other browsers.

Overall, this process of using multiple sources is more work than just scrolling through a Twitter feed at every idle moment. But the rewards are worth it – you get full stories instead of snippets from questionable sources, and you don’t have to deal with the noise inherent in Twitter. And when you’re done checking the news and catching up on your read later queue, you can touch grass.

Laurie

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