News
MacOS Design Review
New in Mojave, News allows you to subscribe to and view articles from various Apple-approved news sources.

Subscribing to channels

You can edit your “channels & topics” in the sidebar to the left. It’s not like a normal MacOS list where you can select items and press delete. It’s an iOS-style list where you have to press “Edit”, then individually press “minus” on each one to remove it, confirming each time that you really do want to “Ignore” this topic. They even slide over in imitation of the “swipe left to delete” gesture that’s idiomatic on iOS. You can’t actually swipe anything, though.

The list items do have context menus, but the only things you can do are “Copy Link” and “Share”.

RSS

News advertises itself as an RSS reader through this entry in its Info.plist file:

    <key>CFBundleURLSchemes</key>
    <array>
            <string>applenews</string>
            <string>applenewss</string>
<string>feed</string>
</array>

When you click on an RSS link in Safari, it looks for an app that mentions the “feed” scheme in its CFBundleURLSchemes, and asks you if you want to use this app to read the RSS feed.

Once you say “yes,” the chosen app becomes your RSS reader. I said “yes” to News, and now it’s my RSS reader (’til death do us part — I couldn’t find any way to change my mind.)

There is one main problem with all this, which is that News isn’t an RSS reader. It doesn’t support RSS at all.

If you pick News as your RSS reader, and click on an RSS link, News will indeed open, but it won’t do anything. It won’t say, “you clicked on an RSS link, but this app isn’t an RSS reader.” It will just open and sit there and show you “the best stories from the sources you love, selected just for you.”

Location

News is adware. The splash screen says “Your location is sent to Apple to provide you with geographically relevant ads”.

But News doesn’t show up in the list of apps that have access to Location Services, and the location icon doesn’t appear in the menu bar when it’s open. So, it either bypasses this privacy feature somehow, or it doesn’t send your location at all.

Saving

You can “Save” a news item from the File menu, but the standard save dialog doesn’t open and no file is created. The news item is only “saved” inside the app’s own “Saved Stories” area. It’s like on iOS, where files saved by an app are only accessible from that app.