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In the early days of TidBITS, we were proud of the fact that you could find us on commercial online services like AppleLink, BIX, CompuServe, Delphi, and GEnie, along with the open Internet. Today, you can come to the canonical source of all things TidBITS—our Web site at tidbits.com—and you can sign up to receive TidBITS in email or use an RSS reader with our feed (TidBITS members get a full-text feed).
If you prefer, however, you can read TidBITS in a variety of other places. Here’s the latest news on the TidBITS News app, Apple News, Google News, and Flipboard.
Matt Neuburg’s TidBITS News app for iOS has recently been having troubles that turned out to be our fault. We keep tweaking our RSS feeds to work better with certain services or readers, and one change we made to the app’s custom feed rendered the feed invalid and confused the app. That’s now fixed, so if you like the app, give it a try again.
You’ll also want to see what’s new because Matt has released an update that uses our current logo and headline font. Other changes include updating it for iOS 12, restoring offline mode, and modernizing the interface.
One note: if you want larger text on the headline screen, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Text and move the slider at the bottom of the screen to the right. You can also add a Text Size button to Control Center in Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and then increase the size of the text in Control Center.
Apple News in Mojave
A few months ago, I asked TidBITS readers to “Please Follow TidBITS in Apple News!” (30 July 2018). Nearly 1,400 people did, which was hugely helpful for kickstarting the Apple News algorithm into recommending our articles to new readers. In that article, I published a graph showing that 4,645 unique users saw our headlines or viewed our articles for roughly the month of July. For the last 28 days, that number has skyrocketed to 88,258, so thank you for helping expose our articles to more people. (The total views during the last 28 days were 13,238, up from 1,104 in that period in July, so Apple News traffic still pales in comparison with the 202,444 page views on our Web site.)
Regardless, if you have a minute and want to check out the new Mac version of News in Mojave (and you’re in the US, UK, or Australia, the only countries Apple News supports), additional follows would help. Mojave has been out for only a few weeks now, but it already accounts for 5% of our views in Apple News. I suspect that’s more because reading on the Mac is more convenient for many people than because News is a particularly well-done app.
To follow TidBITS in Apple News, search for “TidBITS” in the search field at the top of the sidebar and then click the heart icon either next to TidBITS in the results, or, once you click TidBITS in the results, at the upper right.
Google News is, of course, Google’s algorithmically driven news site at news.google.com, but the search giant also provides a Google News app for iOS and Android. As with Apple News, I’d really appreciate it if you could visit our official TidBITS channel in any Web browser and click the Follow button in the upper-right corner. I hope additional follows will increase the visibility of our articles in Google News too, since it can drive a vast amount of traffic.
(Many years ago, we once published a short article about how Google had created a winter Easter egg for its search page (see “Type “Let It Snow” into Google,” 21 December 2011). If you typed that phrase into Google’s search field, snow started to fall from the top of the screen. The Google News algorithm somehow put that article on the front page, and we received over 100,000 visits that day alone.)
While Apple and Google are the 800-pound gorillas of our news ecosystem, and Matt Neuburg’s TidBITS News app is the homebrew favorite, the best reading experience may come from the Flipboard app for iPhone and iPad. If you’re using Flipboard now, search for TidBITS in the search field and tap the Follow button next the search result (you may have to scroll down a lot to find the right TidBITS; look for my name under it). You can also find TidBITS on Flipboard’s Web site.
For those who haven’t used it, Flipboard relies on an elegant page-flipping interface that makes it easy to scan through article headlines. On the iPhone, you flip up and down, whereas, on the iPad, you flip left and right. In either app, tapping displays the full article in an in-app browser. And since our Web site is now fully responsive, it’s a good reading experience.
We have only 48 followers and 542 viewers on Flipboard right now, so any increased traffic will undoubtedly help Flipboard recommend our articles to new readers there as well.
However you decide to read TidBITS, we appreciate it! If there’s some other spot where you’d like to see TidBITS included, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do.