A few weeks ago I deleted Twitter from my phone and tablet. It’s been a long time and the reasons why I chose to do this are pretty obvious, so I’m not here to write an article about why I did it. Instead, if you, like me, rely on Twitter to stay up to date with news and events and no longer want to use Twitter to do so, I’m here to provide some tips.
I used most of the tools here before I deleted Twitter, but they’ve become more useful and obvious in my screen time calculations when Twitter isn’t around. (And no, deleting Twitter hasn’t reduced my screen time unfortunately.) Some may be obvious and some may be new to you, but here’s what I do to keep up with both general news and topics. I am particularly interested.
Still, every time I open it, Apple News presents me with top headlines from events around the world, as well as a selection based on my reading history and selected topics. It also provides instant notifications from the broadcasts I follow and integrates the sports scores and reports of the teams I care about.
But the best part about Apple News is that it gives me access to long-form articles from Apple News. The Atlantic, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and others for a flat fee through my News Plus subscription. There is no other service I can find that provides me with this much long-form content at such a relatively low price. I used to rely on my Twitter feed to fill my pocket row with stuff to read later, but Apple News now provides most of that for me.
Google News isn’t perfect – Google’s website relies heavily on the AMP format and doesn’t do a good job of remembering my login details on paywalled sites – but it provided plenty of options for my read later order. Now Twitter is gone.
Google provides a similar feed of articles in the Explore product, available just to the left of your home screen on Android phones and in the Google app on iPhone. But Discover is a bit of a mess and in my experience often offers more terrible recommendations than good ones, so I usually go straight to Google News.
Believe it or not, RSS is still around and still works great for keeping up with updates from various websites. I’ve been using an RSS reader longer than I’ve used Twitter, and it’s still one of the first apps I open every morning to find out what’s going on 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 specifically entering the sources yourself, so you have a lot more control. I use Feedly for syncing which I connect to Reeder app on iOS/Mac and FocusReader on Android (free version, I’ve never had to pay for it). It’s mostly set up with dozens of sources of tech news sites, as well as some small blogs I’ve followed for years that are rarely updated.
Look, if you’re reading this article Anger, You’re probably a little bit interested in what’s going on in the tech world. tech memes It’s been bringing together headlines and tech news for longer than I’ve blogged, and it’s the go-to place to get a quick overview of everything that happens in the space every day. I just visit the site from the browser on my phone.
No wait, listen to me — if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up other resources and want to browse a feed like you used to on Twitter, our website is pretty good for that. Earlier this fall, we redesigned it to incorporate shorter posts with links to things we find interesting from the internet, including other blogs, articles, and social media posts. Our team is using it a ton and we are really excited about the plans we have to make it even better next year. And of course, there are lots of original reporting and long-form pieces, as well as videos and other stuff, to read and watch instead of looking at Twitter.
Yes, I am biased. Yep, that’s a shameless plug. But hell, you’re already reading this article here. You can also click around.
The last piece of this puzzle is a good read later app that I use to store and save articles from all these sources while checking out. I use Pocket but Matter, Instagram and others are good options. The Reeder app on iOS and Mac even has its own read later functionality, as do Safari and other browsers.
In general, the process of using multiple sources is more work than a doomsday scrolling through every idle Twitter feed. But the rewards are worth it – you get complete stories instead of dubious parts, and you don’t have to deal with the noise inherent in Twitter. When you’re done checking the news and completing your read-later queue, you can touch the grass.