OS X

5 Essential News Plugins For Safari

Safari extensions icon

Extensions are one of the best and most convenient ways to add new functionality to Safari. They’re simple to find (just go to the Apple Extensions website and look under the various categories), and can be installed with just one click – you don’t even need to restart Safari. If you’re one of those people that spends a lot of time surfing the web and reading all kinds of news, having the latest headlines in a special toolbar can provide a more immediate way to consume news, rather than using RSS readers or just going to the websites themselves.

This article describes some of the news extensions available for Safari. It’s important to note that most of these don’t work in fullscreen mode (at least in the latest version of Safari), so unfortunately you’ll need to run Safari in the normal way or just assign it to it’s own desktop for easier management. If you install them whilst in fullscreen mode, you’ll need to exit that for the extensions to show up.

Once you’ve installed any of the extensions mentioned below, all of the toolbars can be viewed or hidden in the View menu under Extension Bars, as shown below. They may additionally have their own toolbar button (which gets added to the right of the Home icon, although you can move it). Every extension can also be individually disabled or uninstalled from the Extensions tab within Safari’s Preferences (use the shortcut Command + ,).

Extension bars in the view menu
Extension bars are displayed in the View menu

1. The New York Times

The New York Times is one of the most popular American news providers and therefore a good choice to keep up to date with all thats happening across the pond and around the world. You can choose different news sources such as technology, health, business, and more. The refresh rate can be set between 5 and 30 minutes (or never), and the stories are displayed with miniature thumbnails on the toolbar. Just click any story to go directly to the web page. The NYT extension is one of the few that includes any configurable options.

New York Times Screenshot
The New York Times extension bar

To choose the news sources you want, open Safari’s Preferences and go to the Extensions tab. Select The New York Times in the left-hand side panel, and in the main window you’ll have the the option to choose the source, the refresh interval and other options as shown below.

New York Times Settings
The New York Times extension settings

2. Fox News

Fox News is one of the few news extensions that has its own toolbar button that shows/hides the toolbar itself. When it’s turned on, it displays scrolling news updates, but unfortunately there are no options to select the sources. Also note that in the View menu, the extension is listed as Menu Bar – not as Fox News – slightly confusing but it should be fairly obvious which one to use. One of its welcome features is the search field to lookup whatever stories you’re interested in. Like most of them, just click any of the headlines to go directly to the detailed article.

Fox News extension screenshot
The Fox News extension

3. Moscow Times

The Moscow Times might seem like a strange choice for a news feed, but it’s an English language newspaper that features popular stories from Russia, Asia and the rest of the world. As such it’s quite an intriguing insight and alternative perspective on many of the most popular news stories. News items are displayed on the extension bar with thumbnails, and there’s also Top and Latest buttons at the far right, as well as up and down arrows to scroll through the dozens of stories on offer.

The Moscow Times Screenshot
The Moscow Times extension bar

4. Ticker Tool

Ticker Tool isn’t news per se, but it’s certainly an invaluable extension to keep you up to date with your favourite stocks and related news stories. The Ticker Tool button is added into the standard Safari toolbar, and the extension bar includes a search field to enter the stock you’re interested in (either the stock symbol such as AAPL, or the regular name such as Apple), with 3 options: Quote (to obtain the latest stock price and graphs), Transcripts (to view meeting notes and investor meeting transcripts), and SEC (to view US Securities and  Exchange Commission filings).

Ticker Tool extension screenshot
The Ticker Tool extension bar

Here’s a typical example of the Transcripts feature – in this example a list of earnings call transcripts and other news is displayed.

Ticker Tool extension screenshot - transcripts button
The Ticker Tool extension transcripts feature

5. Newsriver

Newsriver presents a scrolling news feed in its own extension bar – available sources include Al Jazeera, BBC, CBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NHK (a Japanese news agency). There are two colour themes (grey and red), with variable scrolling speeds depending on whether the Safari window is active or not. Click on any news item to go directly to the website in question and view the complete story.

Newsriver extension screenshot
The Newsriver extension bar

Newsriver’s options are quite simple – choose the theme and whatever news feed you want, as shown below.

Newsriver extension settings
The Newsriver extension settings

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About the author

Roland Banks

I've been passionate about Apple ever since I bought my first iPod followed by a white polycarbonate MacBook in 2007. I currently own a MacBook Pro Retina, an iPad Mini Retina, and an iPhone 6.

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