Newsstand ScreenshotsSource: Alex Robb

What you need to know

  • Someone created a Google News RSS reader app for Mac OS 9.
  • Even the app's website was created in Mac OS 9.

Someone created a great new app for reading Google News RSS feeds, called Newsstand. It even has a gorgeous 3D icon. Oh, and it only runs on Mac OS 9.

Yes, you read that right. And only macOS 9 at that – nothing newer.

I saw Newsstand fly through my Twitter feed yesterday and didn't think much of it. But then it made an appearance on Daring Fireball and I thought I should take a closer look – and boy am I glad I did.

Built by Alex Robb, entirely on a Mac OS 9 machine, the app's website is perfect. It obviously plays host to the Newsstand downloadable, but it's just all so very simple. No moving images, no scrolling through floating text – static text and images on a page. Beautiful.

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So why create a Google News RSS reader that can only run on Mac OS 9?

I created Newsstand as a fun way to access the news on my vintage Macs. I have two Apple PowerBook G3 computers, but older machines don't work very well on the modern web. Their browsers can't load https websites, and vintage hardware can't keep up with the dynamic pages that make up the web today. I created Newsstand in Mac OS 9 using tools only available at the time.

With Newsstand, I can use a Classic Mac application on my PowerBooks and stay up-to-date with what's happening. Newsstand has been a personal project over the last few weeks and a really fun challenge. I'm ready to release it to all of you, and I'm eager to hear your feedback.

You can of course download Newsstand yourself and it's absolutely free. You'll need 12MB of RAM and 2.2MB of hard disk space on top of the Mac OS 9 thing.

As great as Mac OS 9 is, sometimes we need something a little more modern. The current M1 MacBook Air is the best MacBook for most people and it'll run macOS Monterey later this year, too!