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Substack debuts beta version of Reader web app with RSS support, here’s how it works on iOS

Burgeoning newsletter platform Substack launched a new web app today that brings together all of your subscriptions in one convenient inbox. The new web app is in beta, but it already shows lots of promise. It offers rapid access to all of your subscriptions in a sidebar on the left, and even lets users throw their favorite RSS feeds into the mix. It’s a much cleaner experience than sifting through your email inbox.

Users who are new to Substack can see popular newsletters that they can subscribe to in the discover section, while the podcast section allows you to see shows associated with newsletters available on the Substack platform.

How to install Substack Reader on iOS

Any reader app isn’t complete until it has a mobile version, and Substack has chosen a unique route for bringing theirs to phones. Instead of downloading a Substack Reader app from the App Store, you can navigate to your Substack Reader account in Safari and add it to your home screen. This will create an icon on the Home Screen for rapid access.

To install Substack Reader, tap the share button, select add to the home screen, and then tap add.

Once the web app is installed, you can just launch it from your home screen like a native app. In fact, Substack has done the work to remove the Safari toolbars from the web app added to your home screen. When you tap on an RSS feed or a Substack publication, the web app loads the other website directly through a safari view controller with a convenient back button.

Once added to your home screen, Substack Reader works like a native app.

Perhaps the best thing about Substack Reader is that it feels like a modern version of Google Reader, the insanely popular and forever missed RSS reader. If you subscribe to lots of RSS feeds and lots of Substack newsletters, Reader is a must-have. You can sign up or log in if you are an existing user at

Here’s a look at the web app version of Substack running on the Mac:

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Avatar for Parker Ortolani Parker Ortolani

Parker Ortolani is a marketing strategist and product designer based in New York. In addition to contributing to 9to5mac, he also oversees product development and marketing for BuzzFeed. A longtime reader, Parker is excited to share his product concepts and thoughts with the 9to5mac audience.