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NetNewsWire 3.2 Beta: Google Reader Replaces NewsGator

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NetNewsWireIconThe folks over at NewsGator have seemingly given up on consumer news feed syncing and have ceded to the superiority of Google Reader.

First it was NewsGator’s Windows syncing feed reader Feed Demon that got the switch from NewsGator syncing to Google Reader syncing. Now its the Mac client’s turn and the esteemed reader NetNewsWire has now switched syncing services too. Yeterday’s announcement by NewsGator states that its will be taking its NewsGator Online news feed reading and syncing service offline by the end of August. This leaves little time for NetNewsWire to fast track a stable switch to Google Reader syncing, but yesterday the first public beta of NetNewsWire 3.2 was made available.

There are a few differences between how NewsGator and Google Reader do their syncing. Notably Google Reader does not support folders within folders, which poses a problem for people who have organized their feeds in such a way. ‘Flagged’ items in NetNewsWire get transplanted as ‘Starred’ items in Google Reader, but the ‘shared’ and ‘liked’ features are not supported yet.

Beyond the big change of where feeds are synced to, the new version supports sending articles to InstaPaper, sports a fancy new icon and has had a general code cleanup to boot. Being able to sync to NewsGator is not even an option anymore (due to NewsGator stopping their service) and neither is the previously available alternative option of syncing to .Mac or an FTP site. The Clippings functionality is also currently missing in action; they haven’t been deleted, but there is no way to access them.

Not all users are happy with the new beta, as can been seen on the NetNewsWire forum. NetNewsWire was originally a paid application, which was then turned into a free application by NewsGator. The new beta contains a relatively large ad embedded in the bottom left of the window. In the future, this can be turned off with a yet unannounced payment system of some sort, which of course has some people up in arms. While one can usually say “just stick with the existing version” this won’t apply beyond August when NewsGator shuts off its sync servers. But for a syncing service without any monthly fees, you’re always taking this risk. Personally, I’m happy to switch to Google Reader and can cope with ads. Developers need income too!

An updated version of NetNewsWires for the iPhone/iPod touch is also in the works that will support Google Reader syncing. The release date for this is currently unknown. For those that are interested, you can follow the progress of the new betas at and even follow the developer’s twitter account recounting the coding work.

13 Responses to “NetNewsWire 3.2 Beta: Google Reader Replaces NewsGator”

  1. solefald

    this “upgrade” is a biggest insult to loyal customers i have EVER seen.

    the devs are not motivated by adding features. they are motivated by NewsGator’s decision to stop its service, thats why the Google Reader switch.

    If would be all cool and dandy if they didn’t remove FTP synching, basically FORCING everyone to use Google Reader with an ADWARE version of NNW. I do not see any goodwill here.

    On top of that i paid for NNW twice. Purchased it 4 years ago, and then paid for an upgrade when they forced everyone to NewsGator. Fine.

    After that the app went free, and i did not said a word about it. I did not even mind that they went free after i paid twice. But now, they expect me to pay again just to remove the HUGE ad window?

    Nope. Not going to happen. I am dropping NNW just like i dropped every single of Unsanity products.

  2. Josh: No, never had to pay for an upgrade in this “league” (shareware). Sure, you pay for updates with Photoshop, Final Cut and stuff.. and btw. it’s not like NNW changed that much to call it an “upgrade”. It’s still the same program I once paid for that now has advertisements.

    But I don’t want to beef all the time …

  3. I guess it’s time to switch to another RSS reader if I can’t either pay for the software, or turn off the ads. This is a very sloppy way to handle a release. I’m sure I’m not the only person who uses this software that has a lot of feeds loaded. I don’t want to have to scroll all the time because some stupid ad is taking up an inch of space in the lower left corner. FAIL!!!

    On the bright side, I like the new icon and I have replaced the icon on the old version (which I will keep using until I can’t anymore) with the new icon :)

    • Josh N.

      I bet NNW was rushed out the door because of the cut-off date. Judging from NNW’s history and quality, I bet things will get better pretty quickly.

  4. I for one hate the ads too, i don’t want google reader either since google only cares for what you do and uses that info to show your more ads.

    I think Google knows enough about me as it is… I switched to Vienna (app) and removed NNW from my iPhone since it will become useless pretty soon.

    Maybe i should check out EventBox…

  5. The updated iPhone app should really have been released at the same time. And would it kill you to give me access to my starred articles in the iPhone app? I switched to Byline and Eventbox a while ago, I don’t see anything in this update to change that. Nice new icon though (relative to the old one).

  6. I didn’t mind them switching to Google, if they would have updated the iPhone App at the same time.

    Switching to Byline now, sync my feeds with Google Reader on my iPhone.

    But there IS another thing that really gets me cursing… I once purchased NetNewsWire, then it turned free. Now I get advertisements within the Mac application again and they announced, that you’ll be able to purchase a version w/o ads – yeah right, just make me buy the same program twice…….

    • Josh N.

      “make me buy the same program twice…”

      Really? You’ve never paid for an upgrade? That’s what this is. NNW was paid then NewsGator subsidized it and now it’s back to a paid/ad supported version. If you don’t like the new version, go back to your original one.

      I’m happy to have a decent Google Reader Mac-native app now. EventBox is not good at feed reading and I don’t want another Air app.

      I’m probably going to stick with Byline on the iPhone I don’t see how iPhone NNW could get better than that.