Blog Post

NetNewsWire for OS X and iPhone Officially Released

NewsGator released todayNetNewsWire 3.2 for OS X. At the end of July, NewsGator announced the ending of its news feed subscription service and released a beta version of NetNewsWire 3.2 with Google Reader synchronization.

The way NewsGator handled the ending of its service and migration to Google Reader left a lot to be desired. After sending out an email advising people to immediately switch to the beta, it received many complaints due to the numerous bugs and the large embedded ad in the bottom left of the window.

The ad was removed for remaining betas — until today, when it was brought back at half the previous size. To remove the ad you must purchase a license for $10. I’m not sure if this is a special introductory price or not, but for me $10 is a great deal and buying a license was a no-brainer.

As well as many bug fixes and speed optimizations, the official release restores the much-loved Clippings functionality that was missing from the initial beta. On the OS X platform there are now a few options brewing for native Google Reader support, providing healthy competition in this area, from which we all benefit.

NetNewsWire-2-iPhone Also released today was the long-awaited NetNewsWire 2.0 for iPhoneOS. In a similar manner to its desktop brother, there are now two versions of NetNewsWire for the handheld devices. The free version (iTunes link) remains available with full functionality but now contains ads. To remove the ads, NetNewsWire Premium (iTunes link) can be purchased. This premium version is available for an introductory price of $1.99 until October, at which point it will go up to $4.99.

As well as the obvious synchronization with Google Reader, version 2 contains Twitter and Instapaper integration. This is a complete rewrite of the application; it contains a new UI and is much faster than version 1.0. It does require iPhone OS 3.0, but I wonder who’s still on 2.2 these days? The ability to forward an article by email without leaving the app is great and I wish all apps would be updated to do that (I’m looking at you, Byline).

The biggest missing feature, which is a deal-breaker for me, is being able to set an article’s status as unread. In the FAQ, they recommend using the ‘star’ function to flag the article instead of a ‘mark as unread’ function, but that doesn’t suit my workflow. While I’m impressed with the improvements, until I can set articles back to unread I need to stick with Byline for my Google Reader syncing. I think Byline is still faster, too. But as I said before, competition is a good thing.

11 Responses to “NetNewsWire for OS X and iPhone Officially Released”

  1. “The biggest missing feature, which is a deal-breaker for me, is being able to set an article’s status as unread. In the FAQ, they recommend using the ’star’ function to flag the article instead of a ‘mark as unread’ function, but that doesn’t suit my workflow.”

    Haha. What if the application put the word ‘unread’ by the star? It doesn’t fit your workflow? If you want to mark threads as unread, it does the exact same thing. Unless you’re using the star for some other reason, it’s a pretty comical complaint.

    I’ve used greader until today. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Great job by brent.

    • Pressing star ‘flags’ the item. It does not mark it unread. They do different things.

      I often start reading an article on the iPhone but don’t get a chance to finish it. So I mark it unread so its back in my normal unread list when I get back to my Mac. I don’t want two lists (unread and flagged) when one suits me fine.

      I’m glad you find it comical though. Glad to amuse.

    • I agree with Andrew – I use the star to ‘bookmark’ an article I’d like to refer back to one day – I keep unread items that I’ve not read.

      Two completely different functions.

  2. Bob Smith

    I’ve looked at a couple of other RSS readers, but they have very annoying defects in how they function.

    1) In Vienna, space bar scrolls down, but if you are at the end of the article it doesn’t go to the next article.
    2) In NewsFire, articles are always arranged newest one first, and Next Article always goes to the next earlier one.

  3. this “upgrade” was the biggest FAIL in the history of mankind.

    Many of us already paid for NNW. Twice. Then it went free, and not they want us to pay again just to remove the ads? Screw that.

    I switched to Google Reader and never looked back. I am not willing to support developers who do this.

  4. Newsstand is the best iPhone RSS app I’ve found. I doubt if I’ll ever go back to NNW for the iPhone. For OS X, I’m considering switching over to Gruml, but I might just pay for the NNW license.

  5. Wilder212

    I downloaded the new iPhone update yesterday and now I can’t log into the Google Reader. For some reason it doesn’t recognize my name and password anymore. Strange, because my desktop client works/syncs just fine.

    Anyone else have this issue.

  6. I’m a long time ByLine user too, but suggest you have a look at “RSS Flash g” on the iPhone/iPod Touch.

    There’s many features already incorporated (instapaper, etc) compared to Byline, and the app supports double-tapping in different areas of the screen to accomplish different things – e.g. bottom part of screen double tap goes to the next article; right hand side goes to the full article. It also supports tripple tapping for full screen mode, and shake for rotation on/off or full screen mode.

    It also has it’s preferences WITHIN THE APP – unlike Byline, so you can make changes while doing a sync without interrupting.

    It’s very quick, slick & featured, if a little confusing at first.

    The only thing it does NOT do, compared to ByLine, is cache images – but I can live with that if the trade off is a quick & SOLID app – the “Black 2” style is great for night reading – go full screen, then double tap to navigate – very slick.

    Read the help pages, and give it a go – I’ve left Byline on the sideline until Milo gets his act together – considering the amount of money he must have made by getting in there early (I read somewhere that he’d clocked over 750’000 sales), it’s amazing (and disappointing) that his promised version 3 is taking so long to come out.

    Try it and let me know what you think
    NOTE: I am NOT affiliated with any of the above apps or their developers/backers, or this particular sector of the industry.