If you’ve read Mac360 for long, you know that we love RSS. Among the many excellent RSS readers is NetNewsWire.
The latest version of NetNewsWire not only does RSS but everything else except email and dishwashing. What? Am I being a bit facetious? A bit.
What I like about NetNewsWire is the list of features and ease of use. If you’re a feature junkie, NNW does not disappoint. If you want an RSS reader to do everything from email to dishwashing, you’ll be disappointed.
Your disappointment will last only until the next NNW version, because there’s not much more to add to NetNewsWire to make it the RSS reader that truly has everything to give.
What was wrong with the old version of NNW? Not much. My copy was open on my Mac all the time, 24/7. I have hundreds of RSS feeds, and except for an occasional misconnection to Gator, NNW filled the bill.
OK, no scolding. NetNewsWire costs a little money, so it’s not as free as the freely available and very free Vienna RSS reader, which we also admire. Alexis called Vienna the best RSS reader, but she refuses to pay for anything.
Paying out hard earned money requires something in return and NetNewsWire 3.x doesn’t skimp on the ROI. NNW 3.x has been in alpha and beta stage for quite awhile, so it was a surprise to see it released.
Jacqui Cheng of ArsTechnica says NNW includes “a lot of crazy new stuff.” Except email and a kitchen sink. Seriously.
Remember, NetNewsWire is basically an RSS reader on performance enchancing drugs, a Mac utility running amok with iApp Integration Fever™ and support for all things Mac, including Spotlight, iCal, iPhoto, AddressBook, Growl and more.
If you’re all atwitter over Twitter, then Twitterific is built in to satisfy your contact cravings. If you’re just interested in knowing what’s going on anywhere and everywhere in your world, NNW aims to please.
First up is the new look and feel. NNW looks good, it’s easier to navigate, has better layout, and it needs it. It’s not that the older NNW was confounding. Hey, it’s an RSS reader. How hard can it be to use?
The newly glossy NetNewsWire needs an efficient, easy-to-learn layout and toolbar because everything you can think of is now built in—except that kitchen sink and email.
Email? Did I mention email? NNW won’t replace Apple’s Mail or Microsoft’s Entourage, but not for lack of trying. The Integration Gods™ let you send the contents or a link from an article via email.
I like the toolbars in Mac applications and utilities. In what has to be the largest selection of tools ever for any Mac toolbar, NetNewsWire gives you an icon button for everything. Even posting to del.icio.us. What? No way to post to DIGG?
Tabbed browsing is built-in, of course, as is the standard three-panel interface for feed, headline, article summary.
NetNewsWire keeps track of the RSS and Atom feeds that you use the most, then lets you know what’s going on with your reading habits so you can figure out which feeds to drop and which to keep. That’s called Sort by Attention, and a big part of what we want our Macs to do.
The new version seems to be faster than the old version and hasn’t crashed once during two days of verey heavy trial-to-find-the-errors usage.
Once NewsGator bought NetNewsWire and the application didn’t get much in the way of feature adds and updates, I began to wonder what they were working on all those years.
Now we know. The developers were working on a cure for Featuritis and they failed, dooming us to even more ways to track what goes on in our online world.
For example, you’ll like Persistence—a way to keep news items even after they’ve been dropped from an RSS or Atom feed list. The Dinosaurs feature finds feeds that just haven’t been updated in ages.
For the ubergeeky, NNW can be controlled by AppleScript and Automator. I’ve always liked Smart Lists, akin to Playlists in iTunes, Albums in iPhoto, and Smart Mailboxes in Mail, and NNW delivers. Gather feeds from all over based on your own criteria.
Flagged news items can be saved forever and a day. Unlike Safari, NNW’s tabbed browser remembers the tabs between launches so you won’t lose those critical pages you were reading but didn’t have time to finish. They’ll be there when you open NetNewsWire again.
What can I say? I’ve never seen a Mac application get so many new features for what should be a featureless effort. Hey, RSS and Atom feeds are basically a headline and a summary. For the true blue gorilla news junkie in our midst, NetNewsWire may be the only browser you’ll need. It’s very cheap at twice the price.