Friday, September 25, 2009

NetNewsWire RSS Reader for the iPhone

I just downloaded NetNewsWire on my iPhone yesterday and agree with James Kendrick -- if you use Google Reader, this app is a must have.
I used to read feeds on smaller devices, but the experience was generally sub-par for me. The new NetNewsWire app for iPhone has changed that perception in a big way. I downloaded the free version of the app a few days ago and I’m totally enjoying it. I’m not keen on the advertisements in the free version, mainly because they take up a bit too much space when in landscape mode, so I’m dropping the $1.99 to get the ad-free version. The app is slated for a price increase to $4.99 in October, so hurry up and try the free version if you’re remotely interested...

I can’t say that I’ve looked at every RSS reader for the iPhone, but NetNewsWire has me reading feeds with my handset on the go again. And that’s something I haven’t done for at least six months. The performance is solid and the experience is enjoyable. If you use Google Reader and own either an iPhone or iPod Touch, I consider this app a “must-try.”
NetNewsWire automatically marks any post you read in your feed as read. Unfortunately, there is no way to mark it as unread. Other than that, the only other criticism I'd have for the program is that you currently have to scroll to the top of a post to check to see if you successfully marked it with a star. (Helpful for remembering to go back to it later.) Seems like a minor modification and the star at the bottom of the screen could turn yellow to indicate the post has been successfully starred.

This is a handy app that makes reading Google Reader feeds much nicer than trying to read Google Reader in Safari on the iPhone. NetNewsWire stores the feeds locally on the phone which means you can catch up on your blog reading on a plane or subway -- even if there is no Internet access at the time.

I currently have the free version, but just might have to plunk down the two bucks to get the ad-free version. It would be money well spent.

Update: After using this for a few days, I feel like I can't recommend this software. The interface is nice, as is the ability to download your RSS feed onto your phone. However, it takes way too long to sync and doesn't seem to always update all of my feeds. It's a good idea that I hope they are able to improve in time.

Update: I finally figured out that I my large (1,000+) backlog of unread posts was causing serious delays in how quickly NetNewsWire was syncing to my Google account. I've since cleared out my reader and absolutely love this software. The integration with Twitter and Instapaper is particularly brilliant. With two clicks, I am able to immediately share or save items of interest. If you have an iPhone and use Google Reader, you'll like this software. If you Tweet too, you'll absolutely love it!

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