If you’ve spent any time on the Mac, no doubt you have seen the icon to the right. NetNewsWire has been around for over five years and was one of the early RSS readers available for the Mac. NetNewsWire was originally shareware, but went freeware earlier this year.
For the first time, the Software Pick Of The Month is actually multiple applications. Collectively, all applications are from NewsGator.
I’ve talked about NetNewsWire many times on this blog. If you have used Mail.app, you know how to get around NewNewsWire. On the left is a list of blogs, on the top right pane is a list of posts, the bottom right is the text of the currently selected post. You also have something called clippings, which is kind of like an inbox for posts you want to come back to later. The UI is clean and a search box allows you to easily find a post within a feed. You can see a small screenshot of the application below.
Up next is NetNewsWire. Again? You bet, NetNewsWire for iPhone (iTunes link). Basically NetNewsWire for iPhone is a scaled down version of the full blown Mac client. The best feature of NetNewsWire for iPhone is that you can use it offline, just like the Mac version. While the iPhone version isn’t perfect, it’s pretty good. It would be great if you could mark posts as unread and if pictures were downloaded with the post so you can see them while you are offline. Despite those two gripes, NetNewsWire is a great addition to any iPhone.
In addition to a Mac and iPhone client, there is also a web application. NewsGator Online allows you to view your feeds online. It’s features are similar to many online RSS readers so I won’t bore you with the details. One very handy feature is that you can manage which feeds show up on the iPhone client. If you only want to see your must read feeds on NNW for iPhone, it’s easy to do so with NewsGator Online.
Last but not least, NewsGator online mobile edition. NewsGator mobile gives you a slimmed down version of NewsGator Online. You can visit NewsGator mobile on any phone. If you visit it on your iPhone, you’ll automatically be redirected to the iPhone optimized version. I still use NewsGator mobile despite having NNW for iPhone installed too. Why? NewsGator mobile allows you to view a post, but not have it marked as read until you click the “Read” link. This is handy if you encounter a long post that you want to come back to later. Viewing the post on NNW for iPhone marks it as read.
So why on earth did I choose all these applications for the Software Pick Of The Month? It’s all about one word really, synchronization. While you can use these products by themselves, they are designed to be used together. NewsGator has designed a powerful synchronization engine behind their product lineup.
Once you sign up for NewsGator Online (top right corner), you are ready to enter RSS reading bliss. Within both NNW for Mac and NNW for iPhone, you sign into your NewsGator account and the client will download all the feeds you are subscribed to. When you mark any post as read, that change is synchronized across all other NewsGator clients that you are using. When you delete a feed on one client, the feed gets deleted on the others. I can read a post a work, home, or on the go and the change is reflected on every NewsGator product I’m using. There is even a RSS reader for Windows from NewsGator called FeedDemon.
Simply put, if you read RSS feeds from more than one location, you’re missing out if you aren’t using NewsGator’s products. I simply can’t recommend their products enough. If synchronization matters to you, check out the products mentioned in this post. If you aren’t using NewsGators products, what are you using and why? Let me know in the comments.