Developer: NewsGator Technologies, Inc.
Price: $4.99
Version: 2.0.3

Design Rating: ★★½☆☆
Features Rating: ★★★☆☆
Integration Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

NetNewsWire operates in conjunction with Google Reader, a website that allows you to compile a list of RSS feeds into one simple list. This application pulls the unread content from Google Reader and provides it in a simplistic way.

The design of NetNewsWire is really, really simple (like RSS itself). The front page provides starred items, a list of feeds and all of your unread news. Here lies the first point of confusion. NetNewsWire says that this latest news is all in the past twenty-four hours, but this isn’t the case – it was every unread item. Of course this is preferable, but I don’t understand how a deceiving error on the front page could go unnoticed.

One neat feature that no other Google Reader application I’ve tested has is the ability to hide feeds. This is an easy way to filter your feed without actually removing the feeds itself, something that makes looking for specific news a lot easier.

The article directory is clean, with approximately four articles visible without the need to scroll. The only button on screen is “Mark All as Read”. Articles themselves are equally plain, but disappointingly there is no built-in browser, meaning every time you want to read an article in full the application closes and Safari opens. Integration for Instapaper (to read later) and Twitter (to share) is provided.

There are other problems. Most notably, you can’t see your read items – your feed is limited to unread only. There’s no search either, a limitation that a number of NetNewsWire’s rivals also suffer from. With no icon badge for the home screen, you won’t know how many unread articles you have until you open up the application.

Overall, NetNewsWire feels unfinished in comparison to its rivals like Byline and Reeder. Until its current problems are resolved, I’d try an alternative.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, News, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , ,