NetNewsWire, the app that in 2006, was the only RSS reader on my Mac is back. Back then, for me, NetNewsWire was always installed on every Mac I configured. I’ve used the betas and alphas for many months, and although I will continue to use Reeder for the future, I am excited and hopeful for the iOS version. NetNewsWire syncs articles from my favourite blogs, keeping track of what I've via synchronisation with my feed reader service, Feedbin. This version of NetNewsWire is open source. You can download the app right now.
Here's a shortlist of features.
- Safari extension for easy feed-adding
- Syncing via Feedbin
- Sharing to Mail, MarsEdit, Micro.blog, and so on
- Dark Mode
- Importing and exporting OPML feed lists
- Multiple accounts
This means that NetNewsWire does not have to be designed as if it’s anybody’s only source of news. And it doesn’t have to be designed to please the maximum number of people.
My thinking, instead, is to make it fit into an ecosystem: it’s just one of a number of sources, and not even the only RSS reader.
This allows me to design more carefully. NetNewsWire used to be quite over-featured, and now I have the luxury of being able to make a leaner NetNewsWire.
I can say no to things that I would have said yes to — I can make it the app I want it to be, an app that hopefully lots of people love using, but that isn’t trying overly hard to be everybody’s friend.
It’s okay, in other words, to remember that there are other RSS readers, and it’s totally a-okay when somebody likes another one more.
In other words, NetNewsWire of the future will be more me than any previous versions were.
I stopped using NetNewsWire several years ago but I have a nostalgic soft spot for one of the first RSS readers I installed on my Mac. It seems Chris has made a decision. NetNewsWire will not go quietly into the night. It will reborn as something new perhaps based on the re-imagining of something old. Perhaps Chris is making an IndieWeb microsub reader. No, he didn't write anything to suggest that. But I can only hope.
I've used news feeds and feed readers for as long as I can remember. But Chris's recent post got me thinking about the RSS tools I have used over the years and I remembered that for me it all really started with NetNewsWire. I have not used it for years and I had assumed it was dead. I am happy to learn that NetNewsWire is alive. I downloaded the trial version for macOS and iOS. I'll use it for a few days and compare to my experience with Reeder. Just because of ... "nostalgia".