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NetNewsWire can add events directly to iCal, if the website supports microformats. Along the right side are the app’s new vertical tabs.
With the Web’s great wealth of news, it’s easy to collect a set of sites you like to gather your news from. But it takes a while to visit them all. Thanks to NetNewsWire, you can spend your time getting informed instead of getting from site to site, muddling through headlines.
NetNewsWire organizes the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom feeds that many websites use to distribute content. NetNewsWire has several ways to view and sort your feeds, and version 3.0 now uses Spotlight to search your feeds. The built-in Web browser’s tab support has been extended to include a helpful thumbnail mode that displayss an image of the website within the tab.
Our favorite feature is the ability to sync NetNewsWire across different Macs. You can store your subscription data on .Mac or an FTP server, or you can open a free NewsGator Online account. NetNewsWire syncs whenever you refresh your feeds. That way, if you hit the road with a notebook or an iPhone (via Safari at m.newsgator.com), your feeds and what you’ve read and haven’t read will remain consistent from Mac to Mac.
Other helpful new features include the ability to save photos to your iPhoto library (just right-click an image and select Add Photo To iPhoto Library) and support for posting to Twitter.com via Twitterific (free). NetNewsWire also supports microformats, which allow apps to use specific Web data. For example, events from Upcoming.com can be viewed in NetNewsWire, and then added to iCal by clicking on the app’s Cal button. However, for this to work, the website must use microformat data.
NetNewsWire is not without its quirks. The app crashed a few times during refreshes, and sometimes performance was sluggish. But when it worked, it was fast. We only wish that NetNewsWire had more filtering tools.
The bottom line. News junkies will find NetNewsWire 3.0 to be an invaluable tool. If you don’t need many management tools, try NewsGator’s NetNewsWire Lite (free) or Vienna (free).
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.4 or later
Easy to use. Good sorting tools. Microformat support. Universal binary.
Some performance quirks. Microformat support on the Web is in its infancy. Needs more feed filters.