NetNewsWire update to bring RSS feed syncing to iPhone, iPad and Mac

in Mac Software edited January 2014
One week after Google revealed plans to shut down Google Reader, the developers behind popular RSS reader NetNewsWire announced that work on revamped iOS and OS X versions of the software is well underway, with the forthcoming rollouts said to add support for feed syncing.

iPhone version of NetNewsWire. | Source:

In a post to its official blog, Black Pixel, the company that purchased NetNewsWire in 2011, said it has been working on new iterations of the app for at least a year, adding enhancements and new features to keep the venerable RSS reader "up with the times."

As noted by Cult of Mac, the look of NetNewsWire has not been updated in some time, possibly because Black Pixel was busy working on the powerful text, image and file comparison and merging tool Kaleidoscope 2 for Mac.

One of the primary concerns in retooling NetNewsWire was RSS feed syncing functionality, one of the standout features of the soon-to-be-deprecated Google Reader.

"It's too soon to go into details about this, but you should know that we recognize how extremely important it is and that it is a top priority for us," Black Pixel's Daniel Pasco said. "As far as sync is concerned, we knew we would likely need an alternative to Google Reader as early as last year. "

It remains unclear how the company plans to implement the functionality, but apparently integrating with Apple's iCloud and Core Data was too tall an order. The team spent "a considerable amount of time" on the effort, but could not resolve a number of unspecified issues pertaining to Apple's cloud computing service.

Black Pixel is keeping mum on when the new and improved NetNewsWire will ship, though interested users can download the current iPhone, iPad and OS X versions from the iOS and Mac App Stores.


  • Reply 1 of 13
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Does anyone have any alternatives to NetNewsWire? I know this app is popular but I have felt it's lacking something I can't quite put my finger on.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Readster is the best app
  • Reply 3 of 13
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member

    I'm so friggin' sick of all of these "Alternatives to Google Reader" articles that miss the whole point of what Google Reader actually was, and what's needed to replace it.


    Look, there are, and have been for a long time, a bazillion apps and websites for reading RSS feeds.  Google Reader wasn't the first, and it won't be the last.  This functionality of Google Reader won't be missed by many.


    What will be missed, and what's desperately needed in its place is an RSS aggregator and manager that has an open API and allows item sharing along with an RSS feed of shared items.


    Arguably, this service shouldn't even have any "reader apps" other than the website, and the website should be a bare minimum reader used really only in the service of management and sharing.

  • Reply 4 of 13
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    Does anyone have any alternatives to NetNewsWire? I know this app is popular but I have felt it's lacking something I can't quite put my finger on.

    I switched from NetNewsWire to NewsFire back in the day, but haven't used any RSS reader for ages. Kind of had the impression it had been killed by Twitter.


    I would like Black Pixel to try their hand at an IDE. It seems like, logically the platform vendor should provide the dev tools, but JetBrains AppCode proves that Xcode can be beaten. But even it could be improved upon a lot.

  • Reply 5 of 13
    How is Twitter a substitute for RSS?

    i want new posts from sites i visit a lot delivered to me. Why would i all of a sudden want to wade through pictures of what people had for breakfast in order to find that content?
  • Reply 6 of 13
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member

    Shame about iCloud and Core Data. Apple usually handles developer-level stuff with aplomb, but their online services...


    Getting my news from social media is not an option. You generally lose support for unread count, archive search (Twitter only searches the past 3 days), and filters (ex: only subscribing to Kotaku articles tagged with iOS/Mac). RSS lets the news be time-shifted like a DVR, without being mixed with the inane BS from so-called friends:

    "Let's see what happened today... Fruit Ninja is on sale, Jason's ex-wife posted 28 pictures of her kids, the next iPad Mini could be retina, and someone I met once six years ago Likes Wisk Detergent."


    'Social news' will most certainly make us dumber, since it's an echo chamber of what your friends feel is worth posting; this creates false consensus ("All MY friends liked this article, so it MUST be true!") and pluralistic ignorance. My filter example above is different because RSS lets you filter interests; social news tends to filter opinions.

  • Reply 7 of 13
    dbag65dbag65 Posts: 2member
    Google Reader is a convenience for syncing feeds. A free convenience, so quite a few folks utilized the API.

    I've been using NetNewsWire for at least 5 years. It did not originally sync feeds with Reader, it was a stand alone solution. Albeit, at the time in my case, single device (my Mac). I think feed management functions were local back then. I created my Reader account when NNW made the switch and exported my feeds into Reader.

    The sky isn't falling. Now we know Black Pixel is on it. So is Feedly. We'll have solutions to choose from before July 1.

  • Reply 8 of 13
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    How is Twitter a substitute for RSS?

    i want new posts from sites i visit a lot delivered to me. Why would i all of a sudden want to wade through pictures of what people had for breakfast in order to find that content?

    You subscribe to a site like, AppleInsider or AnandTech, then see their tweets as they come in or you click to see a history of them. In many ways Twitter has replaced RSS for me, too, but I still like RSS for article heavy sites. Other sites tend to have smaller comments are not RSS worthy but seem to fit in perfectly for Twitter. For example, using it to announce a new version of an app, noting that your site is having problems, or using it as an open forum to get idea requests from users that you may or may not retweet.

    Those are just a couple quick examples off the top of my head. I know Twitter gets vilified here with the typical comments about pictures of breakfast and the pointless things celebrities are doing but you don't have to subscribe to those people's tweets. I keep mine private, only have friends that can read my tweet, and mostly subscribe to news-related items. It's a great resource and a medium that I didn't get at first but now I can't imagine not having.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member

    That still leaves out the issues of unread counts and filtering.

    iOS Twitter has this super fun habit of leaving out gaps in the timeline if I don't catch up often enough. And I don't know of many article-heavy news sites with seperate Twitter accounts for different departments. It's not like AppleInsider, which is very interest-specific. If I only want to see the Green Energy and Gay Voices sections of Huffington Post, I shouldn't have to wade through the other 95% of their posts (10% celebrity sideboob, btw). Same for any other site reporting on more than one subject.

  • Reply 10 of 13
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member


    Originally Posted by Vorsos View Post

    That still leaves out the issues of unread counts and filtering. [snip]


    It does far more than that.  A lot of the "Twitter has replaced RSS" silliness comes from people who have no idea what RSS is...or even understand the acronym (Really Simple Syndication).


    Every single podcast in iTunes is based on an RSS feed.  There's no Twitter replacement for that.  The metadata alone in a podcast RSS feed is much greater than 140 characters. 


    Many sites depend on aggregating content from other sites.  The most popular method by far is RSS.  A lot of sites (several that I ran for Fortune 100 companies) relied on not just RSS but the API in Google Reader for selectively importing articles.

  • Reply 11 of 13
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member

    To say nothing of the inherent silliness of the social "solution." A free API controlled by one company is being shut down? Let's move to this other free API controlled by one company!

  • Reply 12 of 13

    Used to use NNW then switched to Reeder for it's cleaner interface, and also it's tight integration with Readability and other services (e.g. Instapaper, Evernote, Twitter). Have to say, despite my initial hesitation regarding signing up for a Google Reader account (I tend to stay away from the Google-monster<grin>), the synchronising between devices is very nice (which I think NNW used to do without a GR account many years ago, through some sync feature in the app). If they show some love to NNW and update it, I'd definitely be willing to have a look at switching back.

  • Reply 13 of 13
    gveresgveres Posts: 2member
    Why in the world would an app like this not be available world wide? This app isn't available in the Canadian App store!
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