NetNewsWire vs. Google Reader

Google Reader has always been my primary feed reader for both my Mac and iPhone.  The functionality I get from it, in my opinion, rivals anything else.  I can star a feed from my iPhone to follow up with later on my Mac.  This is particularly useful for software or tips I want to try.  I’ve just recently gotten into Twitter and Friendfeed, as well as sharing items with notes via Google Reader.  I’ve configured Friendfeed to import those, which in turn make it’s way to Twitter.  Being able to integrate all of those services is awesome.

So what made me want to try NetNewsWire?  I like native applications a little better than web apps, even web apps as good as Google Reader.  I think the user experience is still better for a native app than one that runs out of your browser.  There’s more customization and sorting options and the UI is cleaner and more robust.  I can also read feeds if I’m ever offline (which is usually never anyway).  Both Mac and iPhone apps can also sync to NewsGator, which makes it easy to stay up to date.

Again, I can’t stand to criticize free software negatively.  I’m very grateful both NetNewsWire for the Mac and iPhone are free apps.

Things I don’t like about NetNewsWire:

  1. Most feeds require going to a browser anyway.  NetNewsWire has one “built-in”, but the window is almost always never big enough.  I still prefer a full browser window.
  2. The iPhone app takes a while to update, especially if you haven’t used it recently.  I don’t have the patience for it.
  3. The iPhone app doesn’t allow you to read “all”, just one category at a time.
  4. Almost no integration with other social networking sites.

Things I don’t like about Google Reader:

  1. It runs in a browser.  Eh.  Sometimes that can be distracting.
  2. The iPhone interface will sometimes “reset” itself.  Very frustrating to lose your place.  It’s like trying to read a book with no bookmark.
  3. I have a slight suspicion I’m missing feeds.  This morning I saw a feed in NetNewsWire that didn’t show up in Google Reader.  Unless I looked at the wrong feed (which I don’t think I did), that sucks… the feed I missed was a good one too.

I’ve heard rumors that NetNewsWire might be able to sync with Google Reader in the future.  This would be great, but I would need more than just read/unread status to make the switch fully.  For now, I’ll stick with Google Reader.

The “missing feed” in #3 above just showed up in Google Reader. Seems there’s a noticeable delay. At least it’s not missing altogether. :)