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NetNewsWire Lite 4 is too ‘lite’

4 March 2011 4,439 views No Comment

NewsGator has brought back the “lite” version of their popular RSS and Atom reader app for the Mac, though you should think of it as merely a client as it lacks some significant features. What’s it got and not? Take a sneak a peak here before you download.

When I spotted NetNewsWire Lite 4 (NNW Lite, Mac App Store, free), I was quite excited that NewsGator was releasing a whole number update. That said, I’m a happy NetNewsWire 3.2.x user and won’t be switching to this new version any time soon — here’s why.

First off, if you’re a mouser and don’t use the keyboard other than to type per se, you might like NNW Lite. And, of course, it’s free.

That said, I tried to add my already well-stocked Google Reader feed to NNW Lite and no go. So, although it’s easy to add new, individual feeds, I’ve already done that work, so there’s no practical reason to do it again.

Also, the view you see in the above screen cap is the only choice available in NNW Lite. You can choose between five text/background color/layout article pane views, but can’t change the three vertical pane feed – article – content view let alone quickly flip between views via keyboard shortcuts like you can with NetNewsWire 3.2.x.

An upsell in lite clothing?

Another missing feature is the ability to refresh subscribed feeds using keyboard shortcuts — Command + Shift + R for all feeds, Command + R to refresh the currently selected feed. Yes, it’s easy to create a keyboard shortcut for any menu item, but why reinvent the wheel?

“And the app is fast and light, easy-to-navigate, with just the features you need to be able to read your news” — NewsGator

Perhaps, but NetNewsWire wasn’t broken and, in fact, is a lot better than this new version.

I really hope NewsGator isn’t planning to pay wall these important futures in NetNewsWire 4. Feed me ads — how v3.2.x is paid for — I’m fine with that. Honestly, NNW Lite really is the unusable rump of what has been a very, very good RSS reader…

What’s your take?

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