By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Back to NewsFire

Since last summer, I’ve been using Google Reader as my RSS aggregator. It’s attractive, and I like the community features that it offers. Last night, though, I decided to switch back to NewsFire. Why?

  • NewsFire, installed on my desktop, is instantaneous. Sometimes that matters. All I have to do is hit “refresh.” With Google Reader, which is out there in the cloud, you have to wait.
  • Google Reader is superfically more attractive. But NewsFire is easier to set up with a nice, big, readable font.
  • Skimming is faster with NewsFire.

So what have I given up? Mainly the ability to access my feeds from any computer. Since I’m rarely without my MacBook, that’s generally not a problem. Still, my thinking continues to evolve.

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  1. zadig

    Why not just use Mail (OS X as your RSS reader? It does a decent job, and it’s built in to the OS.

  2. Berto

    Hi Dan,Google Reader has a solution for two of the three concerns you listed. If you use Google’s hot keys, you will skim like one of those lizards that can run across a lake. Use J to skip forward and K to skip backwards. Each post will move to the top of the frame, so you could conceivably read each headline without moving your line of sight. It’s so useful I sometimes find myself pressing J to skip post in blogs.To resize the font, press = to increase and – to decrease the size. What’s good about this is that it only increases the type, so the rest of the screen stays the same shape, etc. What’s bad is that Reader won’t save your preferred font size, so you’ll have to resize every time in. That’s not a huge hassle, since it’s a single keystroke, but still, you think they’d have made that a smidge easier by now.There’s no helping the cloud delays. They’ve definitely gotten better over time, but nothing will really replace the instantaneous response of a desktop client. Overall, though, I think you should try the hot keys to reassess GReader. There are other hot keys, too, but those are for more power-user tools. that helps.

  3. ckd

    You could use NetNewsWire combined with Newsgator Online if you wanted the “best of both worlds” approach: a desktop client when you’re at your computer, and a web client when you aren’t.

  4. Josh

    NetNewsWire is the best Mac RSS reader on the market, I think. The online Newsgator Online is so-so, although the iPhone interface is good. But NNW on the Mac = RSS heaven.

  5. Matt

    If you enable Google Gears on your computer, Reader will download the latest posts, which speeds up the loading process a bit.Matt

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