15 thoughts on “iPhone RSS reader showdown: Byline, Newsstand and NetNewswire

  1. Hey,

    Thanks for the write up. I found it very helpful. Just wanted to let you know byline can mark an item as unread. It’s not an obvious feature, though. Go back to the list of items in a feed, and swipe the item(like when you delete an email).

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  3. Great review. Though I find NNW to be tater unreliable. Often I have feeds with unread items, yet it doesn’t indicate a number beside it in the folder view.

  4. Hi Terence,

    I find it to be a bit unreliable, as well, but so far it’s the most reliable Google Reader / iPhone app I’ve tried.

    I’m giving Gazette a go this week. I’ll post an update in a few days, but the short version is that I still haven’t found the perfect feed reader.

    -jeff

  5. I’m been using Byline since version 1, and am only now considering NNW because of the Instapaper integration, and because it might be nice to have a dedicated desktop app.
    Byline did have some serious stability issues, but it’s been running 100% on my iPod/3.0 for months.
    You mention it can cache full web-pages – but this is an option – you can select whether to cache new items, starred, or notes. I generally only cache starred items, so i don’t spend time syncing items that don’t interest me. The only improvements I would hope for are:
    – Instapaper/evernote/etc. integration (using all available “send tos” would be grand.
    – Scraping/caching of video (dream on).

  6. LP,

    I think my Byline issues are related to the fact that I have to cache all items in order to be able to read feeds on my commute. When I was using it, Byline was crashing on me fairly regularly.

    -jeff

  7. The recent update the NNW is completely buggy. The original version may have lacked the smoother interface, but it never crashed on me ow went weird. The current version is terrible. I have to exit and restart the program several times before I can get through all of my feeds, because of the crashes. It’s really annoying and I’m shopping around for a new rss reader. They broke what didn’t need fixing. I thought it might have just been me, so I deleted and redownloaded the app and looked at the reviews before doing so and found that nearly all the reviewers are having the exact same issues that I am having.

  8. Pete,

    Sadly, I never used the earlier version of NNW (because it didn’t sync with Google Reader). I’ve read the same reviews that you have, but I’m coming from a very different perspective.

    Of the RSS readers I’ve tried — and I’m still looking — NNW is the most stable, believe it or not.

    If you find a better RSS reader, let me know.

    -jeff

  9. I tried NNW, the iPhone’d web-App of GoogleReader and now I’m using “MobileRSS” for quite some weeks – and by now I’m really happy…

  10. This might seem like a dumb question but I’m still confused as to what constitutes “offline” use. I have an iPod Touch and no WiFi access during the day, so at the moment I’m using Byline first thing in the morning to sync everything for offline use: feeds, the pages they link to, and the images therein. It’s molasses slow for the intial sync and cache, but it works.

    I’ve had a play around with Newsstand because so many reviews have mentioned its offline features but, while I prefer the interface and general layout of Newsstand, I can’t get it to cache anything beyond the feeds themselves. Attempting to read an article without an Internet connection gives a page loading error.

    Is there an arcane option I’ve missed somewhere, or does Newsstand not support fully offline operation in the way I require?

    Thanks for the comparative reviews, by the way. It’s really nice to see these three apps in a succinct head-to-head without having to jump about all over the Web gathering bits of information on each one individually.

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