February 14, 2009 at 11:18 AM by Dr. Drang
My on again, off again relationship with NetNewsWire has been on again for the past few months, mainly because of its iPhone version. I still prefer Bloglines when reading feeds on a computer; but NNW is distinctly better on the iPhone, because it downloads the feeds and saves them on the phone for reading anytime. So you can grab a batch of feeds when you have a good net connection and read them later when the connection is poor or nonexistent. I don’t think any web app will be able to do that.
There are, however, two recurring bugs in NNW for the iPhone:
Items that I read on the iPhone are often still marked as unread when I open the desktop NNW later in the day. This probably has something to do with iPhone NNW not syncing with NewsGator, but I’m not sure what circumstances cause it to fail. It isn’t restricted to items I read when offline—I wouldn’t expect them to have their status updated. I usually end an NNW session on the iPhone by going back to NNW’s home screen and then back to the iPhone’s Springboard, which is when I would expect the sync to occur.
Syncing is never a problem in the other direction; items read on the desktop NNW never show up as unread on the iPhone.
The Next Unread button at the bottom of the NNW screen sometimes doesn’t work. The button appears when you’re reading an item and NNW has other unread items available for you. Sometimes when I tap it, nothing happens. The presence of the button is not the bug; there really are unread items, but NNW won’t move to them when I tap the button. I have to go back to the main NNW screen and tap on a feed or category that has unread items.
Neither of these bugs are annoying enough to stop me from using NetNewsWire, but they do occur frequently; a few times a week, at least. What’s really bothersome—and the reason I haven’t filed a formal bug report—is that I’m unable to come up with the sequence of steps that lead to the bug. As far as I can tell, I’m doing the same thing when a bug appears as when it doesn’t.