NetNewsWire 2.1: a NewsGator account is required

by Giles Turnbull

So, NetNewsWire 2.1 is out and, as many folks have pointed out, it boasts plenty of interesting new features, most notably automatic synchronizing with NewsGator's online feed reading service.

What you may not have realised is that signing up for a NewsGator account is a requirement of your continued use of NetNewsWire.

You'll probably remember that Ranchero, the company responsible for NetNewsWire, was purchased by NewsGator last year.

If you dismiss the NewsGator signup window that appears when you first run 2.1, you will be able to continue using NetNewsWire just fine for 30 days, at which point it will appear again and ask you to sign up.


The official upgrade instructions to say that need to complete the sign-up, even if you have a old NetNewsWire license.

NewsGator explains that this is because Ranchero used Kagi for online payments, while NewsGator has its own payment system, and they need to tie the two together.


2006-05-10 12:26:44
NNW has completed it's transition to the darkside. Time to look for an alternative. Any suggestions?
Jeff Watkins
2006-05-10 12:39:57
Flip, don't be silly. The dialog box is very ominously worded and the accounts *should* be optional, but this isn't some grand evil plan on the part of NewsGator.

On the other hand, there are alternatives, and because I don't like mandatory account registration, I'll be taking a look at them.

2006-05-10 15:18:35
Flip, have you tried Vienna? It's open source and development is quite active. I'm still holding off giving it a try, but I'm getting restless ...

I still think NNW is the best news feed reader product for my requirements (e.g. performance is quite good even on my 600MHz iBook G3), but I've become increasingly disappointed with development progress. Obviously the focus of 2.1 is NewsGator assimilation/integration but since I'm not using synching this release is mostly a letdown after the long wait since 2.0.1. The marketing Brent may claim syncing is "very cool" but there are numerous NG forum posts discussing some of the current problems with it, some being reasons why I don't use it and haven't registered a NG account.

Continuing to submit bug reports and feature requests is unsatisfying when there's never any closure to them. Frankly, I don't think it's unreasonable for long-time customers to be given a bit more attention when they politely and patiently ask. If you don't throw me an occasional bone the temptation to look for alternatives will only increase. I'm willing to give NNW/NG more time but if they're too unresponsive I won't remain a customer. Loyalty is a two-way street.

2006-05-10 15:26:17
I've just spent an hour or so trying out Vienna; I'm very impressed. All the key commands that I use frequently in NNW also work there. It also feels fast and responsive. Nice work.
2006-05-10 16:08:17
Thanks for that quick Vienna report, Giles. One thing tempting me to try it is having a much clearer indication of future development than NNW, especially with the convenient In Progress and Customer Wishlist summaries on this page:

Vienna 2.1 Planning

That's a refreshing change after years of unfulfilled NNW requests and its lack of any future roadmap being an uncomfortable uncertainty.

2006-05-10 19:06:45
heh. I gave up email, believe it or not. So ... I guess I won't be upgrading. Too bad, that.
2006-05-10 21:43:48
sjk thanks for the pointer to Vienna. It rocks!

Jeff it's not about an evil plan. Just the usual silliness of a Windows company absorbing a Mac tool and polluting it.

2006-05-10 23:16:31
Ok, but did you notice that once you signup to newsgator they will automatically renew you (bill you). There is no way out of that unless you cancel your newsgator account. There is no option I could see to make this automatic renewal a manual or "ask me at the time" setting. Login to your account at the newsgator website and see what I mean.

2006-05-11 08:36:52

NewsFire is actually very nice. A different feature set than NNW but intellegint in what it does and how it handles feeds. Actually, I used to only like it mildly but our love story is quickly, uh, firing up. I'd recommend spending a few days of quality time with it.

2006-05-12 00:54:09
So if I happen to own a Intel Mac and I want to use NNW as a universal binary (aka 2.1) I MUST have a NewsGator account?

No way!!! Even after using NNW for years (WITH a license), I'll look for alternatives. Any recommendations? (until now I never looked for alternatives, cause there was no need. NNW was "just the right thing" for me). Thats how satisfied customers are driven away!!!!
Thanks NewsGator!

2006-05-13 23:34:46
At first, I thought "a free Newsgator account - cool, I can check my feeds at the labs on campus when I'm away from my apartment." But then every time I quit NNW, it would pause to sync with Newsgator - this annoyed me to no end. When I want to quit an app, that's exactly what I want to happen. It reminds me of how used to hang interminably at quitting, all because of syncing my IMAP account. Anyway, I've disabled syncing with Newsgator. If I need to check my feeds away from home, I'll just log on to my Bloglines account. But I won't stop using NNW. I used the Lite version for a long time before forking over the shareware fee, and I became quite appreciative of how it wasn't nagware, didn't deprive the non-paying user of the most essential features, and it just worked. For me, it's still the easiest and most efficient way of managing my feeds. Hopefully it will remain so....
2006-05-13 23:36:20
btw, thanks Anonymous, for the heads-up about the automatic billing. Grrr....