Google Reader

30 May 2007

For years, I’ve been a fan of Brent Simmons’ OS X-based feed reader, NetNewsWire. It’s a fantastic application, and I’ve definitely got my money’s worth out of it. After partnering with NewsGator, I started using their online feed-reader on and off, with mixed results. I like that it keeps my feeds in sync between my computers, and that I can browse articles at lunch, but the interface is still not on par with NetNewsWire itself.

While NewsGator’s implementation was lacking, I really did like the idea of dropping the desktop app altogether and going with a fully online solution, so I started exploring other options. The obvious free alternative is Google Reader, and I have to say, I’m impressed. While the presentation isn’t as customizable as NetNewsWire, the functionality that I use is all there, and in fact, it has some extra search features that I miss on the desktop. It was only when I launched NetNewsWire today and saw 290 unread items, that it hit me I hadn’t used it in almost a month. So while I look forward to NetNewsWire 3, I’m sticking to Google Reader for the time being.

Google reader graph of usage by hour of day

I also discovered that my prime news reading hours are apparently 6:30am to 7:30am and 9pm to 11pm, with a strange local maximum straggling out around 12:30am. I’d be curious to compare this to before I had a baby that woke me up around that time.

Update (2007-06-06): NetNewsWire 3.0 is now out.