Software Review: Newsbar for Mac and iOS

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Newsbar for Mac OS

By Dave Greenbaum, Click Here Tech

Newsbar fills a key gap in RSS readers left by the demise of Google Reader: Ubiquitous synchronization of your content and read items. Newsbar has a Mac OS and an iOS client (sold separately) that uses iCloud to synchronize among devices. If you are logged into iCloud on the device, you’ve got your news items and the read, unread and starred items are synced. Other solutions use a hybrid web and app solution but Newsbar creates a full app based experience.

Both the iOS and the MacOS app tends to be a bit slow and resource heavy if you’ve got lots of items unread in your RSS feed and it takes a while to sync if you’ve got multiple categories. The MacOS app allows you to either lock the Newsbar in a particular position on a display or allow it to float either transparently anywhere on your computer and change the colors and backgrounds of individual news feeds so you can tell by color the blog source and makes the reading much easier. Best of all you can specify keywords to notify you of and Newsbar will notify you via the menu bar. What is missing is the dock icon doesn’t show the unread news count which I think is an annoying oversight and hopefully a feature forthcoming. While the current version imports from and to Feedly it won’t synchronize, but that feature I’m told is in the works

The iOS app doesn’t have as many features as the MacOS app such as specifying the colors of the feeds but it will completely synchronize the content with its desktop counterpart via iCloud which makes for easy reading everywhere.

Overall this is a handy product for those of us who need our newsfeeds native on our devices rather than using a web interface.

Pros: Desktop app highly configurable, syncs with all your iCloud devices
Cons: Can be a bit slow syncing many items, no sync with Feedly

Four out of Five Dogcows

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Originally published and written for the Lawrence Apple Users’ Group 2.0 http://www.laugks.org/news and published by Dave Greenbaum at http://www.clickheretech.com