Developer(s) Current: Black Pixel /
Former: NewsGator Technologies
Initial release July 12, 2002 (2002-07-12)
Stable release
3.3.2 / August 2, 2012 (2012-08-02)
Preview release
4.0.0 build 152 (Public Beta 17) / March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13)
Operating system Mac OS X, iOS
Type News aggregator
License Proprietary

NetNewsWire is a news aggregator for Mac OS X and iOS, and was one of the first desktop RSS readers on any platform.


NetNewsWire was developed by Brent and Sheila Simmons for their company Ranchero Software. It was introduced on July 12, 2002, with NetNewsWire Lite, a free version missing some advanced features of the (then commercial) version,[1] introduced some weeks later. Version 1.0 was released on February 11, 2003, and version 2.0 was released in May 2005. At that time it included custom feed views, custom downloading and opening of podcasts, synchronization of feeds and feed status between computers, Bloglines support, and a built-in tabbed browser.

In October 2005, NewsGator bought NetNewsWire, bringing their NewsGator Online RSS synchronization service to OS X.[2] Brent Simmons was hired by NewsGator to continue developing the software.[3]

NetNewsWire 3.0 was released on June 5, 2007.[4] The version added Spotlight indexing of news items, integration with iCal, iPhoto, Address Book, and VoodooPad, Growl support, a new user interface, performance enhancements, and more.

The application was originally shareware, but became free with the release of NetNewsWire 3.1 on January 10, 2008. NetNewsWire Lite was discontinued at the same time. NetNewsWire 3.2 moved to an advertisement-supported model, with an option to purchase the application to remove ads.

An iOS version of NetNewsWire with support for the iPhone, iPod Touch and later for the iPad was released on the first day of the App Store. It includes syncing of unread articles with the desktop version.

NetNewsWire Lite 4.0 was introduced on March 3, 2011 on the Mac App Store. While it misses several of the advanced features included in NetNewsWire 3.2, it includes a completely rewritten code base. In the future, this will be used in the iOS versions of the app and for NetNewsWire 4.0 which will be shareware again.[5]

On June 3, 2011, the acquisition of NetNewsWire by Black Pixel was announced.[6] For two years development had been apparently stalled, with a gap in updates from 2011 through the release of the version 4 Open Beta.[7]

On June 24, 2013, NetNewsWire 4.0 was announced and released as an open beta by Black Pixel. This announcement also brought news that the product would be a commercial product, with no free component (though the beta would be free to use through the final release).[8]

The final release of NetNewsWire 4.0 occurred on September 3, 2015.[9]


NetNewsWire was well regarded by many users and reviewers. According to FeedBurner, NetNewsWire was the most popular desktop newsreader on all platforms in 2005.[10] The software received a Macworld Editor's Choice Award in 2003[11] and 2005[12] and maintained a 4.8 out of five stars rating among reviewers at Versiontracker (now CNET).[13] Ars Technica called NetNewsWire's built-in browser "hands-down the best of any Mac newsreader,"[14] and Walter Mossberg, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, said that NetNewsWire is his favorite for Mac OS X.[15]

See also


  1. "NetNewsWire feature chart". NewsGator. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  2. Fleischman, Glenn (2005-10-10). "NewsGator Acquires NetNewsWire". TidBITS. Adam C. Engst. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  3. "NewsGator acquires NetNewsWire". Brent Simmons. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
  4. McNulty, Scott (2007-06-05). "NetNewsWire 3.0 now available". TUAW. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  5. "The return of NetNewsWire Lite". Brent Simmons. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
  6. "NetNewsWire acquired by Black Pixel". Brent Simmons. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
  7. "NetNewsWire 3.3". Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  8. "NetNewsWire 4 Open Beta". Daniel Pasco. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  10. "RSS Market Share". Burning Questions. FeedBurner. 2005-01-10. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  11. "The 19th Annual Editors' Choice Awards". Macworld. Mac Publishing. 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  12. Frakes, Dan (2005-12-20). "NetNewsWire 2: Even with Safari 2.0 in the picture, RSS reader remains indispensable". Macworld. Mac Publishing. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  13. "NetNewsWire". CNET. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2013-06-31. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. Warren, Brian (2005-09-22). "Mac RSS Readers". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  15. Mossberg, Walt (2005-05-05). "A Guide to Using RSS, Which Helps You Scan Vast Array of Sites". All Things Digital. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
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