inessential by Brent Simmons

The return of NetNewsWire Lite

NetNewsWire Lite 4.0 is up on the Mac App Store.NetNewsWire icon

It’s free. If you already run an earlier version of NetNewsWire, you can run this at the same time — it’s a separate app, with its own preferences, data, and caches.

It’s been years since there was a separate Lite version — but for years there were always two versions of NetNewsWire: the full version with all the features, and a free Lite version with just the basics.

(In fact, NetNewsWire Lite was the first to ship, way back in 2002. The full version followed in March 2003.)

The Lite version was often my favorite version, since I personally prefer simple, lean, light apps to swiss-army-knife-apps. And, at the moment, NetNewsWire Lite is by far my favorite NetNewsWire.

It’s a complete rewrite of the code base, which had last been re-architected in 2004/2005. It was overdue, and it’s taken about a year to do. The iPhone and iPad versions will soon use this code base too — and there will be a full, for-pay version of NetNewsWire 4.0 for Macintosh too. (The full version will have more of the features you’re used to: syncing, searching, starred items, AppleScript support, and so on.)

I’ve been coding for speed, stability, flexibility, and ease-of-maintenance. It’s a solid base to move forward. I couldn’t be happier with it.

The UI is new too, not just the under-the-hood parts. (Click the thumbnail below for a bigger version. Of course there are more screenshots on its App Store page.)

NetNewsWire screenshot thumbnail

For more about the UI, see my Flickr set with in-progress screen shots: The Making of NetNewsWire Lite 4.0.

(Also: the app has a Help book. I’ve put a copy on the web if you want to see it before trying the app. But, really, the app is free, so just go for it already, willya? :)