NetNewsWire is, as Second Gear’s Justin Williams says, “the elder statesman of the Mac OS X platform.” Brent Simmons’ newsreader has appeared on countless “must-have” app lists, and was one of the most treasured pieces of Mac software since even before anyone outside of Cupertino knew the iPhone was going to exist. On the third birthday of his app Today, Williams takes a nice look at NetNewsWire, both how it has worked visually over the years, and how it has grown along with the platform and stayed relevant for so long.
The app originally started as MacNewsWire — there were only a few set Mac news feeds, and no Safari, WebKit, or Core Data implementation (because those things, you know, didn’t actually exist yet). Over the years, the app has both grown and become more tightly focused, aimed at both what users have requested and of course Simmons’ own vision of what the app is supposed to be.
We’ve talked with Simmons before about translating the app over to iOS, but this is an excellent look back at NetNewsWire’s history, and a great guide for how to keep a Mac app strong and popular for a long time.