NetNewsWire 2.0 for iPhone Unusably Slow

NetNewswire iPhone app icon

I recently upgraded to the latest version of NetNewsWire for the iPhone. Like many out there, I had been eagerly awaiting the new version 2.0 that would sync with Google Reader. Having my desktop feeds back in sync with the iPhone was going to be one of life's small pleasures

...it was not worth the wait.

In short - NetNewsWire 2.0 is unusable.

The software has numerous design flaws and seems to be faulty in many ways. The biggest issue is the time it takes to load feed data. It's so long my short attention span has moved to other things (like watching paint dry in the shade) before the first blank screen has refreshed. It's a huge step backwards from the previous version in my opinion. When I say slow - this is on the iPhone 3G over 802.11g wireless.

Of course it's free so you'd be a prick if you complained too much but they are trying to flog the no-adds version for a couple of bucks and this is not making me feel inclined to cough up.

Issues I have with it are:

Faults

  • the unread badge count doesn't work - mine has been stuck on 940 for a few days
  • slow as all fuck in many screens
  • the Show/Hide Feeds takes for ever to show up
  • Show/Hide Feeds doesn't work - after unselecting numerous feeds and going back to the feeds list it starts to download everything again. Sometimes they stick sometimes not.
  • it has crashed a few times
  • and when it crashes the feeds are all selected on next launch - which in turn takes for ever
  • when selecting or de-selecting feeds in the Show/Hide Feeds, feed icons seem to come and go from the left, not just the one being clicked.

Design issues

  • no sort order for feeds - in particular the sort-by-attention option
  • no unselect or select all button in the show hide feeds
  • Show/Hide Feeds is a flattened list of all feeds - why not follow the convention of many other iPhone apps of having an edit button, leaving the hierarchy of feeds and their folders in place and adding the delete, hide, add option in that view?

I could go on...

Admittedly it's easy to slag things off in a blog after minimal testing. I have tried a few times to limit the number of feeds in my list (82) on the iPhone to see if performance improves but even that has been difficult to achieve with it crashing and turning them all on again.

It leaves me with the impression this is one of two things

 - either a rushed job by good developers whose work got compromised by some crazy deadline promised by the boss 

- or they don't care about this product any more but felt they had to knock some crap together to keep the punters off their back.

Let's see what transpires.

I'll be looking for a new feed reader, perhaps the google offering will do.

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