I have seen a few articles over the last couple of days on the issue of Google Reader shuttering it's doors. There are a lot of people who still use the service, regardless of Google stating the user base is declining and using that as one of the reasons they are closing it down.
There are all sorts of reactions to the closing of that service such as petitions to save it, hope that the closing of it will bring about an innovation in RSS, suggestions on alternative services to replace Reader, are just a handful of the many reactions in response.
I currently use Reader myself, and use it multiple times a day, everyday. I do so mostly on my iPhone using the app Reeder. This app's lifeblood today is Google Reader, but the developer posted a tweet stating that the app would be fine without Reader. Currently though until the folks who develop Reeder announce what their plans are, I was wondering what to do in the meantime as a possible alternative.
I started to think about how I use to consume the web before the iPhone, and remembered that I use to use an app called NewsFire by Dave Watanabe. I was curious if NewsFire still existed and wondered, as I haven't used it in quite a while, if it could load RSS feeds directly into the app instead of being dependent on loading your Google login and password to filter Google Reader RSS feeds through the app, as Reeder does.
I went to the NewsFire website and was pretty excited when I clicked on the download button, and it opened the Mac Appstore. I was a little disappointed that the price was $9.99. I love to support developers, but at the same time I am mindful that I already paid for Reeder on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone. So to pay another $10.00 for an RSS app was not something I was looking to do. I regularly use the website appshopper.com, and it's companion iOS app, to be notified when software goes on sale. A quick search brought up NewsFire and I clicked on the name of the app which brings you to a page (NewsFire on Appshopper) that displays all of the same information that the Mac Appstore does such as a description of the app, screenshots, the price and a buy button.
The site is also useful, because it displays the price history of an app from the time it debuted on the App Store to the present. What I found interesting is that the app became a Mac Appstore app on February 3, 2011 and was priced at $4.99. Coincidentally the only time that there has been a price change was on March, 14 2013, the day after the announcement that Google was shutting Reader down.
Some back story on what my experience with seeing this developers name on the web. Around 2004 or 2005 when NewsFire was released, anytime there was a story about it or any of the developer's other software there was always a huge uproar about the developer's practices. Claims that he was using code that was not his (I do not know if this is true and I am not accusing. I just know what I have read many people say), among all sorts of other rants in the comment sections. I used the software and quite liked it, but it was hard to look past how much discontent everyone had for the guy.
A quick search on MacUpdate for NewsFire brought me to a disgruntled user on the very first page in the comments section. User younkint posted a comment on February 18, 2009: This comment was posted four years ago, but also four or five years after NewsFire was released.
Before you consider installing ANY software concocted by David Watanabe on your computer, please do a decent Google search of "David Watanabe" first. Especially do this if, for some reason, you are contemplating actually sending him your hard earned money.
It will not take you long to come to a conclusion. Even a simple search here on macupdate should suffice.
I did a Google search and came up with a whole page dedicated to complaints about Watanabe.
I know that developers make their living from selling their product, but this to me seems so unlike what most developers would do today. I would expect most developers would try and help users out by running a short sale to try and get people an app with which they can load all of their feeds into, and give the user a way to migrate away from Reader now. By helping people out it would only boost their sales, because those types of discounts tend to circulate tech websites that cater to people who would use their software. The dip in price would certainly make up for itself in the volume of sales that would be generated.
The biggest problem I have with this is, that knowing the public opinion of the developer from years past, and the fact that the only price change to this app since it was accepted into the App Store was a $5.00 increase the day after Google announced that they were doing away with their RSS solution, just doesn't seem right to me.