NewsMac on Intel

Since Steve Jobs will probably announce Intel Macs tomorrow it’s about time to start talking about NewsMac Pro’s transition to Intel. In theory as a Cocoa application it should just be a case of recompiling. However there are a couple of third party libraries which NewsMac uses which are not universal binaries and which I can’t compile myself, namely eSellerate’s validation library (for handling serial number validation) and Unsanity’s smart crash reports library. While I’m the sure the later will be sorted very quickly it could take a month or two for eSellerate to catch up since everyone originally thought this transition wasn’t due to occur until June. Bottom line is that the release of a universal binary version of NMP won’t happen until at least eSellerate’s library is universal which may not happen for a few months.

If you’re still hanging on to 10.3 and not planning to upgrade before 10.5 hits the shelves then don’t worry, I will continue to offer a PPC only binary for 10.3.9 and later until 10.5 is imminent. (Universal binaries require 10.4 or later you see).

Thanks to Rosetta, NewsMac should run just fine on Intel Macs with no noticeable performance degredation for the majority of users. Given apps like MS Office and all the Abobe apps are almost certainly not ready yet either it’s fair to assume that most apps being run on Intel Macs will be running in emulation for the first few months of the transition anyway.

There won’t be a universal binary of NewsMac 3.2 as it’s a discontinued project.

Coming soon – 1.2.3

What’s in store for the next minor update to NewsMac Pro? Well the usual bug fixes and so on, but also a couple of new features which I think will be big usability wins. The first of those is going to be a new combined layout view that places channels and headlines together in an outline view to allow a new way of browsing. The second will be the listing of all headlines within a folder when a folder is selected but not a channel.

In other news…

NewsMac Pro 1.2 received a great review from NonStopMac.com [obsolete link removed]

Sneak peak…

Well it’s almost ready, 1.2 is feature complete now and I’m just polishing it and fixing a few issues. Mid-November is the probably launch time, although I have a PHP app I’m working on for a client which will be going live around that time too so NMP might get bumped a little bit if need be.

NMP 1.2

Clicky for big version.

You might notice a few UI changes, mostly minor stuff and the addition of the control for switching headline browsing modes (replacing the functionality of NMP’s old tabs). You can still have big icons in the source list and for channels if you want them. I turned off the unread headline column for this screenshot as I’m still working on some new graphics for that and it’s a bit fugly atm.

The New Browser

As well as tabs NewsMac Pro 1.2 also features a newly designed web browser. What I’m trying to do is bring over most of the standard browser features and put them into NMP so it can take over the role of your web browser entirely.

NewsMac Pro's new web browser

First obviously a reload/stop button is handy, even if you don’t need to use it much it’s reassuring that it’s there. Next up (although you can’t tell from the screenshot) is auto-completeing of addresses if you’ve previously visited them. There is also a history drop down which will show you the last 100 pages you’ve visited which is activated by pressing the down arrow key.

Then there is the Google search box, anyone who has used Safari or Firefox knows this feature is indespinsible in a modern browser so there it is in NewsMac Pro too. Off to the right of the search box is the ‘open in default web browser’ button which will load the current page in Safari/FireFox etc. should really need to.

The ability to bookmark webpages won’t be in 1.2, but will be coming soon after. 1.2 is coming along nicely, with any luck I might be able to get a preview out to testers by the end of the week.

Flag it!

NewsMac has always had the ability to flag or highlight headlines if they contain certain keywords. Well I say always, the feature was introduced with NewsMac 2 way back in 2003, and the functionally hasn’t really changed since. Until now that is, the next release of NewsMac Pro, 1.1.2 if you’re counting, introduces colour differentiated keyword flagging. You can assign a colour to a set of keywords to make it easier to spot headlines about specific topics.

NewsMac Pro 1.1.2 enhanced headline flagging
Specifying keywords to be flagged in NewsMac Pro’s preferences.

NewsMac Pro 1.1.2 enhanced headline flagging
Several flagged headlines. The flag colour is still easily visible when an item has been selected. To avoid any confusion about which row(s) are selected the flag colour only covers the headline portion.