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Times (v1.1.1) by Acrylic Software

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Times is a RSS feed reader with a new approach to reading your news. You can organise your articles just like articles in a conventional newspaper.

I’ve been trying out Times for about 2 days now, and I must say I kind of like the refreshing approach it takes in this age cluttered with a mass of different RSS feed readers.

With a UI complete with page flipping transitions and lovely typography, I almost feel like I’m at the dining table reading a newspaper at breakfast. Occasionally, the animations lagged a little, but overall, the app is very responsive.

It’s really simple to use Times: You first add your feeds, and then add Pages, which are like categories, such as News, Sports etc.

To create your ‘newspaper’, simply drag your feeds into the sections of each page you want the articles to appear in.

By default, Times dims your articles after you’ve read them. This is a nice touch as the light grey colour really allows those articles to become non-obtrusive, allowing you to pick out unread articles in a glance.

A feature that I really like is Shelf, which is a place to temporarily store articles that you want to read later. It’s easy to access too: just hit the spacebar and the shelf pops out.

Times tries to download the full articles when possible. The feeds page curls down to reveal the article when you click on it.

It also meets our need to social network by allowing direct posts to Twitter, Facebook, Delicious and Digg.

I had a few hiccups importing my feeds from NetNewsWire; several of my feed names ended up as blank fields and others kept disappearing from my pages. Manually adding the rogue feeds solved all my issues, but Acrylic may want to iron out the bugs with importing feeds.

Another issue that I have with Times is the poor feed management. Sure, there is a search bar, but the array of feeds in a landscape box at the top (that only accommodates 3 rows) just doesn’t cut it. There’s no categorisation or folders, nor is there enough space to store many feeds. The argument for the latter is probably that this app is not for storing ALL your feeds; rather, it’s an app to read all your most important feeds. It’s also slightly annoying to have to move your cursor horizontally rather than vertically (All Macs are now widescreen) to scan across feeds, and this is aggravated by no scrolling implemented in the feed list. In fact, this is reminiscent of the widgets ‘manager’ in Dashboard that slides out from the bottom when you click the large ‘X’.

However, despite my complaints, Times makes reading articles a joy. I can foresee it becoming my RSS reader of choice when I want to do reading at length.

You can download a free trial of Acrylic’s Times here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. yiwei permalink
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 11:54 am

    V1.1.2 today.. haha

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