Inferiis’s MacReporter is designed for news junkies who need regular fixes – it’s a dinky little utility for the Dock that newshounds shouldn’t be without. It uses a list of plug-ins to collect headlines from a large choice of Mac sites, plus many others.
News addicts around the world must wonder how they managed in the days before electronic-news wires. Now, stories can be posted online, shared, licensed, copied, listed in portals and emailed in newsletters. In the hope of reaching mass audiences, information-led, content-rich Web sites have been racing to get the most up-to-date, best-quality news. After the news sites, came news portals, with their headlines and summaries from many sites across the Web. Even Google is gettingin on the news-hunter act, with its own news channel – although this is US focussed at the moment.
MacReporter saves precious time and effort by polling the Web sites at set intervals and fetching news from these sites. Click on the headline and MacReporter tells your browser where to look for the whole story.
You can set it to sound an alert and show the number of new and unread news stories on an icon in the Dock. It will mark as read any stories you’ve looked at. In the MacReporter Preferences panel, there’s a long list of all the news sources that have plug-ins for MacReporter. There’s a huge list of Mac-related sites, including Macworld UK.
MacReporter developer Inferiis takes requests from registered users for new site plug-ins, but has been so inundated due to the popularity of MacReporter that it’s just published a beta of MacForge on the Inferiis Web site. MacForge lets developers create plug-ins for Web sites. As it’s a beta, it isn’t rated here.
The registered version of MacReporter 1.1.2 offers news headlines immediately. However, the unregistered version hides half the articles from each site. A registered user can ask that a new plug-in be added to MacReporter, and also receives free upgrades and support. Being OS X native, and easily accessible via the Dock makes MacReporter one of the most timesaving utilities available for news junkies. This review appeared in the EXPO 2002 issue of Macworld magazine