RSS aggregator FeedDemon and e-mail client Postbox both have released recent updates to their not-quite-ready for prime-time programs.
FeedDemon 188.8.131.52 beta 5a continues to build out the feature set of the popular RSS and Atom feed manager. FeedDemon 3 is shaping up to be a must-grab improvement on the last stable release, version 2.7.
FeedDemon 3 is able to synchronize feeds not only with FeedDemon's own Web site, NewsGator, for online news reading, but it can also talk to Google Reader. I jumped away from Google Reader because at the time it was sluggish and I wanted to get my podcasts out of my music jukebox, but I've always regretted losing the convenience of having my e-mail and my RSS reader online and smoothly talking to one another. Google Reader integration means that users will have more flexibility in how they use the program and should broaden its appeal. Beta 5 synchronizes Google Reader and FeedDemon tags as well as the feeds themselves.
FeedDemon 3 comes with a slight interface refresh, too, although it's mostly done in service to the new features. The aforementioned tagging is new, bringing a bit of modern convenience to those who use keywords. Sharing has been made easier with a new Share icon, and shortened URLs such as bit.ly or TinyURL support mouse-over tooltips now.
This is becoming a must-have security feature as phishing attacks adapt to more pernicious methods, and works well in FeedDemon 3's stronger support for Twitter. Author names, replies, and hashtags are automatically linked, and profile pictures also appear. Fun stats such as how many unread items and how many flagged items you've got are surfaced, too.
If you do decide to try out the FeedDemon beta, back up the current version first. Go to File, Manage Cache, Backup, and create a back up folder to deposit the backups in. Full release notes for v184.108.40.206 beta 5a can be read here.
Postbox beta 12 for Windows and Mac updates the well-received remix of Mozilla's Thunderbird. New features include search suggestions when you're typing and smoother integration of folder search with global search. Switching between the two is now marginally simpler. The inspector pane on the right side of a message has been tweaked, as well. Sender details, image thumbnails and dimensions, and the revamped search options for messages, images, links, and attachments have been rolled into the pane.
Mac users should find better support for native Mac address books and Growl notifications. Firefox 3.0.10 bug-fixes have also been integrated into this version of Postbox.
Postbox beta 12 is a small update overall, but because of the bug- and security-fixes that have been implemented I'd strongly recommend upgrading. Full release notes are here.