Android apps are often criticized for lacking the visual appeal and design aesthetics of iOS apps. There are apps like Slide Screen and Touiteur and which are truly beautiful. But, such apps are the exception rather than the rule. Fortunately, more and more iPhone apps are beginning to make an appearance on the Android market. As competition increases, other Android app developers will hopefully be compelled to improve.
One such app is Pulse News Reader. Earlier Pulse used to be a paid app on iOS as well as on Android. However, a couple of weeks back, the Pulse Reader team decided to make it available for free on all platforms. I have been using Pulse as my primary feed reader for the past week (previously it used to by FeedR and My6Sense). Here’s my in-depth review.
The attention to detail impressed me the moment I started using it. On first launch, you are presented with a curated list of feeds under the “Featured” tab. If you wish, you can dig deeper and “Browse” through a larger selection of popular feeds organized into categories. I simply imported my feeds from Google Reader. One odd thing about the Pulse app is that it only supports up to 20 feeds.
Pulse Reader presents your feeds as horizontally scrollable columns of thumbnails. Tap on the thumbnail and it will open the content. On websites that offer partial feeds, Pulse can strip away all additional formatting and junk, and scrape the full content. If you enjoy reading stuff in context of the original website, you can do that too with Pulse’s web mode. As you might expect, sharing options (Facebook, Twitter and more) are baked right into the application. Pulse Reader executes everything with a flourish. There are neat animations when you switch between screens (see the video embedded below). However, these animations never get in your way.
Techie Buzz Verdict
Pulse is all about making consumption of information clutter-free and fun. The interface is simply stunning. Unfortunately, when it comes to features, there are a few significant lapses. The cap on the number of feeds alone might be enough to deter many users. Additionally, Pulse lacks a search function. It also doesn’t have the ability to hide read messages or organize feeds (although with just 20 feeds, organization isn’t really necessary). These drawbacks will perhaps make Pulse unsuitable for heavy duty users. However, if they aren’t a deal breaker for you, go ahead and try it. It’s definitely a pleasure to use.
Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)