Pulse News Reader – Keeping Tabs on the World
Tested version: 1.9.2
Latest version: 3.1.5
Requires Android: from 2.2
In the world we live in it’s crucial to stay informed on what’s happening all across the globe. I happen to be a “news addict” and I am constantly in the process of reading different newspapers, blogs and websites to give myself a balanced picture of current events. Pulse News Reader allows you to organize and manage all of your favorite news sources with a set of cool features and unique perks. Find out how you can personalize your news streams in today’s test report.
Features & Use
Pulse News Reader is basically a news aggregator that can fit all your favorite feeds under one stylish roof. Unlike your regular Android news apps, Pulse has different way of organizing your news. Instead of displaying all of your news sources in a single drop-down list, Pulse divides your news by source and displays them horizontally in rows. In terms of layout, this is a smart improvement. Instead of having to read through an endless stream of news, you get a clear overview of all the latest stories from every single source.
The app comes with several news sources pre-installed, but you can delete them and/or add your own sources. Pulse includes interesting selection of sponsored featured news sources. More importantly, Pulse can display status updates and links from your Facebook friends as separate unique news feed. Nice work!
Beside the featured apps, Pulse boasts a fairly broad selection of news content divided into the following categories:
Art & Design
Home & Living
News & Analytics
Each category includes approximately 10 to 20 different news sources. An overwhelming majority of the news feeds, especially in the Sports section, tend to be American. For those of you looking for more international sources, I would suggest adding them manually. To manually add your own favorite news sources, simply enter in the source name or URL to find what you are looking for. Here you are absolutely guaranteed to find exactly what you need. Impressive!
Alternatively, you can also sign in to your Google Reader account and integrate all of your feeds there with Pulse. This is the quickest and most efficient way to switch all of your favorite news feeds to Pulse.
And now for something completely different: you can share your news sources with others by “bumping” your phones together. Simply install Pulse on both phones, switch over to Bump mode and bump your phones against each other. It may not be the most useful feature, but Pulse definitely earns some bonus points for creativity.
Obviously, It goes without saying that Pulse allows you to share your favorite articles via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Depending on what type of RSS feed you added, the news source will either display the article in full or only show a limited teaser. Pulse does its best to display the content correctly and lets you access the full article from the web without having to read the app.
Essentially, Pulse can act as a regular browser if need be.
Perhaps the best news app out there at the moment. Pulse is a great package that includes all of the tools and feature you’ll ever need. At the moment, Pulse limits your number of source to 25, but this should change soon according to the developers. All in all a great leap forward in the news reader business.
Screen & Controls
When you first start-up Pulse, there’s a small tutorial screen that shows you where all the on-screen buttons are located. In addition, your first news feed by default is “Pulse Hints” – a cute little comic strip that tells you how everything works.
Generally speaking, everything is located right on the main screen. As already mentioned, the Pulse layout structures your news according to news sources. The news sources are displayed vertically in a list. Each news source has its own individual refresh button. You can scroll horizontally within each news source to look at articles in the past.
This kind of layout is efficient and reduces clutter. It’s a real pleasure to look at.
Just tap on an article to open it. Depending on the news source, some articles will be displayed in full including pictures, while others only show the teaser. This has nothing to do with Pulse News Reader, but rather with the particular feed you are using. Fortunately, you can always press on the web button at the top right to have the full-length article displayed in Pulse Reader. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Pulse did not have any problems formatting the text to fit the screen – even with content in foreign languages!
On the main screen, press the spoke-wheel icon to manage your sources. You can add, delete sources or change the order in which they are displayed. Press the + button to add new sources by selecting on the featured ones, searching for your own on the Internet or adding them from Google Reader.
The app’s settings are accessed via the menu button. There you can adjust the font size, update frequency and enter in your Facebook login information.
Speed & Stability
Pulse runs smoothly and quickly. All the menus are slick and fast. Pulse News Reader may, however, run a bit slower on older generation phones. Works great on tablets, too!
Pulse News Reader can be downloaded for free from the Market. No ads unless you count the featured news sources.