One of the first apps I downloaded for my then-new iPad was Flipboard. Flipboard lets you read pages from websites based on their RSS feed. It works like a magazine: the sites you choose to follow are block images on a grid; tap the block, and you see articles; tap the article to read the whole thing. I raved about Flipboard here at my blog a couple years ago.
Over time, though, Flipboard began to lose its shine for me. The images in those blocks weren't always new images of articles from the site I had marked to follow. That meant that at times I didn't know if something new had been posted at the site. I had to tap the block to find out if I was missing something.
There was another feature that bugged me: "Popular on Flipboard." Some articles would be tagged as popular. That would be a nice feature, if I wasn't already following that site. Since I would be, that tagged article would be an obstacle to get to new content. It bothered me, seeing something that I had already read through, popping up again, as if somehow I needed to read it again.
Earlier this year iPad Today took a look at some news reading apps. I wasn't interested in the apps they showed, but it did send me to the Apple App Store to search for other news reading apps. I came across one called Pulse.
Like many of these apps, Pulse follows RSS feeds. After just a couple of days of using it, I came to like it over Flipboard. Flipboard seems to limit you to three pages, with eight feeds per page. Pulse gives you up to five pages, with nine per page. Each feed is a row on a page. The latest "thing" is on the left. Swipe right, either on the block of items or when you call up an item, and you see what's next in order. The text on things you've seen is bright white; once you look at it, the text is dim. You swipe left to go back.
The Pulse layout is much cleaner than Flipboard's. There's no guessing if you've read something or you haven't. I don't know if you can tap into Twitter and Facebook feeds, like you can in Flipboard, but that was a feature I never used.
Pulse is now my app for keeping up with various blogs, a few news sites, and a few Apple sites.
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