Pulse News Mini for iPhone - App Review

Pulse News Mini for iPhone is one of the newer RSS clients to appear in the App Store.  I happened to catch it in the featured section of the App Store and figured I'd give it a try.  Up until now, I've been a faithful fan of the Reeder client for iPhone.  I'm starting to think that Pulse News Mini could definitely give it a run for it's money.

Read on for more screenshots and a walkthrough.

[iTunes Link]

The first thing you'll notice upon launching Pulse News Mini is how visual it really is.  You can really interact with your feeds in ways other RSS apps don't let you.  There are 2 general motions you'll use to read your news feeds. The first is just general scrolling from top to bottom.  This will allow you to scroll through your different feeds.  The second is from side to side.  This lets you tab through past feeds.

If you find something you want to read, simply click on it, when you start scrolling through the article, the menu bar will disappear, and when you're ready to look for something else, one tap will take you back to the main menu, or you can choose to continue scrolling through that particular feed along the bottom of your screen.

Pulse News Mini also includes Google Reader integration, so if you're using the Google RSS service, you'll be good to go and won't have to search for any feeds (but that's always an option for those of you not set up with Google Reader).  You can also delete it or remove feeds from within it at any given point in time.  I really like it isn't all or nothing.  If I don't want "all" my Google Reader feeds, I can selectively choose which ones I'd like to add after logging in.

The only thing I've noticed about this app that I'd like to see in a future update is an unread count and more customization by way of administering your settings for feeds.  In Reeder, I have it set to sync any feeds no less than 2 days old.  This app seems to only congregate feeds from the past 24 hours.  Sometimes I get busy at work or home and don't read feeds for about a day, so I like the option of being able to sync them back as far as several days or weeks if I want.  Little things like this may keep me going back to Reeder every once in a while to read more dated feeds, but I think if Pulse News Mini releases some quality updates eventually adding these features, I'd be able to make Pulse my main RSS client.

Pros

  • Extremely visual UI
  • Great user interaction with feeds
  • Several feed setup options
  • Google Reader integration that is customizable

Cons

  • No unread count
  • Only syncs 24 hours back (as far as I can tell)
  • Not a lot of user customization at this point

TiPb iPhone 4.5-star rated

[YouTube Link]

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

francolasalsa#IM says:

Have this for my iPad , awesome app but I like early edition better. Maybe this will be a good google reader on my 3Gs

unchew says:

There is also no way to do grouping or to mark all as read i love the interface and keep going back to it but newsrack is a amazing incredibly configurable rss reader that just seems to work better. i love how the facebook share option works but not a fan of how twitter or email sharing works either. they update fast though looking to improvements.

JD says:

Way too high a rating on this app. Both the iPad and iPhone apps are overrated IMHO. Apps like Reeder blow this out of the water. The cons you listed should remove at least one if not two stars from any accurate review. For some reason people seem to like this app but i think its the story (students make big) behind it vs. the functionality. Its really only a good reader for those who have less than 5 or so they care to watch - no power RSS reader would use this.
I guess I'm getting tired of over-rating apps.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

@JD
For most people this is a great visual RSS app. I do love Reeder and use it still, on a daily basis. Like you said, for most it works. I use pulse when I quickly want to browse feeds, I use reeder when I sit down to read tons of feeds.

TheChampJT says:

You can't be serious with that review. This app is garbage compared to Reeder/RSSPro. The UI is great on this app, and that's really it.
For those who don't know, this app limits you to 20 feeds and has absolutely no options except for adding (limited) feeds.

danielkbx says:

"News Wall" uses a similar UI but does not have a feed limit. An unread counter is included so you should check it. It is not yet released, however, the review team already has it.

jordandev says:

It has a nice looking interface, but isn't actually very useful so I would say it deserves more like 3 stars. Negatives are the limit on the number of feeds, not syncing back read status of articles to your Google Reader, and there is basically no customization options. The very nice looking slick UI cannot save it when it is lacking so much.
RSS readers like NewsRack, Byline, Reeder (my current favorite ATM), or MobileRSS work so much better for anybody who has more than just a handful of feed sources.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

@jordandev it should be syncing your read count with google reader. Mine does.

Thom says:

I can only get 20 feeds from Google Reader to show up. Not a very good part of this reader if you ask me. If you can sync with Google Reader you should be able to get all your feeds to sync. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but it wasn't worth the 2.99 if I have to go and manually add in all my google reader feeds.

robotphood says:

Not sure why so many sites rate this app so high. It is nice visually but there's nothing else that makes this app stand out.

Sean says:

Do any of these RSS apps do anything the Yahoo App does not? That was free and does a good enough job imo, but maybe im missing something?

SeattleBrad says:

When you do an app review, please include the price of the app. Very important info.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

@SeattleBrad - we never include prices in app reviews anymore. it just doesn't make sense because of the fact that app prices change so often with sales and just price drops in general. if someone google searches an app, gets one of our articles, and the price is wrong, we don't want to give them information that isn't accurate, so we just include an iTunes link now. We used to include prices, but we changed that. it just makes more sense long term ;)