Reading an article on the iPad, iPhone, or Android doesn’t have to be aesthetically boring.The iPad, iPhone, and Android operating systems are all known for their streamlined, and very graphically-intensive user interfaces. Unfortunately for avid readers, RSS feed aggregators and other article programs haven’t kept up with the intensity that most app developers have in creating an original and very colorful, vivid design.
Two Stanford students, Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta, saw their frustration at a lack of reader as an opportunity, and created Pulse News Reader for the iPad. The program itself aggregates news from around the web, and presents them in a graphically-pleasing form. There is also the option to read a plain text-based variant of the article, for the purists and minimalists out there.
I find it fascinating how they’ve slimmed down the UI. From the above image, we can see that the latest four articles from each blog have been pulled via RSS and the thumbnail has been downloaded. I assume this doesn’t take much time, especially on 3G or Wi-fi, and it still looks very pleasing and has enough negative space to keep from looking cluttered. This is nothing new, as RSS feed readers have been around for ages: however, Pulse News Reader manages to make it look good.
It’s also rather interesting how they’ve removed the $3.99 charge and made it free. I’m assuming the two designers want to penetrate the market with Pulse News Reader, and decided that they’ve made enough money off it initially. It’s a very interesting strategy, as now they can try to get the volume out and charge for ad space (although this is pure speculation on my part, I don’t see any ads from what I know of Pulse News Reader).
Originally priced at $3.99, the Pulse News Reader is now free across all systems, including the iPhone and Android. With such a great design and streamlined functionality, I can’t see any reason to avoid this product. Besides, it’s free — what have you got to lose? I’d definitely give it a whirl if I had my iPad on me right now.