Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The Pulse newsreader app is terrific.  Or I should say, was terrific.  The New York Times apparently thought it was a bit too good and recently arranged to have Apple remove it from iTunes.  Apple and the NY Times need to reconsider this decision.  And if the Times feels Pulse was stealing too many of their eyeballs, well, maybe they ought to introduce an iPad app of their own!  Please don't tell me they already have with that limited Editor's Choice app; I'm ready to pay for a full Times subscription on my iPad and these knuckleheads still don't have anything to offer!

OK, I'll stop ranting and tell you why I like the Pulse app and why, if you didn't buy it before it was removed, you should hope it's reinstated as well.  Pulse is nothing more than a tool that lets you work with RSS feeds visually rather than just a bunch of text.

One of the biggest complaints about it is that it only supports up to 20 feeds.  I considered that a strength.  Why?  Because I long ago abandoned my RSS reader due to the fact that every time I opened it I was staring at hundreds and hundreds of unread items.  It just became too depressing to sift through.  So by only having access to 20 feeds I'm forced to pick the best of the best.  And in the short time I've had Pulse, I've dropped a few feeds to make room for others.  Would I prefer they lift the ceiling to, say, 50 feeds?  Sure, but I can live with 20.  I find I'm keeping up with my limited number of feeds now, much more so than when they were buried in the several hundred I had in Google Reader.

One final point about Pulse that I've discovered: It's most effective for those feeds that feature graphical elements.  Text-only feeds look pretty dull in it.

It's too bad that the Times and Apple had to intervene with this one.  It's a great app and one that is well-suited for the iPad.  As one commenter noted in that Wired article linked to above, "don't worry -- the old people in charge who don't understand the internet will slowly die off and then we'll be good to go."  (Be sure to read all the comments on that article...there are some gems!)

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