Visually appealing news reader Pulse, which was shown in Apple’s keynote for the iPad, was quickly pulled due to a spat with the New York Times. It has finally returned to the App Store, and is now also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Pulse News Mini provides the same great visual interface as Pulse News for the iPad, but redesigned for the iPhone interface. Pulse is an RSS reader that reformats your RSS feeds into a visual format perfect for the touch environment. Each feed is laid out in individual rows, with the most recent posts on the left. You look at your new headlines by scrolling up and down through the feeds. Moving left and right allows viewing posts in a specific feed. Pulse uses images from the story to add to the news feed. As you can see in the example above, stories with no images can look out of place in Pulse.
Selecting a news story brings up a clean view of that story, perfect for reading. While it comes preloaded with several news feeds, you can add RSS feeds from any site such as a news website or blog. For those already using Google Reader, you can connect to your Google Reader account to individually import your existing subscriptions. However, there are two important limitations. First, Pulse Mini only allows you to select up to 20 news sources. This will be an issue for the hardcore RSS reader but the casual user may not notice. Second, even though Pulse will import your feeds from Google Reader, it does not actually sync with Google Reader. Stories read in Pulse will still show as unread in Google Reader.
One nice feature is the integrated sharing abilities in Pulse. Clicking the image of a group of people in the top right of a story brings up the links for sharing the story on Twitter and Facebook as well as the ability to email or send the story to Instapaper.
For the casual news reader, Pulse Mini is a great way to put all of your favorite news sites and blogs into a single clean interface. For a demo of Pulse Mini, check out the video below.