If you are not familiar with Pulse it is a news reader and has been available on mobile devices for quite some time, but only recently moved into the desktop and here on Windows 8 now. The interface you get here is nearly an exact clone of the desktop version you can use at this location http://pulse.me.
It is a reader that combines all your feeds into a mosaic. If you have not previously used it, you will naturally have to add feeds to it. As you can see I have some categorized though the initial view combines all your feeds in order of appearance. This desktop/Windows 8 view is quite different from that presented on my Android device. It means you will go by what catches your eye visually rather than the title of the article.
I’m rather indifferent to it, it doesn’t make me say “wow”, but nor does it make me say “why didn’t I think of that?”. It is usable but just a little too mixed up. If you prefer a slightly more ordered view you can choose them in the upper right (2 choices). You can also look at specific feeds by clicking on the category on the left and choosing that feed. So you don’t have to stick with the initial view.
It provides notifications, but here is where a setting really is needed. Every time I picked a source I was flooded with notifications for articles that just appeared. Why do I need notifications when I’m in the app itself? Just highlight the new articles or something like that. I know notifications can be turned off but I’d be fine with them more when not in the app.
You can add additional feeds quite easily just by clicking on “Add Content. You’ll get a category listing and the ability to search. It slides in from the right and I think has quite a good selection. You can add Facebook, Instagram and Twitter even to name a few other sources but may not all be supported in the app (only tried Facebook – interesting how you can sign in with it, but it doesn’t support the feed). I also found my feed without having to type in a URL, just searched for it. It is shown below as the second choice. Click the + sign and it was added into whichever category I wanted.
Interesting how it shows a snippet of a recently added post above but not the most recent. Upon adding it though it had the most recent information. My feed is shown below in Pulse.
Frankly viewing my posts I like them in this jumbled view, it gives quite a good look at the various posts and you can easily find one that fits your fancy. I wish I could choose by default to have a certain view for certain feeds not have to change it for each feed or leave it alone and sometimes not like the view. One thing I do like is the image fades when it is a post I have read in the feed. It definitely helps you track ones you have viewed. The content though only goes back about 2 weeks in some feeds, like mine, but most just keep going and going. Perhaps a limitation on added feeds but not an issue since primarily you want to read new articles using an app like this.
Articles pop in front of the app essentially as you would normally see them. I do like how it is in the same format as posted here on WordPress but it certainly is outside normal Windows 8 conventions. Continuing with that it has sharing icons on the left of the article, just like its desktop counterpart, though they do open up the Share charm. There are two that work separate from the Share charm, the star is for saving an article and the ‘Aa’ button to choose from two different reading modes, 3 sizes and two fonts. I prefer the default font but good to provide these options, I like customizability. The navigation arrows in the upper right of the article allow you to advance to the next article (or go back) without having to close the view.
Search – not used. Share – as mentioned you can activate share with the icons in the article but it also works using the charm directly. It supports Twitter, Facebook, Mail and various other apps you might have but I was surprised to see Smart Shopping in there. Settings – there are no settings in the charm. There is a separate settings gear icon in the lower left corner where your picture is. You can’t change much there and nothing like default views, etc.
It works perfectly in one-third view. You can access all the content just as easily as in full screen. You can even add new content, just click the blue “P” to go to the category listing and it is there, and works just as well though you can’t search for a feed. Although the sharing icons appear in the article view, they do not work in one-third view. This wasn’t totally unexpected. Clearly some though was given to making sure this view was usable.
It has a live tile, but I only saw it active in the larger view. The Pulse icon being fairly easy to distinguish though no article titles were providing just images.
I like the assortment of feeds and ease of selecting an article and reading it. The design though will not be loved by all. I find it breaks with Windows 8 design, which isn’t totally a bad thing. While I’m usually on the side to prefer the traditional (if we can say that) Windows 8 look, an app needs to stand out from the crowd and Pulse News certainly accomplishes that feat. It depends on how you like to read your news.
I recommend it for its versatility and unique visual view and you can sync with your mobile device as long as you use the same login information (in my case Facebook but you can use email as well). This ability to sync makes it highly recommended even if I’m not a big fan of the jumbled view.
Category: News & Weather> News
Download size: 8.67 MB
Publisher: Alphonso Labs