NewsRack vs Pulse News Reader: 2 RSS apps for iPad

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You won’t believe me, but I swear that I bought Pulse, an app that displays RSS feeds in a horizontal/vertical graphic navigation, completely by accident.

No, it’s never happened before. I was innocently browsing around the iPad RSS reader apps in the store when, before I knew it, my finger had already clicked and clicked and I saw the familiar “purchasing…” message in iTunes. Hmm. Now that I had it, I might as well check it out. I then proceeded to purchase NewsRack, because of good reviews I’d read about it. Now was my chance to see how which app would feed my feed addiction (get it?) in a better way. The result is quite surprising.

My expectations were low at the outset, since I have spent over a year looking for a good RSS reader on the iPhone, in vain. Little did I realise how hard developers were working to exploit possibilities of the medium iPad.

Let’s look at NewsRack. In a word, it’s great. It syncs with Google reader. It’s visually appealing – a neat left feeds column is flanked by a larger content window, which lets you view in Safari, or share to various sources. It’s as good as browsing feeds on a laptop, superior to the same activity on an iPhone, where I’ve always felt that the small screen size was less than inviting.

And then there is Pulse, which takes feeds to another level, more 3-dimensional and fun to navigate. Swish sideways or from top to bottom to browse to your heart’s content. This is more stylish, more recreational. Clicking on an item opens a side window for in-app or browser reading or sharing. For me, perfect for short feeds reading on the go.

For now, I can imagine using both apps. I’ve loaded only my top 15 sites to Pulse, so I can check headlines and stories quickly on the go. Then when I’m home I can read through all sites news in detail using NewsRack.

I don’t think the developers envisioned their apps being used in tandem, but for the moment and for me, they complement each other perfectly.

Pulse News Reader for iPad can be bought for €2.99/ $3.99 and NewsRack (iPhone and iPad) can be had for €3.99/$4.99 at the App Store. I bought both for myself for use in this review.


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16 thoughts on “NewsRack vs Pulse News Reader: 2 RSS apps for iPad”

  1. Reeder is the one I settled on. Better than NewsRack for me.
    Instead of Pulse, I'm finding the more generic Flipboard more fun.

  2. I am a NewsRack user myself. It's a universal app and because of syncing with Google Reader I can have NewsRack on both the iPad and iPhone without (normally) having to sort through what I've already read. I suppose NewsRack on the iPhone is my "perfect for short feeds reading on the go" as yours is Pulse. I'm going to do some additional research on Pulse though – the layout looks more fun.

    1. Yes this was what intrigued me. Using the 2 apps at difft times and difft purposes.

      I like also that both apps are not overloaded.

  3. Reeder for iPad. i find that to be the perfect solution for me. It lacks the picture previews of Pulse, but I think it is a far more sexy product.

  4. I use Reeder for iPad as well. Quick loading, looks great, and it works! Surprised you have not tried Reeder for iPhone? That stopped my RSS app search!

    1. I tried out quite a few but rejected most cos they restricted the number on unreads to 200. Does Reeder have a max limit?

      1. Hi Alicia — No, Reeder does not impose any limits on unread (or any) RSS items that I know of. It works very well on both the iPhone and the iPad. The best feature is how quickly it synchronizes with Google Reader. Speaking of limits… I had read once before that Pulse only allows up to 20 RSS feeds to be (manually) configured; is this still the case?

        1. Yes to Pulse, this is no secret. Pls see my post to understand my habit of using the different readers for different scenarios.

  5. I love reeder on the iPhone, but it's not perfect on the iPad. I don't find the pinching piles very useful and it isn't very pretty. Still, it's a lot more functional than the "pretty" readers like Pulse or Flipboard and I think it works better than NewsRack or the other more traditional iPad readers.

  6. I have never liked RSS programs, but I have found that Pulse is fun to use — and it is easy to see all that's happening quickly. You are limited to 15 sites, but that's about right for me — top few in each category to keep up on events.

  7. Alice alice Alice. You can’t ask US questions about Reeder! It’s widely acknowledged these days as one of the best RSS apps out there, why didn’t you test it yourself, eh? Not sure of the logic in criticising apps for capping at 200 unread when Pulse can only load 20 individual feeds in the first place…

    1. Did you get the fact that I use Pulse for a different kind of feeds reading? I also need an app for heavy duty all feeds that I have missed reading. Sometimes I'm late on my reading and there are 1000 or more unread like on my desktop app, thus my question – does Reeder have a limit. Has someone responded?

      It's not my job to test all RSS feed apps either. Maybe you've done so and would like to write a piece on your findings so we can see why you are right that the app is the best out here?

      Cheers,
      Alicia

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