Welcome to YALSA”s new weekly feature App of the Week. Every Wednesday a YALSA blogger will review an app of interest to librarians and/or the teens with whom they work. If you have an idea for an app that should be reviewed, feel free to send it to YALSA’s Blog Manager, mk Eagle.
Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
Cost: iPhone – 99’¢, iPad/Android – $1.99
Pulse is a news reader for the iPad and smartphones that turns browsing and reading feeds into a visual experience. Once you download Pulse to your device, the app can be customized to include up to 60 feeds. I subscribe to both Twitter feeds and more traditional feeds, for example sections of the New York Times, via Pulse. The feeds can be organized in the way that works best for you and the latest update to Pulse allows for the creation of separate pages of feeds so that Pulse users can organize content into separate categories of pages.
The image on the right shows the main screen of Pulse feeds on my iPad. Each row of feeds can be scrolled by dragging a finger across the screen. You’ll notice feed entries include a title, a short annotation, and often an image. I am easily able to scroll through the feeds looking at the images and captions and selecting the items that most appeal to me. When I find an item of interest I tap on it and the full article opens. In the landscape view on my iPad (see image below) I see the article in full on the right and on the left continue to see the list of feeds. Even when viewing an article I can still flip through my feeds and at any time select another item of interest.
Pulse makes it very easy to save favorite articles as well as share them via email or Twitter. The heart, shown in red in the image above, just needs to be tapped in order to save an item as a favorite. Favorites are automatically added to the top of the Pulse page. To share, all I have to do is tap on the silhouette image, on the bottom right of the screen, and make a selection of how I want to share the story.
For librarians trying to keep up with news from a variety of sources, Pulse makes it easy to do so via digital devices. Since I can access Pulse on my iPhone and iPad that means if I’m standing in line, waiting for a meeting to start, or riding on the subway or bus, I can easily check-up on the latest news. I don’t have to wait to be where my laptop is. I am able to check-in on news and keep up more easily than ever before.
For teens, Pulse can be a great tool for keeping up on topics of interest including topics related to leisure and educational pursuits. A teen might add Pulse to his or her device and read the latest celebrity gossip while waiting for friends after school. Or, while in the library, he might take out his smartphone and read the latest news from a favorite magazine or newspaper.
Pulse is a great app for keeping up. It’s customization features, visual interface, and ease of use make it an app worth trying out for those who are looking for a good way to manage feeds in a mobile environment.