Alphonso Labs, the developer of Pulse News Reader for the iPad – the same app that garnered a bit of attention a few weeks ago when The New York Times asked Apple to remove it from the App Store – has submitted an iPhone-specific version of its elegant news reader app for approval. We got our hands on the build submitted to the App Store to see how it works on our iPhone 4.
We were a little concerned that a smaller screen would make Pulse News a bit less enjoyable to use but we’re pleased to note that Alphonso Labs has adapted the interface well to the iPhone. Much of this may have to do with the iPhone 4’s superb Retina Display but we expect that the app will still be quite readable on previous iPhone models as well.
Pulse News for the iPhone works exactly like the iPad version. The app comes pre-loaded with some sample sources and it’s easy to edit the source list to suit your tastes. Added sources are shown in horizontal strips – scrolling horizontally shows you all of the loaded items for that source and scrolling up and down moves you through all of the sources you’ve added.
If you’re a Google Reader user, you can also add sources from your Google Reader account right within the app. Sharing articles via Facebook, Twitter, or email is easy and Instapaper support is also included.
Tapping on an individual item expands the article to take over most of the screen while the source strip remains visible and scrollable at the bottom of the screen. The source strip smartly disappears once you start scrolling through the article and reappears when you tap on the small tab that remains visible. Tapping on the title box at the top of an expanded article brings you to the actual web view of the article online.
The app is iOS 4 compatible as well, saving its last state so you can go right back to where you were when you go back to it after using another app under iOS 4’s multitasking feature.
Alphonso Labs has posted a video showing the upcoming app in action:
While Pulse News is still not an app intended to help you power through hundreds of RSS feeds quickly, it remains a refined and polished way to leisurely read news and updates from your favorite sites in its iPhone incarnation. If you already own the iPad version, you’ll need to pay again to purchase the iPhone version, but we don’t mind paying for a quality app for a specific device.
Pulse News for iPhone is currently awaiting approval from Apple. Alphonso Labs has not yet divulged how much it will cost when released.