Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta, two Stanford grads who signed up for the Launch Pad class at the University’s Institute of Design (aka d.school), could have hardly chosen a better path to try their hands at startup life. The pair has gone from idea to a (very cool) digital news app for the iPad in just 5 weeks, and they’re just getting started.
The application, called Pulse, is essentially a visually attractive RSS-based news aggregator. On sale for $3.99 (iTunes link), the app is aimed to please both hardcore RSS reader users and people who are willing to pay top dollars for single publication apps.
Pulse’s home screen renders stories from multiple sources on a dynamic mosaic interface. Swipe up and down to see headlines from various sources, and right and left to browse stories from a particular source (thanks for featuring TechCrunch in the demo video, guys).
Tapping on a story takes you to a text view of the article, and lets you switch to a Web view simply by toggling the appropriate button. You can also easily share articles with your friends on Facebook and Twitter or by e-mailing a link to the article. As you can tell from the video embedded below, Pulse works well in both Portrait and Landscape view.
We should note that streaming video in-app is not yet supported due to stability issues, but the makers promise that the next update will come with support for embedded video playing.
Big plus: Pulse can integrate feeds from your Google Reader.
Big minus: you can only add 20 RSS feeds to the reader (up from 10 at launch).
Nevertheless, a must-have (or at the very least, a must-try) app if you have an iPad.
Do not despair if you do not: Kothari and Gupta will expand Pulse to other platforms ‘very soon’, starting with the iPhone.