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FLUD, “Sexy News Ecosystem” - More Like A Pulse Clone.

Oh boy. Another visual newsreader on MacStories. Yeah, sorry about that guys - but I had to cover this. I know that you’re probably getting tired of reading about this new trend of visual newsreaders (where by “visual” one means squares with titles and thumbnails, arranged in a list) and that you’ve had enough with dozens of clones of clones in the App Store, but this one had to be covered.

Rememeber Pulse? That Pulse. Remember its UI? Remember its features? FLUD is embarassingly similar to it, in a way that I wonder how Apple approved it.

No really, it looks and works just like it. You can import feeds from Google Reader, or search for new ones manually inside a popover search field. Feeds will be arranged vertically, but you’ll have to horizontally scroll articles. Articles, indeed, are displayed as squares with  title, a thumbnail and a brief excerpt. Where have I seen this before?

There’s more. You can mark articles as favorite, share on Twitter, Facebook and Email, switch from web view to text view with a tap on a button. Oh, and when you open an article the scrollable feeds list goes at the bottom. And when in portrait mode? At the side, of course. This goes beyond the mere level of similarities: like I said, it’s embarassing.

I’m not saying that an app shouldn’t come with pretty common features like web / text view or Facebook & Twitter features. It’s not about the feature list - it’s about the implementation of the whole package. If you open Pulse, close it and fire up FLUD you’ll think you didn’t quit Pulse at all. To me, it looks like the same app all over again.

For the sake of being completely honest, I have to say FLUD has a couple of interesting and original features: I liked the way you can tap on a thumbnail to make the sharing panel appear, and scrolling the feeds list when in portrait mode (and below the article) allows you go beyond a single source.

But other than that, FLUD is a clone. With a buggy engine and clunky web view. I’m so disappointed I don’t even want to go look for the iTunes link. You shouldn’t buy this, go take a look at Pulse instead.

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