A few days after an update that brought proper Google Reader sync and faster loading times, the developers of Pulse News Reader for iPad issued a small update on their online backend (it means you don’t need to check for updates in iTunes) to bring extensive support for a series of APIs. What Alphonso Labs is doing is very simple: they’re slowly moving beyond RSS. And with this move, they have embraced APIs as the new way to fetch content from various services like Reddit, Vimeo, Youtube and Digg.
RSS, as many have noted, sounds very geeky - something we find impossible to explain to our mothers. RSS provides the plumbing to visualize a variety of news sources, but it is never mentioned in the app. We added a layer of usability that really resonated with our mainstream users.
For a lot of our users, Pulse has now become their go-to “browser” for consuming content. And this content does not have to be restricted to RSS feeds. Today, we’re adding SIX brand new sources to Pulse.
The new sources reside in a “Featured” tab you can check out when adding content to Pulse. What’s great about this integration is that posts from Reddit and videos from Vimeo are pulled in seconds and displayed in Pulse as if they were new articles coming through RSS. Browsing Reddit with content and links on the right panel and the visual gallery on the left is incredibly cool.