Currently there are only a handful of applications in the Android Market that have been written specifically for Honeycomb. One such title, Pulse News Reader, is a shining example of how gorgeous these new OS 3.0 apps truly are. Indeed, I've noticed that my tablet user experience on the Xoom is completely different from what it was on a Galaxy Tab. And thanks to news and magazine apps such as Pulse, I'm consuming more information and becoming more productive.
In short, Pulse is an RSS feed reader for Android. But it's the presentation of your articles that really sells this app. I should point out that for the sake of this review, I will be referring to the latest release (1.9.5), written with Honeycomb in mind. After more than 500,000 downloads, the smartphone version is definitely popular and something to use should you not have an Android 3.0 tablet just yet.
You will notice that upon opening the app, there are a handful of selected feeds that you can keep or delete. Should you opt to add additional feeds, you can select from more than a dozen categories stocked with a variety of sources. There are, of course, preset featured sources such as Flickr, YouTube, Digg, and more. What's more, a search allows you to find content based on keywords and Web sites, and you can import feeds you already track from Google Reader.
Pulse delivers each source in a mosaic-like fashion, with each feed getting its own row. The app will poll for new articles at whatever interval you choose, placing the latest info on the left-hand side of the screen. Tapping a headline brings up the article and options to share, open in Web browser, adjust font, and more.
Whether in portrait or landscape mode, the articles fill the screen with enough space left over to navigate other posts and feeds. What might look like information overload the first time you run Pulse, quickly becomes intuitive and never feels cluttered.
If I had one complaint it's that you can only have 25 news sources (I imagine that a device with the Xoom's power could handle more). Given this drawback, I've used preset feeds from Flickr and PicPlz just to discover new photos and content I might otherwise never have found.