August 10, 2012

Pulse Goes Web-Based After Successful Stint as App

For many users of Pulse, the hotly popular news reader that has recently made fans of quite a few mobile users in both iOS and Android (NewsAlert) varieties, about the only problem with Pulse was that they couldn’t get it near so readily on their more desktop-oriented devices. That’s about to change with the newly-minted Web app version currently found at Pulse (NewsAlert).me.

Pulse’s Web app, a combination of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3, not only looks to make news as easy to find and present as its mobile equivalents, but also gives a glimpse into a possible future in which Web-based technology looks and acts a lot more like its mobile equivalents. It’s even designed to operate in more of a touch screen-style environment, which will likely prove especially useful once Windows 8 starts making its appearance—along with more touch screen-focused hardware—at the end of October. It can sync with the Pulse mobile apps, and will interface with current subscriptions and Pulse’s various content partners to ensure the most possible news—and the most relevant news—lands for users.

Pulse had been fielding numerous requests from users for a Web-based version, said CEO Akshay Kothari, but the conversion process was difficult. Kothari cited the complexity of computers overall as well as the huge number of variables—screen sizes and resolutions, browser engines and the like—that comprise the Web experience overall, which in turn make developing for it particularly difficult. But given the growth of the mobile Web, and its frequent interaction with the more stationary Web, it was clear that bridging the gap would become necessary. But getting Pulse on the Web was a good idea all around, especially since Pulse is so widely used in its mobile form. Pulse counts around 15 million users, all accounting for fully 250 million stories per month, a number that has doubled since just December of 2011. Granted, that may not put it on par with some of the biggest Web sites out there, but it’s certainly not an audience anyone would want to turn down.

Yet there are plenty of problems with mobile development as well. Android suffers from a variety of different platforms; while Android offers its best experiences in its Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean versions, support must still be made for Gingerbread, an older version of Android that delivers what many consider to be an inferior experience, but is still the most widely used. Meanwhile, Apple’s (News Alert) iOS suffers from a complicated review process to get an app out in the first place. But while there are development issues on both sides of the mobile fence, it’s clear that the future is moving toward an experience in which the mobile Web and the more standard Web are a lot more similar.

Seeing how it all ultimately comes out, however, should prove exciting enough, especially as the best of one medium—like Pulse—finds its way to other media like the Web. Combining old ideas into new ones has given us many great concepts in the past, and seeing this work out should be well worth watching.

Want to learn more about HTML5? Then be sure to attend HTML5 Summit- a DEVCON5 Event, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. HTML5 has the potential to revolutionize user interfaces, challenge the status quo and change the future of both desktop and mobile web experiences. Join fellow web developers, designers, and architects, as well as technology leaders and business strategists who will gather in Austin to learn strategies and tactics to implement and execute HTML5. For more information on registering for the HTML5 Summit click here.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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