Why I think Pulse, and not Flipboard, is the best iPad app so far

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I have just written a story for Shiny Shiny http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2010/08/flipboard_-_has.html asking if iPad owners are still Flipboard. Although I think Flipboard has some very striking visual features for me it just isn’t useful enough.

I am not saying that it isn’t impressive and I do think it could have an interesting future as a platform for bloggers and indie publishers, http://ashleynorris.posterous.com/could-flipboard-become-a-wordpress-for-the-ip but quite frankly it just isn’t useful enough.

Given the choice I would always use a proper Twitter client like Tweet or Tweetdeck to find out what my friends are saying, because as well as reading links (and maybe commenting on them too) I can interact with them and reply, retweet and DM. For me Flipboard is just too much of a sit back experience. Twitter and Facebook are all about getting involved, not just reading.

I also cringe a little when I see people’s tweets sitting in isolation in the magazine format. Flipping past images and stories then seeing someone tweeting about transport-related issues or what they are cooking for tea, seems very odd.

I am however getting addicted to Pulse. It is a paid for RSS reader that delivers stories in a very visual way (it basically grabs a thumbnail and the headline) which is perfectly suited to the iPad. The team behind Pulse also added a very cool feature last week that enables the user to create their own link blog using Posterous. Basically each time you like a story it appears on your blog as well as on a dedicated channel on Pulse.

It is such a shame that Flipboard grabbed so much of the spotlight. It might be superficially very impressive and I bet some killer uses for the app are not far away, but for now Pulse is so much more useful.

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