Developer: MADE BY RABBIT
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Through all of the recent reviews on 148Apps.com, have we sufficiently conveyed to you that there is a GLUT of RSS readers out there for both the iPhone and the iPad? In spite of the massive amounts of competition out there, more continue to appear every day. While I question the business acumen of those attempting to break through in such a frenzied market, there are nonetheless several new readers out there deserving of your attention. Flud is one of them.

When you first start Flud you will undoubtedly think you have launched the wrong app. “Wait!” you’ll tell yourself. “I know I clicked the Flud icon! Why is Pulse opening up?” Worry not, my friend; you have indeed opened Flud correctly. It just looks so much like Pulse you are forgiven for the case of mistaken identity. So the question begs to be asked: if it looks like Pulse, and it seems like Pulse, why not just download Pulse? Good question. The simple answer: Flud is better.

Anyone familiar at all with Pulse will recognize the user interface in Flud. You are presented with a visual timeline of several feeds (you can add more at any time via the app’s interface, and even transfer your Google Reader feeds to Flud…more on this later) and the most recent news items for each. Touching a story opens a larger window where you can read the story or view it on the web if the feed does not provide complete stories. You can also share the item via email, Facebook or Twitter (like Pulse, there’s no other social integration or even integration with Read it Later or Instapaper), or “Love” the item and place it in your own personal feed. This latter feature is exactly like your “Pulsed” items in Pulse. Again, the programs are so similar there hardly seems a reason for both to exist.

But then, there’s the issue of performance. Generally speaking, I found Flud to be much more robust and snappy. Items open faster, feeds load quicker and scrolling through the feed timelines is much more responsive. In addition, you can sort your feeds into categories, allowing you the ability to handle many more feeds than Pulse currently does and organize those feeds much more effectively.

I mentioned Google Reader earlier and it bears returning to the subject. Like Pulse, Flud does not provide Google Reader syncing. Instead, you can access your Google list of feeds and add them to your Flud account manually. It works, I suppose, but I’m still looking for a Flud/Pulse-style reader that offers true two-way syncing via Google Reader.

Flud is definitely not a revolutionary product. It’s evolutionary at best, and it remains to be seen how Pulse will upgrade their own product in response to this competition. At the moment, Flud has the edge, but that probably won’t be for long.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad News, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,