The Pulse News app is an iPhone Must Have

Pulse News for iPhone, iPod and iPod Touch

Photo credit: alphonsolabs.com

The Pulse News app describes itself as “a beautiful application that makes reading news fun and engaging”.  It promises to transform your news sources into “a colorful and interactive mosaic, instantly”.

Well, I’m happy to report that this description is on point. Simply put, Pulse is the best app I’ve come across with in a long while.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Pulse iPhone app is that it’s intuitive. If you’ve been operating an iPhone even just for a week, you’ll know what to do with the app as soon as you open it.  Navigating the app, adding more news sources, and sharing stories are all easy.  In case you need help, though, the app also provides some tutorials.

The app is also incredibly visual – a clear departure from most RSS Feed reader apps, which all tend to be boring. The use of images (taken from the stories themselves) creates a stunning mosaic that makes reading news and blogs more fun.

Also interesting  that Pulse tends to load faster than most other news apps . Both the Mashable and the Techcrunch apps tend to take a few seconds to load new stories on my 3GS; the Pulse app seems to do it in half the time.

What’s most incredible is that the app is free. Frankly, this is an app I wouldn’t mind paying at least $2.99 for. (I thought that the least I could do was write a good review for the app; hence this blog post.) If Alfonso Labs, the creator of the app, decides to use advertising as a business model someday, I just hope that they maintain the neat features of the app.

If there are possible limitations, it could be that it only allows up to  20 news sources. Quite frankly, though, I don’t want more than 20 news sources on my iPhone. I just want the best ones while I’m not on my desktop. (I can see it being a necessity for iPad users.)

Over the last few days, Pulse has already rendered some of the apps on my phone useless. Pulse News is a visual, slick, and engaging app that all news junkies should have.The app is also available for Android and iPad users.

The CrossProcess iPhone App is pretty darn good

I’ve actually had the CrossProcess app on my phone for awhile now but I only found the time now to write a review about it.  In a nutshell, if you like to take unique and gorgeous pics, this is an app for you!

The CrossProcess app lets you take interesting photos. Pic taken with my iPhone.

Advantages

The app has the same advantages as the ShakeIt app, which may not be surprising since it’s from the same developer.  (View my review of ShakeIt app here.) In addition, though, I like that CrossProcess has thinner borders. The pictures taken by the app are also longer in length compared to ShakeIt.

Disadvantages

Right now, you can choose from four difference “process” options: red, green, blue and basic. You can also choose whether you’d like to add a border and whether you’d like to save the original. I’d like to see even more interesting options. For instance, a black border would give the pictures a more interesting look. Having said that, I have to claim ignorance on how Cross Processing film looks like, so perhaps my wishes are not appropriate for this app.

The bottom line

I happen to like CrossProcess better than the ShakeIt iPhone app, so I definitely recommend this. It’s super affordable and, as you can see in some of the examples I provided here, the pics turn out interesting and beautiful. Hipstamatic is still my fave iPhone photo app, but CrossProcess is a close second!

ShakeItPhoto App: Polaroid for your iPhone?

ShakeIt Photo advertises itself as a Polaroid-like application for your iPhone.  According to Nick Campbell, the developer of the app, it works just like a real instant camera – you can watch the photo develop instantly and make the pictures develop faster by shaking your phone.

I downloaded this app almost a week ago, and I’ve been happy with it.  While it’s not as good as Hipstamatic, ShakeIt Photo app has a unique set of features that may make it worth your money.

Advantages

  • For just 99 cents (or $1.29 if you’re from Canada), you get a decent photo app that lets you take cool pictures. This app is crazy affordable!
  • Unlike Hipstamatic, this app lets you edit pictures you’ve taken with your iPhone (or with other iPhone apps) and apply the features.
  • You can upload the pictures directly to Facebook or to a photo blog.  (I’ve noticed that you can’t upload Hipstamatic pictures directly from your phone to Facebook, probably because of the size of the image.)
  • The app has user-friendly interface.

ShakeIt Photo allows you to edit pics. This pic, with my cute nephew Gabby, was originally taken by a digital camera and was uploaded to my iPhone.

Read on read about the disadvantages…

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Hipstamatic: The Cool New iPhone App

Thanks to Justin Timberlake’s blog, I discovered Hipstamatic, a cool new app for iPhone.  For just $1.99, this app lets you take vintage-looking photos with your phone.

The one big advantage? With the “standard equipment” loaded with the app, it lets you play around and mix and match lenses, film and flashes. And if you want even more features, you can easily buy them from the app itself. Most additional lenses, film and flashes are available for $0.99 USD.

Immediately after downloading this app, I started taking pictures.  As you can see, the pics have a unique feel to them. Here’s one I took of myself:

Please note: If I look tired in this pic, that’s because I was. I was busy finishing a paper the night before!

More sample photos and some minor disadvantages of the app after the jump!

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