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Pulse newsreader makes transition to web

Newsreader app Pulse is expanding beyond the confines of mobile apps and bringing an HTML5 version of its service to the Web.

News junkies can now peruse the latest stories from their favourite magazines, newspapers, and blogs on their PCs, not just their mobile devices via

Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta launched Pulse two years ago on the iPad as a business class project at Stanford University. By June 2010, Steve Jobs was singing Pulse's praises during the introduction of the iPhone 4, and it has since expanded to the iPhone, Android devices, and the Kindle.

Until now, however, Pulse has been "extremely mobile focused," Kothari said in an interview this week. The company didn't even really have a website; just a placeholder with links to the Pulse app downloads. But over the years, a Web-based Pulse was "easily the biggest request" from users, Kothari said.

Users of the Pulse app will recognise the Pulse experience on the Web, but a few tweaks have been made in the move from apps to Web. Pulse for Web has a brand-new design with "content that fills your whole screen," Kothari said.

"Pulse for the web is designed for discovery. The dynamic layout takes full advantage of the size of your browser, making large beautiful images the centre of your experience," Pulse said in a blog post. "Your content will always fill your browser without wasting a single pixel. You can also easily switch from a smart dynamic layout to a simple chronological layout. An easy infinite scroll ensures that you're never out of content to explore.

Accounts are synched, so content added on the Web will show up the next time you launch the Pulse app on your iPhone or Android device. Sharing options allow you to push stories to Facebook and Twitter, as well as email or save for later.

Pulse worked with Microsoft to incorporate the multi-touch gestures available in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 into Pulse for Web.

"It takes just one swipe to move between articles, a two-finger swipe brings up your reading list, and a simple pinch closes an article to take you back home," Pulse said on its blog.

Ryan Gavin, general manager of IE, framed Pulse's move to the Web as a "third wave of site development" whereby companies with a major app presence are turning back to the Web. Still, Gavin doesn't see it as an either/or situation when it comes to apps vs. the Web. Instead, companies are going to determine what's best for their business, he said.