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pulse

Over the last couple of years that I’ve had a smartphone, I’ve steadily moved my news reading routine from the desktop over to the phone. It wasn’t the best of experiences on the tiny screen of my old LG Optimus One, but the HD screen on the Galaxy Nexus does make it extremely good at scanning through a news article so I can decide whether to mark it to read later on a bigger screen.

The other big change in news consumption over the last couple of years has been the shift from traditional RSS readers to dedicated apps that do a much better job of collating and presenting updates. While Flipboard took its own sweet time to arrive on Android, a host of competing services – including one from Google – attempted to grab and lock in those users looking for a simple, elegant yet gorgeous way to consume their daily dose of content updates.

Having played around with a bunch of these apps, I’ll share my take on how they work out for me. I’ll avoid the usual RSS readers and Google Reader front-ends here, and go with the top three — in my opinion — dedicated news reading apps on Android at this moment: Flipboard, Google Currents & Pulse. Rather than talk about each app individually, I’ll discuss how they all fare on some of the most important features.

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Todays smartphones give users a wealth of functionality: as a portable internet browser, music player, camera and even sometimes to make phone calls!

One use that continues to be popular is using a smartphone to read and aggregate news. Now, although there has been a slew of the aptly coined term “Jumbo Phones” announced over the past few weeks, the smartphone screen can sometimes be too small to comfortably browse text based websites.

Applications such as Google Reader or Feedr look to remedy this by developing an RSS reader built for the phone, but scrolling through text headlines is not much more intuitive than the previous option. Enter: Pulse.

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