The Pulse News Reader is one of my most heavily used apps, checking into it daily. It’s a great news source that lets you easily add any news outlet you follow, and then the stories are transcribed into a wonderful thumbnail based grid array. In March, LinkedIn acquired Pulse, but up until this point things have remained the same. That officially changed today with the brand new 4.0 update to the Pulse app, which comes with a rebranding as LinkedIn Pulse. The app has the same functionality, but the design has been tweaked, and the readability has taken a hit. The clean seamlessness of the previous version has been replaced with odd white gaps, and a seemingly greater disorganization.
Not only has the main view been messed with, but so has the article view to the point of again adding in extra blank space. The top of each article has a half page of empty grey space, as most images don’t load properly. Another problem is that the gestures have been altered, so there is still the ability to swipe between articles, but the only way to go back to the main screen is by tapping a small “x” in the upper left, which is an unneeded hassle. There’s an iOS 7 design emphasis, but the ideas were simply lost in translation. The biggest change is that you can now log-in to LinkedIn in the profile section to then see aggregated news stories from LinkedIn, and share other news pieces to your LinkedIn profile. It’s an extra layer of clutter that simply doesn’t fit with what the Pulse news reader app offered before the new version. It’s worth noting that CNN acquired the Zite news reader, but if anything the app has gotten better since, and definitely not worse.
LinkedIn Pulse (Free, Universal) doesn’t deserve the Pulse name, and the 4.0 update makes it easy to get rid of one app on my device. This is an instance of where saving previous app versions comes in handy.
Previous version on left, 4.0 on right (iPad version is even more of a mess):