August 15, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Android is not starved for options when it comes to news readers, but it certainly never hurts to have another. The latest news and RSS reader, FLUD, has arrived for Android after starring on iPhones previously.
FLUD is a news reader that benefits from visual design and a wealth of sources. The basic design is similar to Pulse in that it has a grid layout that shows thumbnails and headlines. Once the user taps on an article, Flud strips down the design to be optimized for mobile devices: a nice black, and grey theme with images and video downsized to thumbnails but viewable by tapping. But if you’re someone who wants a better view, Flud also shows a mobile view and can open links in a browser.
Design is only one part of Flud’s benefits. The app is also great because it has an offline mode for reading without a web connection, and social features like reading a Twitter timeline and opening links within the app. Flud users can also share to Twitter or any other app capable of using the Android share function (Read It Later, Instapaer, Gmail, etc). It’s especially useful for being able to bookmark articles in the event that you don’t have time to read full stories right away.
In addition to finding and recommending news sources, Flud syncs with Google Reader and can read your RSS feeds within the app. This is incredibly important because other reading apps have fallen short in this area. That’s one advantage that Flud has; however, there are some drawbacks to the app. The early-release beta that I’ve been using for the past few days had some force close errors and did not work seamlessly on tablets as it did on phones. I haven’t had time to re-test on the version that just went live in the Android Market, so it I can’t count Flud among the best just yet. If the company can expand on an already slick design and strong concept, that shouldn’t be a problem for very long.