John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Booted Pulse iPad App Returns to the App Store–But How?

Pulse, the iPad news reader lauded by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his WWDC keynote Monday only to be pulled from App Store hours later after a complaint from the New York Times Company, has been reinstated. Earlier this afternoon, Pulse returned to the App Store–though it’s not quite clear why.

The Stanford University graduate students who designed the app say they submitted a new version to Apple (AAPL) that doesn’t preload the Times’ RSS feed, but as far as they know, it is still awaiting review. In other words, the app that’s currently available on iTunes appears to be the original version that inspired the takedown request.

I own the app and a quick check of my iTunes account shows no updates yet available for Pulse. And on my iPad, it’s still pulling in an RSS feed from the Times.

I have asked Apple and the Times for comment and will update here if I hear back.

In the meantime, here’s the New York Times (NYT) explanation for why it complained about the app in the first place.

The Terms of Use on our RSS feeds makes it clear that the RSS feeds are available for non-commercial use only. By charging for an app ($3.99) that gives users access to our RSS feeds, they are violating that provision of the Terms of Use. Furthermore, when a user clicks on a story in the News Pulse Reader, it takes them to the site, which is framed within the News Pulse Reader app browser, as opposed to taking them directly to our site.  (Since our RSS is not full text, once a user of any of our RSS feeds views the RSS headline/summary of any of our articles, a user can click a button in the app labeled “Web” & this opens our Web site up but keeps the user within the App.) This is a violation of the Terms of Use. Finally, they are using the Times name/content to promote their app, particularly because the Times RSS feed comes preloaded on the App and we are featured in their demonstration video: