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Two Indian students develop Apple’s top paid app

Bangalore: Two Indian born Stanford graduate students have created a $3.99 application in the iPad. It is the top paid app in the entire iPad section of the App Store.The Pulse Reader app in the iPad was developed by Akshay Kothari (23) and Ankit Gupta (22) at the Institute of Design of Stanford University.

Kothari said the project was inspired by ‘a personal frustration at the whole news reading experience’ on mobile devices. The stylish and easy to use news aggregator service was developed in the Launch Pad class, where the budding entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to develop and introduce a product in just ten weeks.

Pulse is a clean and visual news aggregator and the reader takes up to 20 news sources that can be followed and a visual mosaic of the news can be created. The article can be tapped and a clean rendered view of the news story can be presented. The app allows users to see text-only versions of articles, which are basically cleaned-up versions of a news site’s RSS feeds, or to see the full articles as they are presented on the Web. It also lets sharing articles through Twitter and Facebook by passing the individual sharing tools presented by each news site.

News organizations are yet to get accustomed to iPad strategies but are quite hopeful about the success of pulse. “You absolutely do not have to give away something great for free,” said Michael Dearing, a former eBay executive who is a teacher of the Launch Pad class. “If you build something great, people will pay you for it,” added Dearing.

Nearly 15,000 people have downloaded this app and it has generated more than $40,000 in revenue, taking into account Apple’s 30 percent cut. Akshay and Ankit have created a company, Alphonso Labs, and are now working on versions of the app for other devices, as well as talking to potential investors.

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