Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flipboard - a cloud magazine

Flipboard, an iOS app for iPad and iPhone, was Apple's iPad app of the year 2010. The iPhone app was published in the end of 2011. Driven by pure curiousity I downloaded it instantly. Now it is one of these quite rare homescreen apps that I use on a daily basis.

The main menu of the iPhone app is designed in a tile style. Every tile represents a news section (e.g. Business and Politics), a social network (twitter and facebook) or a certain website. Additionally, there is an iPhone-only (Flipboard update from 2012-03-01) feature called Cover Stories which is meant to show the most important news from all your selected streams.

I use the news sections only for a fast skim of what is going on. For me, the core function is the integration of several social networks. For instance I have integrated GoogleReader, Twitter, facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn. Normally, I do not open the Twitter app, instead I only open Flipboard. This is possible, as you can use the favorite and the retweet functionality directly in this app. This applies for the other integrations as well. Of course, you will not be able to replace the official apps for your social networks with Flipboard, but for the daily use, it is the best way to get fast impression of all networks.

One functionality, that really shows the love for details of the developers, is that you can even add a "read later" service (you can choose from Read it Later and Instapaper). In every article you read, you can just select "Read Later" to save it in the respective service.

Both the iPhone and the iPad app look great and make it a pleasure to navigate through the news.

-- Update on 2012-05-05: --
Flipboard is coming on Android.

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