Flipboard: A Review

    As an iPad owner, I am always on the look out for interesting applications — be it a game, sudoku puzzle, e-reader, or social media client. There was one particular application that caught my eye: Flipboard.

    Flipboard is a unique concept. It is an application that takes a different approach towards media aggregation. Instead of just being an aggregation client, Flipboard takes your social stream — currently only Facebook and Twitter — and creates a magazine-like layout.

    When I say your social stream, I really mean your social stream. When you finally get your invite for Flipboard, you must give Flipboard the ability to use the following aspects of your Facebook profile: ‘Access my News feed & Wall’, ‘Publish content to my Wall’, and the most important, ‘Access my data when I’m not using the application’. This last one is important to keep in mind if you are a privacy minded individual. This procedure is the same for Twitter as well.

    Once you have attached your social accounts, you will be presented with your timeline in a beautiful format as displayed below.


    One thing that Flipboard does is look at the context, and try to add items that might be related to the page. In the picture below, you can see that everything is related to food.

    Some people have been mentioning that Flipboard is a horrible application due to Flipboard removing ads and causing blogs to lose money. Well, to those people, I say look at the application first. You do not get to see the entire article unless the article is quite short. You get to see the first sections. If the article continues a ‘Read on Web’ button will be shown so you can finish the article on the website. This should satisfy website owners who try to make money off of the advertisements and the number of page views.

    There is one feature I would love to have in the application: the ability to access my google reader feed and present that as a magazine. Right now, I tend to only read the headlines of an article and if it seems interesting I will read the entire article. Having a full magazine might tend to make me read the whole article.

    If you’ve got an iPad, and like to try applications, give Flipboard a try. Flipboard is free and is available in the App Store now.

    I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.