I’ve always enjoyed Flipboard, a brilliantly designed news magazine for iOS, Android, and Windows phone. The appeal is twofold: the clean, appealing design, as mentioned, and the fact it uses a myriad of sources for articles, to which you can additionally plug in your own various social media accounts.
This past week, Flipboard announced their 3.0 update, with topics, easier interaction with people, better notifications, and a slightly revised UI. It works – both myself and my friend Ronnie have lost countless hours in Flipboard since.
For me, the update couldn’t have come at a better time. I was already lamenting my failed promises of intentionality on Twitter. Sure, there’s the Shared Links feature in Safari on iOS, and that is really nice for just finding news on Twitter without all the other social wrangling that goes along with it sometimes. But it’s not very nice to look at, and it allows for zero interaction other than tweeting the link to an article after you’ve opened it in Safari. Adding the ability to retweet something from Shared Links seems like a no-brainer to me, but Apple doesn’t agree, apparently.
One of the best things about Flipboard is flipping. You can create magazines for your own enjoyment or for other people to follow and read. You can flip whatever you want into them, either by copying a URL and opening Flipboard, or by using the nice Flipboard extension in iOS to flip articles from apps like Safari, Unread, Feedly, and more.1
Obviously other people can create magazines too. You can follow their magazines individually, and you can follow the person as well so you can see anything they flip into any of their magazines.
It’s fun to see comments from others on things you’ve flipped into magazines or to comment on theirs. People can also share things with you specifically, which is handy too. Notifications in the app keep you informed of these friendly interactions.2
The addition of topics to Flipboard was a nice one. They claim on their blog that there are over 30,000 topics to follow, which is nice if you really want to define the scope of what you’re reading.
Reading articles is enjoyable in the app’s polished UI, and you really do feel like you’re reading a magazine. Even if all you do is read articles without any social interaction or flipping of your own, it’s a great experience.
If you like keeping up to date on what’s going on, but would like the ability to focus on your interests and possibly interact with a few people you like or trust to post interesting articles, Flipboard 3.0 is a really nice option. Curating your own magazines is easy, if you want to dive a little deeper into it, and it’s a lot of fun. You may even find yourself with the astonishing realization that Flipping Flipboard saved you from Twitter!