While the interwebs is still buzzing about the new “social magazine” iPad app Flipboard, I thought I’d add my two cents to the fray. Despite some of the challenges (see “some obvious CONS” below), there are a number of brilliant things happening with the app that I hope inspires others moving forward.
Preloaded Headlines and Summary from my Twitter and Facebook Networks.
Ironically, this is the current buzz around the web: is Flipboard scraping content illegally? Wherever this legal mumbo-jumbo falls, I do hope there’s a solution. It’s just brilliant. My wife commented yesterday on how she would use Twitter if the feed were displayed this way. Otherwise, the stream is just daunting. This magazine-like layout for my Twitter and Facebook stream is a significantly much easier and elegant solution. Power this functionality with Semantic Data and this magazine-like browsing experience will be remarkable.
Visual Mode to Content
The main page is an auto-rotate through the current feed’s set of photos/images. As a 4th screen (yes, I have 3 screen in my work space), I would use this visual mode as a picture frame into the day’s rotating news/buzz stream. Great idea. Obviously, the images are a bit random and I would love a way to determine the visual feed.
Social Network Integration
I can retweet, like and comment right in the app. Is there a reason to go to the website at this point? I’m sure Zuckerberg isn’t very happy about that.
On pages where a gallery of images are present, Flipboard will automatically devote a grid of photos to the entire page. Smart.
There are some obvious CONS to the app:
- Being a week out, it is a bit buggy.
- I wish Twitter list actually work cause that would be great channels. And I wouldn’t feel so bad about how much effort I put into my relatively useless Twitter lists.
- Content isn’t cached. So no subway reading.
- The seemingly random selection for photos as well as their crops could stir an issue for visual purist.
And as the app evolves, I’d love to see:
- Google Reader integration
Some reviews around the web:
- A Prettier Way to Browse the Social Web (nytimes.com)
- Flipboard, New “Social” iPad Magazine will be Powered by Semantic Data (readwriteweb.com)
- Flipboard Has $10.5 Million To Launch iPad ‘Mag’ Edited By Friends (paidcontent.org)
- Flipboard iPad App Pretties Up, Declutters Your Social Web Life Into Magazine Form (fastcompany.com)
- Hands-On: Flipboard Turns Your iPad into a Personalized Magazine (wired.com)
- Flipboard Wades Into Murky Copyright Waters Where Google Lives (gigaom.com)
- Flipboard: A startup’s first bad day or success? (scobleizer.com)
- Meet Flipboard (YouTube)
UPDATE: Well, well, well… it looks like there is Instapaper via Settings. Thanks for the heads up, Marco!