Flipboard for iPhone: From Nay to Yay

Flipboard

So the big news in iPhone apps was that Flipboard was now available. While everyone was salivating to get their hands on Flipboard to the point of crashing the download server I was like “huh?” I had no idea what Flipboard was.

My cousin is a Mashable groupie and his father a news junkie. It was from both of them that I received a GChat and AIM message regarding the release. My cousin was dismayed that yet again his iPhone 3G was left out on the newest coolest stuff. I see a 4S in his future.

I checked out Flipboard and just didn’t see the point. I still don’t have the name right and refer to it as Flipbook on occasion. I asked my cousin what the point was. Why do I need it? Like Tumblr, I still don’t get the need. It looks cool and I want to like it but what does it do? He tried to explain that it was like a Reader of sorts that could also link with Twitter and Facebook. Like a social Feedburner hybrid with pictures? I told him that if I want to check Twitter I open up Twitter, Facebook is the same plus just reading the timeline kinda defeats the purpose if you can’t respond or post. Also I’m not a fan of linking all my accounts and giving all my info to all sorts of companies.

I need a reason. Like the iPad, great device but I haven’t found a use for

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it for me. I have a computer. I even got rid of my TV because it got no use next to my Mac Pro.

So I downloaded Flipboard, almost typed Flipbook again, to give it a test run. The website didn’t give me a clear enough explanation but I’m up for a test run of the latest free stuff. Note to self: delete Shadow Cities account.

The interface was intuitive enough. I chose some news feeds in a few categories; politics, tech and sites like Gizmodo and Mashable. Flipbook populated its squares almost instantly. I started flipping through the articles. Twenty minutes later I was still flipping and reading and emailing articles to people.

I get it.

Oprah - Aha moment

Oprah knows all.

I was flipping through articles much faster than loading a full blown web page. I normally browse through sites and read an article that looks interesting and then pass it on to my cousin, Facebook or Twitter. This was great. Did I mention I was laying in bed and it was 1 am?

I’m not sure how it selects the order of the articles or which to load but it’s a good way to check the latest news quickly.

So I found my use for it. Yes it’s basically like an RSS reader but visual; which helps. Every time you load it up it refreshes from the sites and you’ve got a new set of articles to flip through. It’s almost like having a new magazine issue every time you open it. Again, the visual aspect may be the reason because it’s not just a barrage of text. That’s what makes the Web much friendlier than, say, Usenet. The first thing I did in the morning when I woke up was reach for my iPhone and check Flipboard to see what’s new. This might become an Alec Baldwin type problem.

Seriously though, download Flipboard and check it out. I never used readers before and I still haven’t entered my Twitter or Facebook info but this will be a useful app to have. From the user experience I can assume though that it makes it easy to share the articles with those two services but paranoia is healthy. I may have to take a look at Tumblr now.

Additional:
http://flipboard.com
http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/07/flipboard-launches-on-iphone-ipod-touch-introduces-cover-stor/
http://macdailynews.com/2011/12/07/overwhelming-iphone-demand-crashes-flipboard-servers/

Jaylon Carter
Jaylon Carter is a blogger, social media marketing consultant, former Congressional Campaign Media & Communications Director, and a Hip Hop artist who performs under the stage name Timid (@timidmc). He also runs NetBuzzDigest.com, a subscription newsletter informing parents of current happenings on the Internet.



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