There are several apps for iPad in the “reading category”. And after having experienced several of these applications, I can say with absolute certainty that Flipboard is the best one you’ll find (right now). Flipboard is one of the few applications which makes you want to use it regularly.
What is Flipboard ?
Functionality and Support
Flipboard, unlike many other applications in this genre, provides an extremely versatile selection of feeds. From Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to to RSS and Blogs, you can have your pick. Flipboard is unique in yet another aspect: it adds major web networks and blogs (Engadget, Appstorm, etc) for you to add to your Flipboard account. This is a particularly great feature since it makes the articles look much better than they would otherwise. Also, publishers have the option of requesting such a feed for their own blog or website.
User Interface and Appearance
To me, the appearance and user interface of an application is the most important aspect, even more than the use of the app itself. If it doesn’t look good, I know I won’t use it so I don’t even bother to download it. On the flip side of the board (forgive the corny humour), there are also some apps, which, even if I have no use for, I would download it purely for its gorgeous looks and great UI. Flipboard is one of those few applications which falls in the intersection of use and appearance.
When you open Flipboard, you’ll be greeted with a stunning screen which displays the cover stories in a neat layout typical of Flipboard. You’ll be prompted to “flip” the page to reveal your personal Flipboard page. This Flipboard page, after several customizations will display all the feeds (Twitter, Facebook, RSS, Blogs) that you would like to read on a regular basis. You can also keep “flipping” to more pages based on the number of feeds that you have set up. Tap on one, and you’ll be greeted with a beautiful screen with all the posts of that particular feed. At this screen, you can also browse through all the posts in the feed through a time bar at the bottom.
Tapping on one of the posts will display it in a nice and clean screen with the font size adjusted to your preferences and the images nicely streamlined within the post. All pages have a little share sheet button which allows you to share the post to Twitter or Facebook or any other account that you have set up, email it to a fried, retweet it and do much more. All of this can be done within the application itself. Each post also has a button at the end of the post which allows you to view the original article in an in app browser.
The Flipboard screen is also gifted with a little button on the top right which really makes the app look ebullient. Tapping it discloses a beautiful sidebar that pops out from the right hand side and allows you to add your accounts, feeds and a lot more.
But details aside, what’s the best part about Flipboard ?
Well, everything looks stunning. Every single screen is amazing, every post appears crisp and pleasurable to read. I would go on, but it’s probably better if you experience it for yourself: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flipboard-your-social-news/id358801284?mt=8
Although not too often, Flipboard does have a tendency to display incomplete articles which can be quite troublesome. However the little “View Original Article” (in-app browser) button make
Cost, Alternatives and Rating
Alternatives: Zite and Pulse are similar apps for iPad that come close to achieving Flipboard equivalency but they still aren’t the same
Rating: I’d have to be far too critical to give this app anything less than a ten, considering its features and price. Yet I’ll succumb to its (very) few Shortcomings and rate this application: