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Flipboard: a new browsing experience

A colleague of mine put me onto this really quite neat iPad app.
Excellent social browser! Let me introduce Flipboard for iPad.

There are now quite a selection of browsers on the iPad.
Most concentrate on apparent identity security or preprocessing the information in some way, usually for the presentation layer.
Flipboard is one of the latter. The principle is simple: it provides a magazine style interface. For your common browsing themes.
Visual Presentation
The screenshots further down will tell you far more about this excellent application than I can express in words. They have a YouTube video showing the key features too.
The simplest ideas are often the best and this application should have been produced many years ago. Indeed some PC browsers (e.g. Flock) have attempted this social mashup but never quite felt like the finished product, lacking the smooth flow and feel though some might eventually be better. Flipboard actually succeeds where they all failed and it is primarily down to the nature browsing experience inherent in a touch screen technology like the iPad.
Swipe and Tap
Navigation is controlled simply with nature swipes and taps on the various content items, gestures. There are quick and easily identifiable onscreen shortcuts to aid navigation further. Responsive and a joy to use.
The transition animations are very well presented too.
Social Browsing
The key feature of this application is that it hooks directly into your social streams to present to you those things that you need or are interested in. Plus it does this all with style.
Twitter, Facebook, Flickr accounts can be added plus the excellent opportunity to add Google Reader and present all your feeds together.
Social activity is presented, as I mentioned earlier, like a glossy magazine. So I open my Twitter Section and there are the most recent followed entries. But there is more; Flipboard has prefetched some of the content and present snippets of shared links, images, videos. The overall effect is startling.
No more following links, I can see the shared image right there already.
Similarly with Facebook, though the application does require a fair few rights to your account. A friend shared his wedding album on Facebook and the presentation in Flipboard was beautiful, almost like a professional photography stand.
But what concentrates and provides the extra value in Flipboard is also it’s major failing. It is a Social Browser and as such lacks ability review a normal site.
The ability to review RSS feeds mitigates this for most popular sites and I guess the experience on a normal webpage is very flat in comparison to this social integration so I have little problem reverting back to Safari for those sites.

About harlekwinblog

"Thoughts of an idle mind." Information Security professional.



  1. Pingback: iPad App Favourites « harlekwin - 2011/09/12

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