1:30, April 29, 2013

Flipping out over app

Having everything you want all in one place is a dream come true. Obviously. In terms of social media and news feeds, this dream has come true, and it has fallen from the heavens in the form of an app named Flipboard.

This free app is supported by both Android and iOS platforms. No longer will you be bounced from app to app to catch up on the latest news and trends. Now you simply “flip” the page.

Flipboard allows users to add the news they care about from the sources that inspire them and their social networks with a personalized magazine format. Users can also share photos, videos, stories and sounds through Flipboard.

Flipboard said its mission is “to let people discover and share content in beautiful, simple and meaningful ways.” It wants to transform the way people discover, view and share content by combining the aesthetics and ease of print design with the power of social media. Flipboard is essentially the ultimate hub for collecting, sharing and learning information.

All your favorite social sites

The social media accounts users can link to with Flipboard are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google plus, Flickr, Tumblr, Sound Cloud, Youtube, 500 px, Sina Webo and Renren. When any of these accounts are added to Flipboard, users can see what their friends are interested in, all without leaving the app.

When I first started using this app, I was confused because I am so used to “clicking” to find out more information. I had to get used to the idea of “flipping” instead. It really is just like a personalized magazine. There are a lot of features to enjoy about this app once the user becomes accustomed to “flipping” through it. For instance, when users read their Facebook feed, they can like a status directly on their Flipboard, and it will also like it on their Facebook account. Having the interactivity of Facebook still in place on this app tells me the developers were really trying to go above and beyond in terms of enabling the user to do and see everything all in one place.

I also like the way Twitter is organized on Flipboard. Instead of clicking on a link to see a photo attached to the tweet as would normally be done on Twitter, the photo is already there with the tweet printed at the bottom. Much like the interactivity of Facebook on Flipboard, it also allows users to “favorite” and “retweet” tweets, which is reflected on Twitter itself.

Just how I like it

Flipboard also has a feature called “cover stories,” which is a personalized news feed of stories, photos and articles that are constantly updated. The content in cover stories comes from all sources the user has linked to Flipboard and actually gets to know the user and adds new sources by itself. The coolest part about this feature is the more you use the cover stories feature, the smarter it gets. Flipboard tells its users to think of the cover stories feature as the feed to check while you’re in line at the coffee shop or waiting for a class to start. It’s essentially the feed that has even more of everything all in one place.

Overall, Flipboard is a great app with fantastic features and stellar design and development. The only downfall to this app is it takes time to become familiar. But, if you stick with it, it is well worth it.

Let’s face it, who likes jumping around from app to app to get caught up on the latest news? That’s right. Nobody.