Flipboard for iPhone – Review – Flip through your personal mix of Web content on the go

On January 4, 2012

App Type: Uncategorized

Flipboard for iPhone – Review – Flip through your personal mix of Web content on the go

Our rating:

By: Flipboard, Inc.

Version #: 1.7.1

Date Released: 2011-12-08

Developer: Flipboard Inc.

Price: Free

User Rating:

Flipboard, widely considered the pioneer of stylish content aggregation on the iPad, has arrived on the iPhone. Finally, Flipboard is now a universal iOS app, and with the release of the much awaited iPhone version comes what’s seemingly importantly called Cover Stories. Cover Stories is currently an iPhone-only feature of Flipboard, but it’s set to make its way to the iPad soon. Exactly why its appearance on the iPad is deferred is unknown, but it’s likely that the folks behind Flipboard just want something discernible to set the iPhone version apart from its big brother on the iPad, even if only for a fleeting moment, while the app attracts more users to its fold. (Flipboard’s servers famously crashed upon the iPhone version’s launch owing to overwhelming user demand.)

Cover Stories occupies a large portion of Flipboard for iPhone’s landing page. This is because it’s a section that purportedly gathers posts you might like from other sections in your Flipboard account in one easily accessible place. So, ideally, when you go through the posts included in Cover Stories, you’re certain not to miss out on the stuff your’e most interested in. There’s supposed to be an algorithm that determines what goes into Cover Stories, but this early into the feature’s integration it might seem to the user that Flipboard is just culling random bits of content. It’ll be interesting to find out if indeed Cover Stories will be as important and effective as it sounds.

Excepting Cover Stories, Flipboard for iPhone is pretty much a miniaturization of its iPad counterpart. The most noticeable result of the reduction in screen real estate is in the “flipping.” Flipboard for iPhone carries out Flipboard’s trademark flipping action vertically, whereas the iPad version is optimized for horizontal flipping. This makes perfect sense, since you’re more likely to read articles on your iPhone in portrait orientation, as opposed to landscape on your iPad.

You can start using Flipboard without creating a Flipboard account, but it’s recommended that you do, especially if you also have an iPad, an iPod touch, or even another iPhone. That way the contents of your Flipboard account can be synced across all your iOS devices. You can add content to your Flipboard from various sources, including your favorite social networks and Web sites handpicked by the Flipboard staff. You can, for example, add an aggregate of links taken from your Twitter timeline as a content source and a compendium of interesting lists from mental_floss as another. However you manage your Flipboard’s content sources, you can rest assured that nothing, including your social media accounts with which you can share content, gets past Flipboard’s sync servers.

More importantly, you can enjoy Flipboard’s beautiful magazine layout, even on your iPhone’s small screen. A big part of what makes Flipboard an unprecedented hit, spawning a number of personalized magazine apps such as Zite and the recently released Google Currents, is the way in which it presents otherwise boring links and articles in a shiny and smooth magazine-inspired arrangement. And Flipboard for iPhone preserves this quality, giving more reason for apps of its kind, which are also formerly just iPad-only, to come out with their own iPhone versions. If imitation is indeed the best form of flattery, then the creative minds behind Flipboard’s success must be really flattered.

Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Yes, it's free.

Learning Curve:Low, although adding content sources can be a bit confusing.

Who Is It For:iPhone and iPod touch users keen to read while commuting or waiting in line.

What I Like:The signature page flipping rendered in portrait mode. The stylish magazine layout.

What I Don't Like:Some posts do not support page flipping; rather, they are scrolled down.

Final Statement:Flipboard for iPhone carries the same winning formula that makes Flipboard for iPad an oft-imitated, but arguably unmatched, personalized magazine app.

Read the Developer's Notes:
Named Apple's iPad App of the year and one of TIME's Top 50 Innovations, Flipboard creates a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you, from Instagram photos and Facebook updates to Tumblr posts and articles from your favorite publications. Fill Flipboard with the things you like to read, from the smallest blogs to publications like Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair, and use Instapaper or Read It Later to save articles to read later. Connect Flipboard to all your social networks, and you'll have a single place to enjoy, browse, comment on and share all the news, photos and updates that matter to you.

New to Flipboard on iPhone is Cover Stories, a selection of interesting articles and photos being shared with you right now. And it gets smarter every time you use it.*

*Coming soon to iPad.

What people are saying:

- "Flipboard begins to imagine an entirely new way of accessing the social Web." New York Times
- "Flipping for Flipboard: The brilliant iPad app that has changed the way I read the news." SLATE
- "Stop. Put down this computer, go pick up your iPad and come back here. Now go get this app: Flipboard. Why? It's pretty awesome." Wired.com
- The Twitter experience on @flipboard is unlike anything i have ever seen. I didn't know it at the time, but it's the reason I got an #iPad.... @sylvioso

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aldrin has written 128 awesome app reviews.