Flipboard | personalized social magazine

I finally had a moment to download, install and test drive Flipboard on my iPad. I am speechless. It’s another one of these “woah-I-am-touching-the-future-moments”. Here’s a video explaining what Flipboard does:

A big giant yay to the team over at Flipboard. Design and Usability is topnotch. Realizing that this is the first version of the app, I can only *imagine* what the future versions are going to look like. What an impressive first start.

Also, I am superexcited to see that talented Maria Popova’s blog is featured as one of the recommended feeds. Go Brainpickings!

12 Comments leave a comment below

  1. It is the most amazing reader for the iPad, the predictive downloading of content and the no wait feel of the product is well executed.

  2. As a content creator, does it not bother you Flipboard scrapes your content, so you’ll miss advertising revenue and traffic, or do they give enough credit to the content creator?

    I don’t own an iPad, and I haven’t tried this out yet, but it seems to me they’re offering a limited version of the web inside their closed little app, presenting content the way they choose to, not the creator… this worries me, even if they do it in a very clean and well-balanced lay-out.

    That said, the app looks amazing. I hope they’ll try to move towards getting their content through open standards, maybe develop one, instead of scraping and reformatting everything they can find.

  3. Nice app, good design, works very well, great idea.

    But! I find I’m not using it at all for Facebook or Twitter. It’s partially because it seems to give precedence or significance to certain posts from friends (by highlighting them, making them larger than other posts, etc) and that usually doesn’t match up to items I actually care about.

  4. Smooth app and promotional video. Adam Lisagor is the video’s pitchman. Good interview with him on Dan Benjamin’s show “The Pipeline” http://5by5.tv/pipeline/22

  5. As has been noted above, Flipbook scrapes the web for content, strips it of its formatting and advertisements … essentially, it’s a giant, clear-cut copyright violation.

    While a lot of the end-user experience will probably find its way into the next generation of apps, I would be amazed if Flipbook survives.

  6. Yes, Flipbook removes formatting and advertisements. Just like any RSS reader does.

    Regarding copyright violations: every search engine does the same thing. It copies content from content providers and puts it into its own caches. Just try to use Google and ONLY use the cached results and you know what I mean.

    The point is, if you don’t like your content to be copied by somebody else on the Internet then don’t put it there in the first place.

  7. No, not like any RSS reader does. It does not respect the limits of an RSS feed.

    For example, if you wanted to look at the Big Picture, instead of getting just the first photo and the text blurb for a new post (RSS feed), you would get the entire set of photos.

    Scraping is not syndication. Syndication leaves the publisher in control over what the reader sees (to a certain extent). Scraping does not.

    Also, scraping is different from indexing, though the process to achieve them is similar. And surfing via Google’s cached results is annoying and frustrating — because all the links on the cached page lead to real pages … you only visit the cached landing page without repeatedly leaving and returning. Try going to the google cache version of the Big Picture, and then clicking through to see the photography. You will find yourself very quickly on the actual site.

    Scraping, and then repackaging the scraped content to sell it in an iPad application? I cannot imagine it is legal. It is most certainly unethical, and I would not support a company that does it by buying their products.

  8. All in all, it seems like users of this kind of apps are happy to have it all chewed up for then. And above that, they are being served just what the table next to then has orderer, so that they don’t have to take a risk and, god forbid, be out of line with their close surrounding.
    Of course, this is very natural but also smells of mediocracy wraped in a brazen out fit.
    Exuse my simple mindness, but isn’t the net here to widen our horisons and to get us out there to look for more? For different? For what is shut away from us by good meaning “responsibe adults”?

  9. Steve, when I subscribe the RSS feed of TBP I can _choose_ in my RSS reader to display only the first entry or the entries of one week or whatever. I can also decide to let my reader show only the first few words or sentences of an entry.

    The publisher can only decide what to put into a feed. He can never control what the RSS reader shows to the user.

    What I meant with the Google cache was that Google stores the contents of other sites. When you make a search query you get “syndicated, scraped, and repackaged” content back as a result. Why is Google (or other search engines) allowed to do such a thing and nobody else?

  10. Usability is top notch?

    The first screen confronts you with an interface that won’t respond to tap (it does, though, taunt you with a page turn animation that doesn’t actually turn the page). Additionally, it needs to supply instructions to ‘Flip’ because it’s so counterintuitive. You have to swipe (‘Flip’ is a meaningless verb in this context and just adds to the confusion) to get to the next page; all byproducts of poor interaction decisions later in the app.

    It does not get better from here.

  11. J, sorry if you don’t agree. I had no problems using the app from the minute I opened it. I was impressed.

  12. I think Flipboard is the BEST app to come into the Apple app store this year. Period.

    I started using Flipboard the day it came out, and I am still amazed at what it does. Really amazing interface, great curated feeds (I contacted Maria, @brainpicker, the day the app launched to let her know she was already being curated), and a connectivity to Facebook (for those that use it).