Flipboard is great, but...

Dec 07, 2011

As you may have heard Flipboard has finally launched for the iPhone after previously only being available for the iPad. Flipboard is one of the leading content consumption apps for the iPad, and offers a beautiful and slick “digital magazine” type experience. But is Flipboard really all it’s cracked up to be?

I was excited to hear that Flipboard has created an iPhone version of their extremely popular iPad app. As a huge consumer of online content, I was eager to see how Flipboard would fit into my “consumption workflow”. However after using the app for a day, I’m a little disappointed.

Here are the iPhone apps I use the most, all of which Flipboard aims to create in one experience.

  • Reeder
  • Tweetbot
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook

Now with Flipboard I don’t really need all of these apps as, in theory, I can view all of that content from one app. But here’s my problem. Flipboard is not a better experience than any of the above apps!.

Firstly, Reeder is by far a better way to consume a large amount of internet content. If you are like me and you subscribe and read from more than a handful of websites, Flipboard is completely incapable of providing the user with a way to consume a large amount of content.

The integration of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr is a nice feature as, admittedly, being able to view in-line images from these sites is a really beautiful experience, but it is still not as good as using the native applications.

For me, Flipboard is a great way of consuming light information from sources that wouldn’t of normally made it into my RSS reader. Sources like news websites, where I don’t want to see every story, but I can dip in and out really suit the Flipboard experience. Flipboard is a beautiful app, and I’ll definitely still keep using it, but it’s a long way from allowing a high content consumer like me to use one app.

Philip Brown


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