Pardon me while I gush like one of those cat-eyed girls at Shea Stadium when Ringo and the boys last blew through New York:
If you have an iPad, or if you know someone who has an iPad, download Flipboard as soon as you can to get an idea of what a fresh approach to web browsing – you remember browsing, don’t you? – looks like.
The developers call it “your personalized social magazine.” For once, the buzzwords are justified.
At its heart, it’s not all that unusual, taking automated feeds — topics you like, your Facebook news feed, your Twitter feed — and presenting them in an engaging and visually-pleasing way.
But therein lies the beauty of this app. Because, unlike, say, your usual Twitter feed, which is just 140ish characters and a link, Flipboard reaches into that link and presents the content that’s being linked to. If there is no link, the tweets are presented solo, as pithy pullquotes.
And, while this is primarily a browsing tool, you’re not locked out from the social web as you are in some of the toddling efforts from “magazine” magazines. You can comment on or like a Facebook post, reply to a tweet, etc.
To be sure, there are improvements that would be welcome. The ability to sync with Google Reader would be nice. Also, the app’s sudden popularity makes it non-responsive at times, according to the comments on its page. And, as this isn’t meant to be a full replacement for Facebook or Twitter, there’s no way (yet) to create new posts, only contribute to existing content.
I feel like I’ve finally seen something completely new and uniquely tuned to the pad-browsing environment in Flipboard.