Get Flipboard !
There are a lot of reasons to own a smartphone right now, but the most powerful, constant, instant connection with the world around us is one that we sometimes take for granted. Thankfully, there are apps like Flipboard that remind us just how connected we really are, that do a lot of the work for us, and that are really, really, ridiculously good-looking, as well.
The Recapp Rating
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There’s a mysterious intersection where form and function meet, and most of the time, the form and the function are so obvious that we kind of kick ourselves for not coming up with it first. While Flipboard already enjoys a lovely marriage of the two, its design namesake—the actual flipping of “boards”—adds a unique and functional twist. So yeah, we’re kicking ourselves twice.
The best part? It’s not really a gimmick. Sure, they’re not entirely necessary, but the animations, the interaction and the actual (at least mental) tactility of “flipping” pages—in this case, an amalgamation of boards comprised of social media feeds, news outlets and other users—make opening Flipboard a truly engaging experience.
As it has evolved, Flipboard has integrated some features that make it more than just a funnel for all of your social media activity, though. Yes, you can update and reply within the app—because we all need several ways to check on and share through Facebook, obviously—but the way you can do those things is what sets Flipboard apart from the rest of the available news apps. After setting up and signing in to all of your social networks of choice (you can choose up to 12, you social butterfly, you), choose from a wide variety of news feeds that are basically built into Flipboard; going outside the framework isn’t all that necessary. But we like that the option is there if you find yourself looking for news, imagery or anything else that might be outside your regular realm of information.
Another clever option, and one that makes Flipboard something infinitely more personal than a mere news app, is the ability to create your own magazines. Find a story interesting? Add it to your own magazine, name it, and share it or make it private. Either way, your news and information comes to you on your own terms.
Along the same lines is the integration of “read it later” apps, like Pocket. Should you find yourself flipping through any of your news feeds, you can send it to your save-it-for-later or whoops-my-break-is-over app of choice. It seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve downloaded enough apps in our day to know that at this point, there’s no such thing.
Flipboard is certainly not the only option available for an app of this kind, but we do like it enough to say that you probably won’t need or want another app once you give it a try. It has enough going for it both functionally and aesthetically that it can definitely claim to have inspired a few other apps (we’re looking at you, Engadget Mini and Facebook Paper), but it’s the originality and overall cleanliness, cleverness and utility that keeps our thumbs a-flippin’. And with the big news that Flipboard has acquired Zite, we’ve got lots of personalization and improvements to look forward to.
Reviewed: Mar 20, 2014 | Kelsey Trabue