Flipboard on the iPad: Sweet!

by Bakari Chavanu Jul 23, 2010

If the magazine industry doesn’t see its future in the iPad, then it's blind. I covered a couple of magazine-style apps for the iPad (see my articles on Pulse and the iPad as a magazine reader), but Flipboard, the latest one to hit the App Store, may well outshine the rest. When you launch the free app, the first thought that might come to your mind is, “cool!”

Flipboard is indeed a cool magazine reader, content web browser, and of course a social networking application. But you might say, “What else is new?” Well, in my opinion it‘s not just the content it delivers but how it delivers it. It feels and acts like a dozen magazines you can flip through and read sitting in your favorite reading chair or lying in bed.

Digital pages in the app open quickly and smoothly as you tap, slide, and zoom in on content. Most pages consist of several articles laid out in columns like paper magazines and newspapers. The first tap of a piece of content opens to a longer section of the article. The “Read on Web” button serves up the entire content, but thankfully the Read on Web doesn’t take you out of the app and into Safari. The original pages of stories easily download within the app like any other web browser.


You can also scan the latest story headlines in the same way you scan pages in Apple‘s iBook by sliding your finger across the dotted slider of each page. Flipboard is also set up for you to share what you’re reading via your Twitter or email account.

Now, the “selling” point of Flipboard is that it is supposed to connect you to what your Twitter and Facebook contacts are reading, as well as the content they are sharing on their pages. However, as I’m writing this review, access to that feature has been impeded by what the developers call “over capacity.” Because of this, new users posted a flurry of one-star ratings upon the app’s initial release.


But I’m not one of the disappointed ones. Even if I can’t see what my contacts are reading or posting on their accounts, Flipboard comes with lots of content that my contacts probably are reading. The app includes several recommended publications and web magazines including AllThingsDGood, The Economist, Boing Boing, The Onion, TED Talks, plus Flipboard‘s own collections of book reviews, photos, sports, entertainment, political news and film.


Interestingly, it seems that you can only access nine publications on your front page. Also, sadly, at this time, there is no way to save RSS feeds of your favorite sites. Plus, I’m wondering why there’s no search tool, if not across all downloaded content, but at least within single publications?


Already, there are some “murky copyright issues" associated with this app, and hopefully they will be worked out, because I do think the magazine industry needs  well-designed services, like Flipboard, offering a different and better way for readers to access and enjoy content.

Let us know what you think? Will Flipboard be one of your most-used reader apps on your iPad homepage?



  • iPad is latest invention of the this age.

    yasirkalim had this to say on Jul 28, 2010 Posts: 1
  • As a new iPad owner I can say that Flipboard is absolutely amazing - a superb application.  Beautifully done - a must have.  I’m amazed it’s free.

    Paul Howland had this to say on Aug 06, 2010 Posts: 38
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  • What about content security for this new ipad feature? That will surely be a question that many loyal customers will want an answer to. Do you know anything about that?

    annekingsy had this to say on Oct 16, 2011 Posts: 22
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