It is one of the truths of human nature that we are visual creatures. Seeing an object or color will catch our attention and stick in our minds more intensely, as well as helping us to recall the details better later on. Which is why I tend to prefer news sites and blogs that full color photographs that can be easily slimmed through. A process made much easier by the web.
But what if you want that same concept, only with the benefit of multiple sources from around the web. A traditional RSS feed won’t give that to you, but a program like FlipBoard for the iPad will.
How It Works
FlipBoard is essentially your own customized magazine. It works by allowing you to add categories such as Tech, Social Media, Entertainment, Arts or any other genre that is important to you. Then add in your RSS feeds to be sorted into those categories, represented by photo covers on the main magazine page.
Over time, the app will begin to distinguish what stories will be more important to you based on your old content. These stories are then presented first, so you can see the most relevant updates immediately. It is a definite improvement on the original RSS feed format of jumbling all updates together based on date of addition.
It also has a social media element. Syncing it to your profiles on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, you can share the story with your friends list, repost it and more.
Most people who get FlipBoard comment on the interface and overall look of the app. The main page is a colorful magazine cover with a main image and the “covert stories” you are most likely to be interested in. Just like what you would pick up from your local magazine rack.
Hitting the flip button turns the page. From there, you will see your categories. They are represented by thumbnails, which you can then select to get to the stories within. These stories are always updating, so you will have an unlimited stream of content as long as you are connected to the internet. You read them by turning the pages, just as you would in a magazine.
You can access your main account information at any time by dragging the content window out from the side. It will have your FlipBoard with a list of everything connected to your account (social media accounts, blogs, news sites, ect). You can then check out anything directly related to that site, outside of the usual magazine format.
I have seen a lot of magazine apps come and go, and most of them have been lackluster. When I came across FlipBoard, I was really impressed. It has a multitude of handy features, a gorgeous design and it is easy to use without a bunch of bugs making it to good to be true. Plus, the content you add is free, working like an RSS feed to access data already available to you on the main sites.
This is my favorite way to keep up to date on all news and blogs that I usually follow. I would recommend it to anyone that wants a good content collection app.
Jessy is the self-improvement blogger, tech writer and work-at-home mom.