Would you like to turn your social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook into a visually appealing interactive magazine on your iPad or iPad 2? If you download and install the free App from Apple called FlibBoard, then you can actually turn your social media sites into a visually stimulating virtual magazine on your iPad. FIipBoard works similar to Pulse which is a news feed aggregator. If you must label FlipBoard, I suppose you could label it a social media and Blog aggregator. FlibBoard pulls social media feeds, images, video, and articles into a layout that resembles a magazine or newspaper. The magazine layout even lets you flip the pages as if the content was printed on paper. Installing is a breeze, you just install the FlipBoard just like any other app from the app store, within a minute you can have FlipBoard installed.
Interface and Adding Content Once FlipBoard is installed and first opened you are greeted by a delightful visual display of media. FlibBoard’s opening screen slowly cycles through stories and photos every time you start the app. As you add new content to your selections the home page will randomly add images from your newly selected content. FlipBoard puts the swipe feature on the iPad and iPad 2 to use very well, just swipe the page and you are rewarded with a virtual page that flips to the next, the effect gives the reader a feeling of reading a high quality printed publication. As you flip through the pre-installed content you will come to a box that lets you add your own selected feed sources. You tap on the “Add a Section” box and an easy to navigate search page opens. From the search page you can choose from Social Networks, New Featured Content, and Browse Categories.
You can spend some time here just browsing through all the content. For example; in the Browse Categories section there are (at this time) 13 different categories ranging from Art & Photagrpahy to Shopping & Fashion category. Within each sub category there resides another varying amount of selections. Once you start building your own library of selected content you can easily use your finger to organize each square of newly added sources as you wish. Each square will contain updated pictures of the selected content, making for easy reference when selecting a feed to read.
Social Networking on FlipBoard Where FlipBoard shines, is the way it integrates social media such as FaceBook, Twitter and Blogs into its magazine style format. When I added my personal Facebook page and opened the panel I immediately knew I liked FlibBoard. The app transformed my old and boring linear style facebook page into a dynamic magazine complete with embedded video, photos and links that were added by all my friends. Each comment is presented in a newspaper type of design that makes each story and comment look amazing.
Blogs work the same way, if not even better in my opinion. If you have a visual orientated blog on your watch list such as a photography blog or travel blog, prepare yourself for an amazing transformation of the content when viewing the blog on FlibBoard. One drawback at this time was that some of my blogs would not show up in the search for your own content bar. This is an issue that FlibBoard is aware of and the company is working on an improved search function. I had to add one of my own personal blogs through my Google Reader page. I have read that it is a RSS feed issue that FlipBoard is currently working on allowing improved search results.
News Feeds FlibBoard currently has news feed partners such as ABC News, All Things Digital, Bon Appétit, Lonely Planet, SB Nation, SF Chronicle, Washington Post, Salon, The Guardian, CBS News, CNN Breaking News, Fox News, and others. The list of partnered content is gradually growing as FlipBoard gains momentum. When viewing news content you can easily tap the share button and share the story to your desired social network site. FlipBoard brings to the user a library of news feeds that is a delight to read as you are sipping your morning coffee.
The overall performance is fast and sleek, with excellent photo and video integration in the feeds. The only other app that has come close to feeling like a virtual magazine for the iPad or iPad 2 is Pulse which I reviewed earlier. To be fair Pulse had better search functionality when searching for RSS feeds. The overall look and feel of FlipBoard fits my style better than Pulse, I am really enjoying viewing my social media sites on FlibBoard as compared to Pulse.
Should You Install FlipBoard? FlipBoard strongly delivers as an excellent social media, blog and news feed platform. It gives the reader a great sense of control over their selected content and is the best virtual magazine style app I have used for the iPad and iPad 2. It is easy to understand why FlipBoard is an award winning app. As long as FlipBoard keeps adding content and perfecting the feeds, I highly recommend installing FlipBoard.