Thursday, August 5, 2010

My new favourite iPad app and why I joined Twitter

This morning I happened across a new iPad app which I downloaded and immediately fell in love with. Basically what it does is access your Facebook and Twitter accounts and finds all the articles, pictures, videos, etc that people share, and turns them into a news magazine, with pictures, pull quotes, multiple articles per page. It's a LOT like reading say, Time magazine, except the articles are all about things that I and my Facebook friends care about. It fills up otherwise empty spaces with a selection of folks' status updates, which are presented like "news in Brief" in the newspaper.

The presentation is SO appealing. I often don't read articles that folks post - usually I just scan through and see how people are doing. Today I read every article, looked at every video, opened every photo album. And it was all so interesting! What a total difference an interesting graphic presentation makes.

After about 15 minutes of "flipping" through my magazine, I decided that I needed more... so I did something I had previously sworn I would never do! I opened a Twitter account, and became a follower of as many  people (whom I know!) as I could find. So now all the articles that have been shared over twitter are part of my very personal news magazine.

As well, there are also a selection of real magazines you can include. I added Bon Appetite, TED Talks, Fast Company and a few others.

Main thing missing? I'd love it if Flipboard went to Live Journal and BlogSpot and could include the blogs I follow!

Thing that could be improved? The TED Talks app gives you the title of the talk, and a couple sentences about what it is about. Flipboard just shows the still of a person on a stage with a triangle for "play" - so no idea what the talks are about. Since they are usually about 20 minutes, I prefer not to invest the time unless it's a topic of some interest to me.

Two last things to say here:

1. Please do not expect me to start tweeting or whatever its called. At least not until I get used to the idea of even having this account. I know I'm not normally such a luddite about things, but for whatever reason, this whole twitter thing gets under my skin. But who knows, maybe once I've tried it, I'll be a convert!

2. Check out Flipboard at the App Store, or at It's free!

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