Flipboard is one of the absolute must-install apps for the device. For many, social news-reading apps like this have begun to replace printed magazines and newspapers all together. Pretty much since it first debuted on Apple's tablet in July 2010, users have been clamoring for an iPhone version of Flipboard. Today, that wait ends.For iPad owners, the personalized, socially-curated digital magazine
Flipboard's latest update, available now in the App Store, brings the same social media-fueled reading experience to the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPod Touch.
More Than a Resize: Flipboard Gets Rebuilt For a Mobile Context
The team at Flipboard has done a remarkable job of whittling down what previously occupied a 10-inch screen so that it will properly fit on a smartphone. Not only did they size things down without losing any features, but they redesigned the experience to be more useful in a mobile context, Flipboard cofounder Evan Doll told us.
Rather than flipping horizontally as the app's virtual pages do on the iPad, the iPhone version flips vertically. It also includes a new feature called Cover Stories, which offers a way for readers to quickly consume a handful of stories that are likely to be most relevant to them. The app selects these stories based on one's reading preferences and social connections.
Other than that, the functionality of Flipboard for iPhone is pretty consistent with what users have come to expect on the iPad, just in a more compact package. There are a number of pre-curated content sections that can be added or users can plug in just about any publication with an RSS feed. Like its tablet-based predecessor, the new app hooks right into Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google Reader and other social media services to provide a truly personalized reading experience.
By expanding to the iPhone and iPod Touch, Flipboard stands to expand its user base, potentially by a significant amount. As popular as the iPad is, they haven't sold nearly as much as the iPhone, which has been on the market since 2007. As of early 2011, Apple was said to have sold over 100 million iPhones, a number that is sure to be much higher since the launch of the sales record-breaking iPhone 4S in October.
Flipboard had about 2.5 million users as of this summer, according to the Wall Street Journal. However much that number has grown since then, it's likely to start skyrocketing before the end of the year.
When's it Coming to Android?
Behind "Where's the iPhone app?" the second most frequently asked question about Flipboard has to be "When is it coming to Android?" Doll declined to give us a specific timeline, but assured us that it's a high priority for the growing startup.
Now that Flipboard has been adapted for smaller screens, we can't imagine an Android version can be that far away. In terms of design, they've already got it nailed. They just need to have developers build it out for the Android platform, iron out a technical detail or two and work the launch around whatever other product development they've got going on.
Since its launch, Flipboard has given rise to quite a few competing apps, most of which are built for the iPad. Google is rumored to be building its own answer to Flipboard in the form of a project code-named Propeller, an Android app that was expected to go live in November.
The new Flipboard for iPhone is available for the iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, as well as newer iPod Touches. It will work on devices running iOS 4 and iOS 5.