Home Yahoo’s Livestand Looks Really Nice, But It’s No Flipboard Killer

Yahoo’s Livestand Looks Really Nice, But It’s No Flipboard Killer

Yahoo is getting super-serious about the role tablets will play in its future content strategy. On Tuesday, they launched IntoNow, an impressive social TV app for the iPad that marries the check-in functionality of GetGlue with the real-time content identification of Shazam. The next day, the company pushed out LiveStand, another iPad app, this one in the tradition of personalized news reading apps like Flipboard, Zite and AOL’s Editions.

The app, which comes in advance of Google’s own rumored offering, is pretty well-designed. It has less content sources than many existing players, but what it does have is formatted very nicely.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Livestand is that it’s built to support multiple users. For families who share an iPad or other tablet, that feature will be appreciated. An app that displays personalized content is only really useful to its original user, and lots of families share tablets. The feature won’t be necessary for everyone, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Pretty Layouts, But Limited Content to Fill Them

Rather than being a direct copy of the much beloved Flipboard, Livestand crosses that popular app with something more like AOL’s Editions. It’s a personalized content app, but it doesn’t pull content from your friends on Twitter and Facebook, nor does it let you plug in any old RSS feed your heart could ever desire. Instead, Yahoo has launched with a list of content partners, whose articles and blog posts are formatted in an attractive, magazine-style layout. From that list, which is anchored heavily by Yahoo’s own content properties, you can pick and choose sources that suit your fancy.

In putting it through its paces, we noticed a few minor areas that could use improvement. In some cases, the app only loads the first image in a given post. That’s unfortunate, because additional artwork could help make the lovely article detail pages look even lovelier. It’s downright unhelpful when the post we’re trying to read contains an infographic.

We hesitate to be too harsh, though. The thing did just launch yesterday, and on the whole it’s pretty solid.

For users who don’t necessarily want to trick their news-reading app out with any content source imaginable, Livestand is a worthwhile product. Users who are already happily settled in to an app like Flipboard, Zite or Pulse are probably going to stay there.

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