I’m writing this blog post from our iPad’s WordPress app. (Aside: this is an extremely rare example of a WordPress platform app that’s less user-friendly than I’d like. Normally the peeps at Automattic tear it up, such as on Android handset or the sweet redesigns to the dashboard and admin pages, but the iPad is a little “eh”.) But I’m not here to ungratefully complain about otherwise-amazing blogging platforms — instead, I come to add more praise for Flipboard.
The iPad version is my sole experience of Flipboard — no iPhone here — but it’s easily the coolest thing I’ve installed on here. The idea was to take the tablet medium and start from scratch when designing a way to read articles, view images and browse material, independent of big-browser design conventions and taking advantage of the way the tactile part of tablets. Result? A mad awesome interface for consuming news, features, tweets and photos. This is the first time anyone’s succeeded with a digital turn-the-pages interface, thanks to marrying the tablet’s physical features with clean, easy-to-read layouts.
Flipboard provides a big strategic insight for digital managers, too: if you want to broadcast your message out there, make sure your stuff is available in platform-agnostic. Some of the best Flipboard sites are repackaged RSS feeds (the revenge of 2003 technology), so those need full content within the feed to work well. This is true across all mediums – if you publish it, it’s getting consumed in all different ways, so ride the wave instead of constraining presentation. I would also hope by now that publishers know that while they’ve lost the simplicity of selling against a magazine story in standard print format, they’ve gained the opportunity of selling across print, digital, mobile and packaged in-text ads.
To sum that all up: if you own a tablet, try Flipboard.