By Harry McCracken | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 6:30 am
My iPad is bursting at the seams with wonderful applications. If I had to pick just one of them as the romantic ideal of what a tablet app can and should be, it would be Flipboard. This “social magazine”–which brings together stuff from Facebook, Twitter, and the entire Web into a wonderfully browsable package–simply couldn’t have existed in the pre-iPad era. And its user interface is a thing of wonder: an amazingly polished, fun experience that both feels like a magazine and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s not just the best one I’ve seen on an iPad app; it’s one of the best ones I’ve seen on anything.
Can you tell that I kind of like this program? Well, now I like it even more. The company is rolling out an update today, and cofounder Mike McCue briefed me on it last week and gave me the chance to spend a couple of days with it before it hit the App Store.
Flipboard hasn’t changed radically, but there are a bunch of improvements that make it even more….well, Flipboardy.
Flipboard has a number of worthy competitors that are either a little bit like it or quite a bit like it–apps such as Zite, Taptu, Pulse, and News360, all of which have earned spots on my iPad. And yet it also stands alone. It’s such a perfect fit for the iPad that it’s a little hard to envision it anywhere else. Which is why I’m curious about what it’ll look like when it hits the iPhone–which McCue told me it’ll do before too long.