Some notes about @flipboard for iPhone

I’ve been using the new iPhone version of the Flipboard app nearly daily. I never really got into the iPad app. Don’t get me wrong: it’s still one of the best executed apps I’ve seen on any OS. That said, I never found it that useful. I never felt like I knew what to expect: most of the time, it duplicated my Twitter client, but not completely. Conversely, their growing partnerships seemed like it was narrowing the content available in the app even as it actually was expanding (since the partners showed up more often).

So, I never was comfortable. This might just be me, as I know lots of people that simply love the app.

The iPhone app has fixed a lot of that with one thing: Cover Stories. Here are a few quick observations about the iPhone app:

  • The promise of Cover Stories is to show a “constantly updated selection of interesting articles and photos being shared with you right now.” In that, it simply delivers.
  • This is what News.me and Summify should’ve been. Both of those services take a more scheduled approach to summarizing your feeds, daily by default. That’s just not enough for me.
  • I sometimes back out too far from a cover story back to the main contents because there’s no obvious visual clue that I’m in the Cover Story stream and not in a story somewhere. I’ll probably get better about knowing where I am, but I’d probably tweak the design to hint that the next “back” will go to the main contents.
  • I find the app a little slow to update the cover story stack. I wish it did that first before updating the rest.
  • In fact, I kinda wish that Cover Stories was its own standalone app. It’s literally the only thing I use the iPhone app for, and I’d be willing to pay for it.

Good stuff – definitely raising the bar for those of us building apps.