Sometimes a new app comes around and reinvents a genre. A few times (a very few times, actually) a new app arrives and reinvents everything you thought about a device. I’ve mentioned the “second wave of iPad apps” before: I think that a new generation of applications for Apple’s tablet is ready to invade the App Store to show everyone, not just its 3 million users, what the iPad was meant to be since the beginning.
I think that the second wave starts today with Flipboard.
Much anticipated by @scobleizer last week and today, Flipboard is a free News app for the iPad. It should have gone live in a few hours, but it’s already available in the iPad App Store. The concept is genius, but based on simple foundations: we’re seeing all these visual news readers for iPad, but they’re impersonal. They just let you pick up some sources and read. Sure they look cool, but could this be done better?
Flipboard pulls data from your Facebook and Twitter accounts and builds a “social magazine” around it. It’s not a simple feed reader, and it’s not a photo gallery either: it’s a new way to consume content you discover online. It collects links, pictures and everything else you have on Twitter and creates a magazine around them. A magazine where comments are retweets, and you are the curator of the content you want to see. It’s not the first app to do that in history (remember Feedly?) but I guess it’s a first on the iPad. The execution seems great, too: typography is great, animations are beautiful, the app is polished and good looking overall.
I haven’t played with Flipboard enough (and I haven’t been able to authenticate with Twitter) to judge whether this will revolutionize my workflow or not, that’s why this is not my review. Let me spend a few more days with it and I’ll come back to you.
But from I’m seeing now, Flipboard is immensely promising. It could be the best thing that ever happened to the iPad since months. It could change the way we consume online content every day.
Get Flipboard here.
Update #1: Robert Scoble posted a great article about Flipboard:
“You’ve seen Twitter clients like TweetDeck or Seesmic, but you’ve never seen one like this.
You’ve seen news readers like NewsGator, Google Reader, or, even, newer ones for iPad like Pulse, but you’ve never seen one like this.
You’ve seen news aggregators like Techmeme, Google News, Skygrid, Yahoo News, Hacker News, or Huffington Post, but you’ve never seen one like this.
What is “this?” It’s Flipboard.”
And a video interview with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue. We’ve embedded it below, together with the official promo video for the app featuring the always-perfect Adam Lisagor.
As Scoble also reports:
“You might have heard of Mike before. He sold a company, TellMe, to Microsoft for about $800 million dollars. Flipboard, the company, has already had one round of funding from Kleiner Perkins and today is announcing a new round of funding along with an acquisition of the Ellerdale Project.”