Flipboard is a mostly curated news reading application which is extremely popular among iOS users, and the Samsung Galaxy S 3 has an exclusive Android version, but is available for everyone to use. We take this experience for a test drive.
Setup of the app is really smooth and simplistic getting you to add many of their curated sources such as “Technology” and “Style” which seem to focus mainly upon Tweets by these publications. One thing you will notice about this application is, while it is not following hardly any of the Android design guidelines, it actually feels quite nice with the natural flipping of “pages” with few visual bugs which will get beaten out of the app as development continues.
The main area of the app includes 2 major sections, the cover which (shown bellow) has distinct areas for images and content from sources Flipboard have picked out as being interesting to you. The lower section involves tiles of the sources you have picked, allowing for their curated sources, your Facebook and Twitter and any extra sources (which are more difficult to add).
When you browse through the news, the layouts change dramatically depending on the content, and while some of them feel like they could do with more text or graphics (that could be down to screen sizes) it mostly gets it right and it feels nice with the difference between them, making it more like a real-life magazine.
However, depending on the website viewing articles can either involve a built-in viewer which kind-of-works but a lot of typical website formatting does not display properly or you are simply thrown onto a Webkit view with a fancy loader which doesn’t even show a mobile-optimized page (I would have preferred something like Readability)
Digging deeper, you can interact with people on Twitter with a comment-style interface which seems to work but feels a little odd and it is based on Gingerbread styling which is a little bit of a letdown as the rest of the application feels extremely modern and thought out, I would have liked the Flipboard team to have included many of the Android design guidelines which would have made a major difference.
Finally, being extremely picky the icon feels like it was simply taken straight out of the iOS version, and feels completely out of place with all of the other Android App icons and could do with changing.
3 stars, as it is mainly curated content which is where they seem to want to push you into (probably as a way for them to make money) and they should have included more ICS styling instead of falling back onto Gingerbread areas.
For now, it’s downloadable via XDA-Developers as it’s SGS3-exclusive right now :(