Review: Flipboard declutters hectic online lives

By Tiffany Wang

PHOTO: splorp via photopin cc

PHOTO: splorp via photopin cc

If you’ve got more social media accounts than you can remember but secretly miss the good ol’ days of traditional print, Flipboard may be your new favourite app.

Most people have an app checking routine they like to follow every day. Being in the loop can be overwhelming. You’d open up Facebook to catch up with what your friends have been up to while you’ve been virtually away, read through your Twitter feed and favourite news websites to get clued in on what’s been happening in the world, and scroll through Instagram to feel inspired.

While it’s astonishing that all this information and all these connections can be made in the palms of our hands, we are so saturated with all these flashy apps and software that it can be more of a curse than a blessing.

Sometimes it is nice to have the simplicity of a print-style layout where everything you need is in one place. Flipboard is the solution to this cluttering. This is a must-have app for the social media savvy, which, in this day and age, is pretty much everyone who owns a smartphone.

Essentially, Flipboard is an app that gathers all the content from websites and every social media website you could think of, and presents it to you in a magazine format. Users will be able to ‘flip’ through content they have customised themselves in one easy location.

While the prospect of setting this up may seem like a daunting task, rest assured. Linking your social media accounts and selecting the types of content you want to see is an absolute breeze. And there is an abundance of categories of content to choose from, including news, technology, business, sports, style, travel and entertainment – just to name a few. After some simple selections, and just a few minutes later, you have your own personalised and highly customisable e-magazine with content you actually want to read.

This is a must-have app for the social media savvy, which, in this day and age, is pretty much everyone who owns a smartphone.

It takes a while to get away from how you would usually expect a social media app to function. Usually, the apps require users to scroll through a never-ending feed. It takes a while to get used to Flipboard’s feed being broken up and sectioned off, which is strange because that is exactly how regular print media is formatted.

This does not mean that the app feels disjointed or clunky to use. Everyone loves a smooth swipe. And this app swipes like a dream. In online news, text is simply not enough. Flipboard also streams audio and video content effortlessly, with no dreaded lag.

Sometimes it is nice to be able to quickly scroll past an insignificant post. Flipboard formats the posts in a way that makes each and every tweet, post, link, photo or video seem important. But depending on who you are and what content you are exposed to, this can be a great way to absorb even more information. Otherwise, flipping through a plethora of selfies, and viral videos can becoming irritating, time consuming and tedious – fast.

This app has a social aspect to it as well. They have ‘cover stories’, which highlight the articles that have been most ‘flipped’ by users. Unsurprisingly, users are able to share stories with their friends.

Flipboard is a highly popular app and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. It’s highly customisable, personalised, and is the app everyone needs to regain control of their social media life. It’s a good-looking app that works beautifully too.

Best bit: Being able to keep updated in the one place
Worst bit: ‘Flipping’ through every single tweet or post can be tedious
Price: Free
Features: Save stories into your own magazines to read later or share with others
Where to get it: Download from your device’s app store
Website: flipboard.com
Available for: iOS, Android, Windows 8, Blackberry 10

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