By Allan Maurer
Flipboard, a digital service that lets users select their own news and entertainment sources and presents them as magazine-like pages users flip through, is now available on Android phones, the Nook, and the Kindle Fire.
For the first time Flipboard is available to the hundreds of millions of Android users as a free download in Google Play.
In addition, Flipboard is now available in the Amazon Appstore for Android, the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store and in Samsung Apps. For people in the United States, Flipboard will come pre-installed on the new Samsung Galaxy SIII via leading U.S. carriers.
I downloaded it onto my Kindle Fire last week and have been using it ever since.
Previously, I had been using another news reading app, Pulse, which also allows users to select their digital news and web site sources. It then offers stories from each site or user social network on a Cool Iris-like panel of stories with photos or illustrations. Users tap the story link and get part of it immediately with a link to the orgininal online.
I’ll probably still use Pulse from time to time, but Flipboard’s interface is more elegant and the magazine-like presentation of pages is attractive as well as fun to use. You can choose from topic areas ranging from news and tech to entertainment (among many others) and your own specific choices (mine, for instance, include chess and science fiction).
You can even connect it to your Google+ and Youtube accounts.
Freedom from typing in URLs
The benefit of these digital news reader/magazine services, Flipboard, Pulse, and others, is that it is still largely a pain to type in site urls via digital keyboards. Both Flipboard and Pulse make it easy to browse your topics of interest quickly and easily.
I do nearly all my web browsing on the Kindle Fire via one of those apps.
For me, they’re better than a daily newspaper used to be as a way to get a handle on the news and topics I care about in the morning, or just to kill time waiting for service at a restaurant or waiting for a train or indeed, during travel by car, plane, train or bus.
“People are amazed by all the things they can see on Flipboard, and often the most personal and interesting stories come from friends,” said Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard.
“Today we have over 2000 featured content partners from around the world and, now with the addition of Google+ and YouTube, we have all of the popular social networks for our readers to sit back and enjoy.
The company is based in Palo Alto, California and backed by legendary investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, Index Ventures and Insight Venture Partners.
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Tags: Android phones, CA, digital magazine, Flipboard, Index Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, Kindle Fire, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, news reader apps for tablets, Nook, Palo Alto, Pulse, smartphones