Flipboard is taking its celebrated iPad magazine and shrinking it down so you can take your page flipping, graphics-filled social media experience with you on your iPhone, everywhere you go.
A personal favorite app of Steve Jobs, Flipboard is a visually intense social media aggregator that organizes your friends’ tweets, posts, and links into a magazine-like spread. It’s been a hit with iPad users at large since it debuted in 2010.
Like its iPad counterpart, Flipboard’s new iPhone app consolidates updates from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Reader, and other similar social applications. If you’re short for time, you can also save stories to check out later using Read It Later or Instapaper.
While there are already a number of aggregated news readers and mobile RSS readers for the iPhone, Flipboard’s new app differs because of its heavy visual emphasis.
Unlike on the iPad — a device typically used for browsing content at your leisure, often while on the couch or at home — on the iPhone you’re usually checking out news and apps during the “in-between” moments of the day. Like the times, for instance, when you’re waiting for the bus, sitting on the subway or bored between classes.
With pages that flip vertically upwards and out of sight like a notepad, Flipboard’s iPhone app is designed to be used in portrait mode, but when pictures or video require landscape, you can simply rotate your iPhone’s screen to take advantage of the wider orientation.
“We wanted page flipping to feel as fast as with a physical product,” said Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll in an interview.
Because the next page in Flipboard’s iPhone app is loaded underneath the previous one, flipping between pages is seamless. A complete page materializes beneath the last, rather than annoyingly needing to wait for another page to load.
With the new iPhone app, Flipboard is also introducing the “Cover Stories” feature, a central hub that aggregates all the most recent photos, updates and news from your various social media streams. It’s the same timeline format you’re familiar with from Twitter or Facebook, but done with Flipboard’s signature visual style.
Other than these key differences, the iPhone app is stylistically reminiscent of the iPad app. You can share stories and photos back with your social network of choice and add comments to posts within the app, as well as browse items categorically. In essence, it’s the Flipboard you already know and most likely love, except smaller.
If you’ve already got a Flipboard account, you can sign into the iPhone app using your account and all of your preferences and saved social networks will immediately be available from the iPad version.
Flipboard for iPhone, like its iPad counterpart, is free and currently available for download through the App Store.