Flipboard is one of those apps that reminds iPad users why they dropped $500-plus on the tablet.
The beautiful app streams in RSS feeds, Twitter updates and other social media and news updates and uses them to populate an interface that looks like a newspaper page. It’s a great, clean organization for content and a fun way to read things on the iPad, probably why Apple named it its Best iPad App of 2010.
Flipboard has just received a big update to make even more useful. The improvements aren’t necessarily life-changing – none of the core functionality has been changed – but the developer behind the app has added some new features that make the whole thing work better and provide an even stronger content-reading experience than Flipboard was previously capable of delivering.
Chief among the new changes is the integration of LinkedIn, the business-oriented social media network. The new LinkedIn section in Flipboard pipes in stories recommended by users’ business contacts from the service, which basically creates a whole area full of stories that are just work-related.
What’s cool about this is, in addition to bringing new content in from another specific angle, is that it’s realistic to think of news stories from LinkedIn as a good way to create conversations and network with business buddies and acquaintances. Putting those stories in front of users more quickly and easily than before, and giving them a good way to read them through Flipboard, makes commenting, responding and talking to your connections about the stories they post – otherwise known by the business term of “networking” – a lot easier for Flipboard users.
Also appearing in the new update is the ability to bring an unlimited number of feeds into Flipboard, where the previous cap was 21; basically, opening the app to a near-infinite amount of content, especially for ravenous RSS feed subscribers and Twitter hounds.
The final big addition makes content easier to find and discover. Flipboard has added curated feeds of content as part of its new Content Guide feature, allowing users not only to browse sources such as magazines that they would otherwise have to subscribe to, but to also find interesting new content discovered and piped their way by an actual Flipboard editor. Stories that are getting a lot of attention also get a “Popular on Flipboard” flag to draw more users’ attention to them.
All of the updates look to make the Flipboard reading experience a stronger and more compelling one, by extension making the iPad a strong device for devouring content. According to a story from TechCrunch, Flipboard has received 2.5 million downloads and sees 11.4 million “Flips,” or pageviews, each day. Now that the app is delivering even more content users might find interesting, I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers climbed higher.