Digital Toolbox

Flipboard as News Reader

I have given up on Feedly. I find it clunky and irritating. My news reader of choice prior to Google Reader’s demise was the Reeder app for Mac and iOS. It was simple, elegant and efficient. Reeder is working to replace its Google synch capabilities using Feedly’s sync API. The iPhone app has been updated, but the iPad and Mac apps are still a work in progress – so much so that they’ve been removed from the app store until the updates are completed. More and more I find myself turning to Flipboard [iOS, Android and soon Windows Phone – free] to keep up with the news. It’s always been my favorite for “pleasure” reading but I’m learned there are also some impressive tools for “processing” the news. Here are a few examples.

Flipboard doesn’t limit you to just RSS news feeds. You can connect to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr and many more social networks too. And, you can control which parts of those networks you want to see in Flipboard. For example, I could limit my Twitter account so that it just delivers tweets from a specific Twitter list. But that’s not all. If I want to respond to a tweet or someone’s comment on Facebook, I just tap on the item and Flipboard presents a nice little pane giving me all the capabilities I would have if I was actually in Twitter or Facebook. If it’s a Facebook status comment, I can like or comment on the original status as well as see who else “liked” it and any other posted comments.

I still have all my Google Reader subscriptions. Flipboard captured them and saved them as a static section in my Flipboard profile. I can’t add subscriptions there but I can do a little manipulation of my own. If you find a new blog you like and want to include in Flipboard, enter its name in the search box at the top of the Flipboard home screen. Flipboard does a search and turns up the most amazing things – blogs, Facebook and Twitter profiles, Flickr, Instagram and much more. You can subscribe to any of these things in Flipboard – including the RSS feeds found towards the bottom of the list. Just tap on the item you want and it will display a page of current content with a Subscribe button at the top of the screen. Tap Subscribe and its added to your subscription list (found in your My Flipboard section) and new content from this source will appear in the Cover Stories section on your Flipboard front page.

I’ve also found that using Flipboard to forward content to other platforms – especially Tumblr – is much easier than other readers and the forwarded content is much richer and better formatted. I like that a lot.

All is not perfect, however. If I get pulled away from reading, it can be difficult to pick up where I left off. I think it could be as much my fault as Flipboard’s . . . As long as I leave the app at the screen where I stopped reading, I’m fine. Unfortunately, with Flipboard there’s always something to catch my eye and lead me off into a new direction.

I’ve been a Flipboard fan since it first came out and every day I discover even more reasons to love it.

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