Saturday, December 20, 2014


Tech Talk

Make Web-based zines with Flipboard

7/31/2013

After years of swimming against the tide, I finally broke down and bought a tablet last week. While I still feel they have little value outside of watching videos and surfing the Web, tablets are an extremely convenient way to share multimedia content and cut back on paper use. Outside of practical concerns, one perk of purchasing a tablet is Flipboard, an application that turns virtually any Web content into personalized magazines.

It’s no coincidence that tablets are roughly the size of the average magazine, and reading Internet content on them is extremely easy. Flipboard takes both those virtues and turns the Internet into a bottomless pit of reading material, tailored to the reader’s interests. Plus, like the random magazines that drift into our lives, Flipboard is a great way to discover content that sits in the periphery of our interests.

Launched in 2010, Flipboard allows mobile device users to search the Web and subscribe to practically any content type, including personal social media feeds, and presents it in a beautiful tile-based format. Flipboard saves these subscriptions in “magazines” and allows the reader to “flip” through pages for hours. This can break the routine many of us have of visiting only a few “trusted” websites for our news and entertainment. In addition, Flipboard magazines strip Web content of ads and formatting, saving only the words, pictures and videos.

Of course, it just so happens that my tablet purchase was premature. Just last week Flipboard announced its content subscription application would be available online as a Web service. Users no longer need a mobile device to download the application. They can simply log into www.Flipboard.com and access all their personalized magazines. Personally, I find the tablet to be the best user experience for the service, but it’s nice to have a Web option available.

Is Flipboard a reason to purchase a tablet? Not on its own. But if you’re an avid reader who’s tired of dealing with decades-old magazines in your dentists lobby, Flipboard may be the final push you need to pick one up. CV

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Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @ResponsiblyWild.                 

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