APP WATCH: Flipboard for iPad

Fancy reading a magazine that's made up from contributions from your friends and your favourite online sites? You can if you have an iPad and Flipboard.

Flipboard is the kind of app that can make the iPad, purely because it's just so useful. Yes, it's essentially just a digital magazine, but one that integrates your friends' Facebook and Twitter posts as image-based updates as well as selected websites, including Boing Boing, Design Sponge and The Onion for example. So content tailored for you 24/7.

However, according to Recombu, the idea does have limitations at present. But limitations that could, in time, be overcome. For a start, you can't add a feed for any website. So if you don't like some of the prominent US blogs offered at launch, you can't replace them with your own leftfield favourites. A problem, but surely something that will be addressed at some point.

Other problems include a limit to how many feeds you can set up (currently nine), no option to rearrange the homescreen icons and no Flickr option. However, the biggest problem at launched seemed much more basic - a rush to sign up had slowed down the service, with the company looking to migrate to better servers as soon as possible. Right now, the service is rather laboured.

But that's pretty much all down to teething problems and the app being new to the market. If the options expand and the servers cope with demand, it's fair to say that Flipboard just might be a pointer as to how we keep updated in future. Glossy magazine publishers should be worried, especially as the ad-free app is also free of charge.

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Mobile Choice

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