I hadn’t read a paper based magazine or newspaper in ages. Not until this morning anyway.
My primary reason for avoiding magazines is the news is generally old by the time I buy it, so the laptop I am reading about in the ‘latest’ Macworld has already been superseded by the time the magazine went to print.
I avoided newspapers not because the news is old, I mean how could it be- they are printed daily, but because these days there are far better and far easier ways of getting that information.
Until now I have been depending on that odd example of self destruction- the newspapers own website. You know, the place where you can get for free what they are charging for at the news agents.
But these sites have problems. For starters they are often full of ads and the articles are trimmed down. Then there is the fact that most of the news website designs are fist swallowingly hideous.
Fortunately there is a better way to read these newspapers and magazines, at least on your iPad or iPhone, and that way is Flipboard.
The first thing you’ll notice about Flipboard is that it is free. The second thing will be how easy it is to setup and thirdly, as you really start getting into it, you’ll realize it still hasn’t asked you for money.
When you start you need to choose what areas you are interested in; Sport, Business, International, Movies, Art and Science and so on. You don’t make this choice via a boring check list or a series of pull down menus but rather from a swatch of sharp, clean and very stylish tiles. In fact I am willing to bet the designer of this App and the designer of Windows Phone 7 are flat mates.
Once these choices are made Flipboard sets about building a personal magazine littered with the stories you are most likely to be interested in. Swiping between pages bends the page like a sheet of card and it flips to the next article. If an article does take your fancy you just need to tap once and the screen fills with that story and there are links to the website on which it is posted.
This, surely, has to be the future of newspaper and magazine reading? It’s fast, it’s clean and it’s stylish and it can be done in a confided space. By contrast I tried to read a traditional newspaper today while sitting at an outdoor café. The wind blew the paper around like a sail and I had to fold it up every time I wanted a sip of coffee and as it was a weekend edition it felt like I was wrestling with a flag.
The final straw arrived promptly when I attempted to turn to the funny pages and in doing so almost blinded my wife who was sitting opposite trying fruitlessly to finish her breakfast before a picture of Julia Gillard landed in her eggs.
I said earlier Flipboard is free but I’d be willing to spend money on this App. I’d like to see it support the newspaper and magazine makers and have Flipboard replace the terribly over engineered Apps like smh and The Age and, more pressingly, see the end of those awful news websites.