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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Flipboard for iOS review:

Flipboard beautifies your news feeds

Flipboard is great for browsing Twitter, giving you the tweet, the associated photo, and a little more of the story. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Flipping through social networks

One of the best things about Flipboard is how it handles social networks. Looking at your Facebook account on Flipboard, for example, brings up all your latest news stories in a magazine-style format and automatically displays images from links your friends posted. Similarly, when you touch Twitter, you'll get each tweet laid out in magazine format, but also with linked stories similarly laid out so you can read some of the article (more than on Twitter) before touching to see the whole story. In this way, Flipboard might even be a better way to look at Twitter than Twitter itself.

Even if you know you're not going to be online later (say, if you're going on a trip via airplane), any of the stories you find can be saved to Instapaper, Pocket, or Readability so you have the articles available offline.

Once you've created a magazine, your top story shows up with a nice-looking full-screen photo. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Creating a personalized magazine

Flipboard lets you create a magazine of your favorite content, give it a title, then gives you the option to share it with the public or keep it for private use only. A button with a plus sign appears next to every story you come across; it's for selecting and saving content to your personal magazine. Touching the button brings up a smaller window where you can create your magazine. Just add a title, enter an optional description, and select a category. A switch at the bottom lets you either share your magazine publicly or keep it private.

Now, next time you see a story that fits your magazine's theme, just hit the plus button and select your magazine to quickly add the story. What results when you read your magazine is a great-looking cover page with your featured story. Then when you swipe upward you can read on through the magazine.

Once you've made a magazine public, other users can find it in searches and can then follow you (and you can follow others in the same way). Once you've followed a few people, you can look at the panel view and select People to see what the latest stories are from your favorite users.

Browse through topic panels to see news from every category. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Better for casual news browsing

Flipboard is a great news reading experience, but I think it's more geared towards sitting on the couch and casually browsing the headlines. Those who are used to RSS newsreaders like Feedly may not like the magazine-style format because they want to just quickly look at headlines and move on. For this, Flipboard is not as efficient, so be aware it's not an RSS replacement.


Flipboard offers an excellent layout for browsing the latest news feeds and popular social sites that's perfect for both the iPhone and iPad. The personalized magazine features provide more customization and interactivity with social networks and other users.

With tons of customization options and a unique magazine-style interface, anyone looking for a better way to browse the latest news and posts on social networks should definitely download this app immediately.

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