Flipboard, an iOS exclusive for several months, was officially released for Android early Friday morning. The beta release came out earlier in May following an apk leak of the exclusive Samsung S III application. To this day, I’m not sure if this leak was a planned bit of genius from the Flipboard team or not. but here is the feature list including what’s new in its first official release to Android:
- Be amazed by what you see when everything people are sharing, collecting and publishing in every moment comes together in a single place.
- Search for anything—people, topics, hashtags, blogs, your favorite sites—and flip through articles, updates, photos and videos in a beautiful magazine format.
- Connect Flipboard to 12 social networks, streamlining your reading and activities like commenting, liking and sharing. Services include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, Sina Weibo and Renren.
- Get a quick dose of what’s happening now, in Cover Stories, a constantly updated selection of articles, photos and videos shared by your friends.
- Save anything to read later using Instapaper, Pocket and Readability.
- Create a Flipboard account to access your favorite content and social networks on different or shared devices.
- Enjoy Flipboard in 14 localized editions—for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, U.S. and U.K.
- Explore hundreds of staff picks in the Content Guide, including must-read magazines and blogs, gorgeous photography and special curated sections devoted to the news of the day and other topics of interest.
- Access Flipboard quickly through the widget.
With the full release, Flipboard can now access Google Plus and Youtube. Google Plus, up to now, had been limiting the partners in which sufficient API was released allowing third parties access to their feeds. Upon receiving the update from the Play Store, I immediately added both feeds.
The Google Plus feed is quite breathtaking on Flipboard. It will even rival the native Google Plus application on Android in style and function. I did have some lag in getting updates, but that’s to be expected from this early of a release and potentially a lot of pulls from Google’s API. YouTube also worked well, feeding me my subscriptions and video worked well in my first few tests. The challenge now for content publishers is to make their material shine within Flipboard. I do believe this will become a popular application within the entire web ecosystem.
There were questions about receiving the update. I’ve linked directly to the Google Play Store below. The app itself will not push an update at this time, but by going to the Play Store, one should be able to see the update there. It is reported to be heading out to other markets as well, so a quick search should suffice. Once updated, users will be able to add Google Plus and YouTube to their pull list under the My Account section.
What are your thoughts on the updated release of Google Plus? In my very humble opinion, this rivals any magazine style news reader anywhere and is a great addition to the Android platform with widget support.