Fly Or Die: Does Flipboard Have A Chance?

It’s time for this week’s episode of Fly or Die, the TCTV show where CrunchGear editor John Biggs and I look at three new products and debate their longterm chances of survival. In today’s show, we discuss Windows Phone 7, the just-announced Casio Tryx digital camera, and the popular Flipboard iPad app. At the end of the show, a special surprise guest appears from one of the companies involved to respond immediately to our criticisms of his product. That’s the best part of the show, so be sure to watch until the end to catch it.

Okay, I’ll tell you who is the guest. It is Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll, but John didn’t know who it would be when we were taping this yesterday. John actually gave Flipboard a “die” verdict because he thinks the New York Times or News Corp. will come in soon with their own social reading apps and cut Flipboard at the knees. I disagree. Flipboard, along with a few other iPad apps, is defining a new way to consume information on touchscreen tablets. Flipboard unpacks the underlying articles and images from your social streams like Twitter and Facebook, and presents them in a magazine-like format. It already has one million users, so those old media companies better move fast if they want to play the iPad game.

One challenge Flipboard does have is that it is still an aggregator of news and therefore is seen as a threat by some publishers, just like Google News or Digg. The bigger issue, in my opinion, is that it still presents news in chronological order, and doesn’t filter the news by importance or authority. Doll acknowledges that Flipboard needs to do better in that regard and suggests that the company is working on exactly those kinds of features. If you want to watch just the Flipboard segment, I’ve embedded it below.

The other two products we discuss are the Windows Phone 7 and Casio Tryx. We’ve already done a full review of Windows Phone 7 (twice). Just to be clear, Fly or Die is not so much a product review show as it is a product debate show. Both John and I are impressed with Windows Phone 7, but the big question is whether or not it can attract enough high-quality apps to make a dent in the smartphone market. The Casio Tryx is a digital camera with a funky form factor. It sports a handle that swings out and can double as a tripod, and it is making a big splash at the CES.

Since John is at CES this week, he had to join me by video Skype from the Venetian show floor in Las Vegas. And our guest Skyped in from Palo Alto. So apologies in advance for the imperfect audio, but the logistics were kind of crazy for this episode. I hope you enjoy it. Below are links to each segment from this episode, along with the Flipboard segment embedded. Be sure to also check out our previous episodes where we took on the Boxee Box, Instagram (Episode 1), and the Nexus S and Video Girl Barbie (Episode 2).

Fly or Die (Episode 3):Windows Phone 7

Fly or Die (Episode 3): Casio Tryx