An update to social news viewing app Flipboard goes live in the app store today, with a new souped up 1.5 version that optimizes the reader experience even further. Earlier this week we had the chance to sit down with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and did a demo of the new features, above.
McCue tells me that the redesign focused on three core changes.
1. People can now navigate to an infinite number of feeds (previous limit was 21).
2. Navigation through content is much more efficient via a Content Guide.
3. Users can follow their LinkedIn graph through added LinkedIn integration.
The biggest shift from the previous version is the Flipboard Content Guide, which separates curated content streams like Science and Tech and Design to easily connect first time and repeat users with the topics that they’re most interested in, similar to competitor app Pulse’s curated streams.
Users can access the Content Guide by tapping on the red “More” tab at the top of the app and add frequently viewed feeds to Favorites by tapping on the “add” button. The Content Guide is curated and constantly refreshed by an editor at Flipboard, regularly adding new news sources like The New Yorker, The National Geographic and Wired.
Flipboard has also added LinkedIn integration with its latest build, allowing people to view what their contacts on LinkedIn are sharing in Flipboard mode. The LinkedIn integration is novel in that people can also view what people are reading on LinkedIn Today, which breaks down industry news into 37 verticals, useful when brushing up on small talking points before a meeting.
Other interface changes in this latest version include no delay “one-tap” into stories as well as highlighting the popular stores in each section and speed improvements. Content from partners like Wired is even further streamlined into a frictionless, speedy and magazine-likereading experience.
With over 2 1/2 million downloads and with 11.4 million “Flips” per day (which can be likened to pageviews), Flipboard, which just received an additional $50 million in funding, is a fortunate first mover in a space that may eventually be the way most people get their news, on a tablet.