Flipboard now Available for Android

by David Loft posted May 9th 2012

File Under Mobile

Flipboard is now available for Android (Unofficially) and it equals the iOS version to a fault.

The biggest issue I have is that Flipboard ignores Android's share API. If you select share it just gives you an option to tweet. You can also share with one of three read later apps, but that's it. So if you want to share to Google+ or any other service not deemed worthy by Flipboard's developers, you can't.

It's also glitchy on my Galaxy Nexus with Force GPU rendering turned on, so if you use that feature to improve performance of other apps you will need to turn it off to use Flipboard.

The other issue I have is if it requires the web to load the rest of the article, it opens in Flipboard's limited browser. You can go into the menu to view on web where it will take you to your browser of choice. But I would love the option to turn off the built in browser.

The purpose of a built in browser is rooted deeply within the flaws of iOS.

Without one, an article would be sent to the stock browser and without an OS back button it makes it more difficult to get back to the app you were in. The built in browser keeps all usage within the app and allows the apps back button to easily take you back to the previous page in the app.

With Android there is no need for a built in browser as the OS back button will take you back to where you were in the previous app. It's unfortunate to see iOS developers time and time again make these kind of mistakes when moving their app from iOS to Android. Showing they were either uninformed or just so tightly wrapped within iOS they can't see an alternative way of doing things.

The app is so focused on form it forgets its primary function, displaying information.

It's the one thing I've noticed time and time again using Flipboard on the smaller screen. The design is dominated by an image, white space and large text. As such it often can't display the entire title in the available space. I'm finding myself clicking on articles I normally wouldn't have, just because I don't have enough information to make that decision upon first glance. Take a look at the image below comparing my Google Reader feed within Flipboard and Reader HD.

Overall I feel that Flipboard is better suited on a tablet.

It's beautiful, no doubt about it. But the image heavy design limits the amount of content on a single page. It works beautifully on a tablet, but it becomes a liability on a phone. I also can't make it my full time reader without the ability to share freely.

With all that said, I'm still happy to see Flipboard on Android. For good or bad it brings Android one step closer to parity with iOS.

Source: XDA

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