Flipboard, one of the most critically acclaimed and downloaded reader apps for iPad, received its first major update yesterday, fixing some of the biggest issues with the first version and adding Google Reader and Flickr support as well as a plethora of new features and bugfixes.
If you don’t know what Flipboard is, its developers call it a “social magazine,” an iPad app that takes your feeds from various social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and turns them into a interactive magazine full of eye candy. Flip through your tweets like you’re reading a book, complete with large images and content scraping that ensures you don’t have to leave the app to read what you want.
Already declared the “App of the Year” by Apple themselves, this new update will only cement Flipboard’s place among the strongest iPad apps. The best part? It’s still free.
Google Reader support is as you would expect: log in to your account, and Flipboard pulls in all of your feeds into Flipboards magazine-style pages. You can tap the title of the feed to browse through the folders you’ve created in Reader, and dig down into individual feeds and posts, which are displayed in line with everything else. It only takes a few taps to share Google Reader content on your other networks like Twitter, and it can all be done within the same great interface.
The Facebook and Twitter streams have also been updated to provide you with a much cleaner way of accessing your feeds. Before, Flipboard would just present you with a random collection of tweets and posts, seemingly unaware of how you have anything sorted. The new Flipboard lets you browse through your Twitter lists, see your own profile, or sort by groups that you’ve set in Facebook all as independent “chapters” of your social magazine. No longer will you have to aimlessly flip through pages looking for what you want: the control in this update has greatly improved.
The icing on the cake is that Flipboard has been fully updated to support iOS 4.2, which means support for fast app switching. If you have to leave the app to check an email or do something else, your magazine will be right where you left it when you come back, no more having to wait for it all to load up again.
Overall, the update is much appreciated and takes the Flipboard experience from good to incredible. At the low low price of free, why wouldn’t you head over to the App Store right now and click update? Make sure you have some spare time, because you’ll be playing with this one for a while.