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Flipboard: a Great Way To Read News on the iPad

2 min read

Ever wonder why people make twitter lists?Is it to categorise the people they follow or to streamline the timeline?

Maybe those clever people who make twitter lists do so because they use apps like Flipboard?

Flipboard allows you to take twitter lists and read them like a magazine.

I was never one for waking up and reading with my breakfast - it just seemed too complicated, but with Flipboard I just open up the app and there's the days latest news.

flipboard-story

Not only does Flipboard display twitter lists, but you can sync with google reader allowing you to catch up with all your favourite RSS feeds, all while enjoying your cornflakes.

With the sharing of news articles on twitter on the rise, this app and others like it can really change how we consume news.

Users have since the dawn of RSS been able to consume many websites from within one application, but this has always been the domain of the geek and RSS has never gained mainstream traction. What makes Flipboard a useful app for me is the ability to read all my favourite sites from within an attractive UI.

Flipboard is available in Apple's App store for free.

My mini iPad review

3 min read

iPadI ordered an iPad when Apple had their Black Friday sale and to be honest I was not sure I really needed it or would actually like it. Remember that I ditched the iPhone for Android!

First impressions of the iPad were not good. It's heavy and the aluminium back make it cold to touch and without a case it can on occasion dig into your hands and give the impression of being sharp. However, these initial thoughts on the iPad's form factor was quickly squashed after using the device.

I have a 10" netbook which I have enjoyed using for two years. While it is a pain with some tasks, overall it has been £250 well spent and continues to serve a purpose today. How then can a £390 10" iPad compete with that?
To put it simply, it not only competes with, but out muscles the netbook on many levels. I have never been so taken with a device, even my first iPhone was not as compelling as this iPad.

After un-boxing, which is always a joy with Apple products, I fully charged the iPad and after a couple of hours synced it with iTunes and got all my apps (that I had previously used on my iPhone) on to the device.

Now I faced a dilema: I would now have two portable devices running similar (if not the same) apps, therefore did I really need the iPad?

Quick answer: YES! Immediately the device becomes second nature.

  • If I want to read the news headlines at breakfast, I reach for the iPad;
  • If I want to check twitter, I reach for the iPad;
  • If I want to check email, I reach for the iPad;
  • When I want to draft a blog post, I reach for the iPad;
  • I've got meetings at work, I load up the iPad with the relevant documents;
  • If I want to make edits or touch up photos, yes you guessed it, I reach for the iPad.

So what makes the iPad so compelling?

  1. The battery life is just awesome . It seems to last for days.
  2. Instant on. Just like your iPod, this thing is just in standby and as soon as you unlock the screen you're good to go.
  3. Screen. While not the retina display seen on the iPhone 4, the current iPad screen is still really good. NB not good in bright sunshine, but that's not an issue for me in Belfast!
  4. The speakers are surprisingly good e.g. handy for the bathroom or listening to in the holiday apartment.
  5. Built-in microphone. Seriously, skype has never been so easy. You can even do one way video.
  6. Apps - the app ecosystem on iOS is really good and there are plenty of good apps that utilise the iPad's full potential e.g. flipboard, filterstorm2.

I could really go on and on, but this is a mini review and after the above the iPad comes into its own when you discuss individual apps, which I plan to do at a later date.

Would I recommend one? Absolutely, but I'd wait until the next generation which should be announced in the next couple of months. Also keep in mind that Android 3.0 has been announced which looks to be a really cool tablet operating system and will give the iPad a run for its money.