09
May
FlipboardGameChangerOrPassingFad

One of the things that we didn't have chance to cover at Samsung's Galaxy S III event last week was the presence of Flipboard on all of the demonstration units on show. Naturally, this has led to speculation that the release of Flipboard for the rest of the Android community may be coming soon - Flipboard's website says that it "will be available on select Android mobile phones" in the coming months - but you won't have to wait and find out, as the .apk file has already been taken from the Galaxy S III and shared for other Android users to install.

They say that first impressions are everything, and if that's the case then I've already fallen head over heels in love with Flipboard. I've installed it on a Nexus One running Android 2.3, and all of the animations within the app are really smooth - I haven't experienced the slightest hint of lag so far. The fact that the application even runs on a device not running Ice Cream Sandwich also indicates that Flipboard is unlikely to remain a Galaxy S III exclusive for very long, if at all.

If you haven't used Flipboard before, you can set up your feed without creating an account and dive straight in with all of the content that's available. If you've already used the app in the past, then you can sign in and all of your feeds that you have previously configured will be there waiting for you.

Flipboard-Android 001 Flipboard-Android 002 Flipboard-Android 003

The idea behind Flipboard is simple: you can take all of the things that you read, whether it's from the web, Twitter or even Facebook, and put it in one easily accessible place. The Android app definitely has a Metro-like feel to it, with tiles on each page resembling those that you might see on Windows Phone 7. Your home page contains each of the categories that you're interested in, and you can tap on each one to reveal the latest stories in each.

If you want to add more sources after you've setup your Flipboard, you can tap on the little search tab on the top of the screen to search for any feeds that you want. A quick search for 'android police', for example, revealed both our Twitter feed and RSS feed, giving you the option to subscribe to which one you wanted.

Tweets and other content on your page look absolutely gorgeous, with full screen images providing a background for post titles where possible. Compared to other RSS readers and news applications, Flipboard is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing. Unlike many RSS readers, however, when you tap on a story that you want to read, you're taken to the website where it originated, and the content here may not be tailored for easy reading on a mobile device.

Flipboard-Android 004 Flipboard-Android 005 Flipboard-Android 006

If you want to share a story, you can do so straight from Flipboard as long as you've set up your Facebook or Twitter account through the app. You can also email a link to the story from the app too; selecting this option will take you to your email app so that you can send it to whoever you like.

If you're logged in to Flipboard, you can take advantage of the 'Read Later' option, which allows you to save a story for reading later. As this feature requires you to be logged in, anything that you choose to read later is linked to your account, so you can read it on any device that you want, too.

If I was to have one complaint about Flipboard, it would be that there is quite a bit of wasted space when viewing tweets without images on the screen. There is a sizeable gap between each tweet - only 3 could fit on the display of my Nexus One - which results in a lot of white space that could be otherwise filled with useful content. Some users may see this as attractive minimalism, so like most UI-related complaints, it comes down to personal opinion.

Flipboard-Android 007  Flipboard-Android 009 Flipboard-Android 008

As the application isn't officially available on the Play Store just yet, there are no formal requirements available for it, but if you have a relatively new Android phone then you shouldn't run into any issues. I've installed and run it just fine on a Google Nexus One which has unimpressive specs by today's standards.

If you want to take a look at Flipboard for yourself, then you can download the .apk right now from XDA Developers. It's less than 3MB big, so it shouldn't take too long to come down and you can install it manually after transferring the file to your phone's storage.

John Thompson
John's been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his first custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He's also the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he destroyed the first six.

  • Marc

    It works on a Nexus S also!

  • mgamerz

    So it's like google currents without the first image bug and better animations? I'm in

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    My first impressions were similar - it's very-very good looking, uses thumbs in posts in a very attractive way, the UI is very smooth and fluid. 5 stars here.

  • Alvin B.

    It doesn't play well with Tablets... Three main problems that I see. 1) It complains that the screen resolution is too large. 2) It uses fonts that are gigantic. 3) It forces portrait mode.

    While it may make sense on iDevices to do those things on Android, there should be a single unified version able to scale and rotate as necessary... Maybe they will fix this when a final release is made? 

    Another problem I see, is that it doesn't have much support for international sources.

    • himmatsingh

       Yes, this isn't tablet optimized. Basically it's a blown up version of that which is supposed to be on the S3. It's also portrait only.

      But the flipping idea is pretty novel...and neat!

  • Eduardo Grotteschi

    In Asus Prime has issues when flipping back...

  • http://twitter.com/PunsHouse Pun’s House

    Oh noes! Flipboard will be available to us lowly Android users. The iPhone sheeple are going to go crazy now!

    • KLy

      haha just like with Instagram. im waitin for Twitter to blow up with angry iSheep's

  • himmatsingh

    Just curious...won't you get sued for this?

    • himmatsingh

       Why can't you just post the APK?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Why would we get sued? We're media covering an external event, it's not like it's an exclusive or anything. And even if it was, the worst thing that could happen is probably a C&D.

  • hyperolic

    Working on an SGS2 stock 2.3.5 :D

  • http://twitter.com/MajorXero G!

    Works fine on Samsung Galaxy Nexus running 4.0.2 (still waiting on the damn 4.0.4 update).

    • Xaronax

      It's been out for a while dude. Check for updates or just download it.

  • June

    Works well on a Samsung Galaxy Y. Loving leaked apps right now. 

  • Huttowj

    So, Im probably just being paranoid, but should it throw up a red flag that it sends me to a download/ sign in screen whenever I try to link it to Facebook, even though I'm already signed into that app on my phone? Also, that the screen I'm sent to seems to be in Indonesian?

    • xhazyx

      It's a one time login through Facebook's API, just so the app can pull your feed, it doesn't keep you logged in in any other application or even the browser

  • Luke Tarajkowski

    This app made me miss my Iphone 4s so much. Love flipboard! Installing ASAP! 

  • Ddingemanse

    Downloaded it with Transformer 1 on the browser, uploaded it to Google Drive and finally downloaded from Google Drive to my SGS on Cyanogenmod 9. Flawlessly!

  • http://twitter.com/Zombie_Vader Iván Bedecarats

    Working fine in SGS 1 with Android 2.3.3

  • cortezhamilton

    How is this any different or better then pulse which we android user have had forever. Or is this just one of those things android users just wanted and over hype cuz ios had it first?

    • http://r0ar.wordpress.com/ Shank

      Pulse pales in comparison to Flipboard as far as experience goes.

      • RaviShah

        i actually prefer pulse... i can see news faster and theres less wasted space

      • cortezhamilton

        How is that it got everything flip house down to the widget. The only difference is flip has a flip affect wow big whoop. And it goes one dumb page at a time but on pulse u can see a whole row of info and can simple just click on ur preferred article not look at a flip effect going one page at a time. It could just be be and a flip affect means nothing to me since my home screen has had that affect when i change from screen to screen for years now

  • Furrba11

    Tried and tested on HTC Desire HD, couple of force closures but mostly stable. 

  • ghia_

     Can we sincronize and download all news to read offline like Currents?

    Or we had to sincronize news one by one?

  • randyfromreno

    Works great on my Inspire 4G.

  • GeekGirl77

    I absolutely <3 it!  Working fine on my HTC Sensation.

  • http://twitter.com/TheGermian Germian

    I just noticed, on your newest Hands-On video of the SGS3 there is a Flipboard widget on the homescreen which seems to be absent from the leaked apk. I can't imagine that a widget is baked into the OS, so you think this is a early version or something?

  • nsnsmj

    Is this better than Google Currents? From the previews  and videos I've seen today, it doesn't seem to offer much over Currents, at least that I can think of.

  • Phreqd

    Working good on my Note!

  • Mark Slavin

    Any chance we can get the updated version ? I can't update through the market.

  • Guest

    Wtf is flipboard and really who all needs it?. I have the SGS2 from Tmobile and wanting some good Games or Apps on it. About 2 days ago i got some update from Tmobile-Samsung that FAILED.Only because my phone was on the wall charger and when it rebooted as it said it needed to. I got an errer FACTORY RESET MOOD D-Loading Target do NOT TURN OFF. This ONLY happens when its on this wall charger. I called tmobile and they are not sure what causes that?? They think its because its not a "samsung charger"..Plus also told me the update was from the 2.WHATEVER to a "4.0". Called samsung they said no. Then also told me its an update for " SAMSUNG KIES " and it d-loaded then i got some ERROR after all that. Then she told me well inorder to d-load this it needs 2 be connected 2 my computer. Do they know what the hell they are blabing about? and do i need that update?. I want the ICE CREAM on my S2. My email is been.there.done.that420@gmail.com

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