The popular news aggregator has received its biggest update in years. Flipboard, now Flipboard 4.0, is changing a few things around. The entire concept of news magazines, which Flipboard had followed all this while, remains. But what changes is how the news stories are delivered to you. Instead of just grouping articles on several different subjects into one big digital “magazine,” Flipboard’s 100 million monthly users can now create several smaller “magazines” around different interests, such as sports, cars, technology, photography and more. There will be further customization options within these magazines as well.
Within the smart magazines around larger interest groups are the options to further customize the content that you get to see. For example, within Technology, you simply swipe up from the black bar on the bottom of the screen and can micro-manage categories with longreads, breakthroughs, startups, venture capital, robotics etc.
Flipboard 4.0 offers the new feature called an automatically updating magazine, which you create. This can be configured to pull content from various sources such as Twitter and social media, RSS feeds, blogs and your favorite publishers and content sources. Visit your Profile within the app, choose Make a Magazine, and then ‘For reading specific sources’ to gather content.
Flipboard 4.0 has made it a bit more intuitive to customize your home page. The magazines that you have can be moved around in order of preference. All you need to do is select the three dots menu on any magazine cover, and select ‘Edit Home’. You will be able to drag and reorder all the magazines.
Flipboard’s algorithm will understand what content you prefer, based on selections and reading habits, and suggest the same content to other users who have perhaps similar preferences. This, Flipboard says, is to make the experience better for everyone.
No other rival app comes close to Flipboard, at least for the time being, in terms of the sheer variety of news sources, slick user experience and the beautiful presentation. Recently, there has been some debate about how content algorithms are showing stories and news to users, and Facebook was the central focus during this. However, Facebook’s algorithms are designed to show you things you’re likely to engage with—because that is how the social network is built, and you really cannot change that. However, there are no such limitations with Flipboard.
The Flipboard 4.0 app is now available for download on Google’s Android devices and the Apple iPhone, and it remains free to download and use.