Flipboard – best social media and RSS reader

Yesterday, I posted a summary of the ins and outs of RSS and why journalists need to be across this important, time saving technology. I mentioned in that post that one way to access your RSS feeds was to use a special piece of software called an RSS reader or aggregator. If you’re an iPad user, one of the best apps for this task is Flipboard. That’s not a compliment I give cheaply.

Flipboard grabs data from different sources such as RSS, Twitter and Facebook and presents them in a magazine style format. For example, let’s say you’ve created a Twitter list from the TV shows you like to watch. You can create a new section in Flipboard that grabs all tweets and any included links and pictures and presents them in a visually appealing and more engaging format.

Below are images from Feeddler, an RSS reader for the iPad, and Twitter for iPad. Both are well regarded applications that present new information neatly. However, you’ll see that both present data in a linear form.

Flipboard completely discards this paradigm. It takes the same content but presents it in a magazine-style format.

See the difference? There’s nothing wrong with Twitter or Feeddler but in Flipboard, the experience is far more engaging. Also, because Flipboard pre-fetches content from links for me, and not just a link to a page, I don’t have to tap as many links or wait for things to arrive. When I want to move to the next page, I simply swipe a finger across the screen and the page turns, just like a magazine.

It’s only been in the most recent update to Flipboard that RSS integration, for Google Reader accounts has been added. Also, content is now cached so that you can view content when you’re not connected to¬†the¬†Internet.

Flipboard is free from the Apple App Store.