Flipboard To Release New Version Thursday

by Avinash Saxena

Flipboard is slated to launch version 1.2 of its popular social newsreading app for the iPad Thursday, just one day before the iPad 2 arrives in Apple stores across the country.

Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll walked us through the new features, including:

  • Social search: Users can now search for key terms or hashtags to pull up real-time updates from multiple sources, including Facebook, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Flickr and Google Reader. Results are displayed in Flipboard’s signature magazine-style layout, making it easier to follow and navigate through a flood of breaking news than, say, Tweetdeck.
  • Instagram integration: Flipboard has taken advantage of the API of photo-sharing iPhone app Instagram, enabling users to browse Instagram photos as if they were flipping through a homemade photo album. Users can click to see images at 2/3 screen size — making it, in fact, much better for viewing Instagram photos than the Instagram app itself.
  • Speed: Flipboard is now twice as fast as it was before, Doll tells us. Content now loads in four to five seconds, rather than eight to 10.
  • Two new partners: Both Wired.com and photo blog Pictory have become official Flipboard content partners, and will soon begin displaying and selling ads in the app, of which Flipboard will receive a cut. (While Flipboard displays ads at present, they do not yet generate any revenue.)
  • Refresh button: There is now a refresh button at the top of most pages for loading new content.
  • Featured: A featured ribbon at the top can be pulled out to highlight editors’ picks.

The additions are appreciated but by no means revolutionary. We’re curious to see whether Flipboard moves in the direction of personalization and algorithm-based recommendations in the future, like Zite, a newly launched reading app for the iPad.

 

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