We have covered Flipboard for both Android (here) and iOS (here), and not many people can doubt the fact that it is aesthetically the most pleasing news app that has ever been released for either of these platforms. A large number of people already use the app, but after Flipboard’s latest iOS update, we are sure that its fan-base will increase manifold. So far, the app’s main focus has been on interface and visual features, but the new iPhone/ iPad update has taken a big step in a completely different direction. Flipboard now offers an Audio menu that lists SoundCloud feeds, lets you share your own recordings with your friends and throws in a nice music collection for good measure. Not only that, Flipboard has added VoiceOver integration for visually impaired users as well. Of course, VoiceOver is a native iOS feature, but now it is possible to make use of it if you want to navigate through the app and listen to your favorite articles.
To check out the new Audio menu, just tap the red search ribbon in the top right corner of the screen, and you will find the Audio option there. Like most of the other Flipboard menus, you can search through the Audio hub. There are many channels – some for music, while others are strictly news feeds with audio support. There are a few featured audio channels at the top of this menu. Just tap a channel’s name to enter it, or the ‘+’ button to add it to your personalized feed.
Each audio channel is divided into several pages, ordered chronologically. To listen to a particular song or news item, just tap the play button next to it. Flipboard’s audio player works in the background, so feel free to navigate away from the source page after playing a track. The app offers detailed audio controls as well, and you can view them by tapping the small musical note button in the bottom left corner of the Audio page. The controls will let you jump to any part of the sound clip, or add it to your favorites. Sharing options for audio clips are the same as regular Flipboard items. Using all these features, you can listen to news stories, songs, SoundCloud shares and podcasts.
The accessibility improvements brought by the update fully integrate the VoiceOver feature from Apple with Flipboard. If you have got VoiceOver set up on your iDevice, you can listen to any text written within the app. The update has been rolled out for both iPhone and iPad versions of the app, and you can grab the updated app from the following link.