I personally think Flipboard lost a great opportunity to grab hundreds of thousands of new users when they didn’t launch Flipboard for the web before Google Reader’s demise. It’s been three weeks now since Reader was shut down, and only now has Flipboard come up with a very basic version of their popular mobile apps for the web. We go hands-on after the jump.
Unlike their high-quality mobile apps, as of typing, Flipboard on the web does not have any ‘dashboard’ of sorts from where you can subscribe to new content sources via RSS or social network integration, or flip through your feed. It is simply a way to read magazines created and curated by people using Flipboard for mobile devices. In that sense, it is like Vine and Instagram, which let you create, view and share content from mobile devices, but only view them from desktop browsers.
One thing that Flipboard has done really well with their web implementation of magazines is the user interface design. It works almost exactly like its mobile counterparts. You scroll to flip pages in 3D, see big, high-resolution covers and photos, quickly share links on Facebook and Twitter, etc.
What’s even more impressive is the design’s responsiveness – the page automatically adjusts content to cater to different display resolutions.
Tip: Click the Menu button in the top-left corner to check out Flipboard users’ favorite magazines.
There aren’t many other options available at the moment. You can subscribe to new magazines, and add individual articles to your own magazines, but that’s as close as it gets to the full Flipboard experience. The bulk of your flipping as a Flipboard user will still take place on a smartphone or tablet.
Since Flipboard on the web makes use of modern web technologies to make everything work, you will need to use Internet Explorer 9 (or above), or any moderately recent version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari get the full experience.
Flipboard on the Web isn’t of great use right now, but the company has stated that this is only the “first step”; more features are on their way. Once Flipboard on the Web achieves parity with its mobile counterparts, it will be a serious contender for the title of best news-reader across all platforms, which I believe is currently in the hands of Feedly.
Check out Flipboard on the Web by visiting the Community page from the link below. Let us know about your favorite magazines!