Flipboard the iPad app that allows you to view news and social networking in a beautiful magazine styled wrapper, launched a couple of weeks ago with a lot of fan fare. Their servers were immediately over loaded and it took the site days to get back up and running so that people could use the full features of the app.
I got Flipboard when it came out and waited for two days before I could get Twitter up and working on it – some people waited even longer. Last night I got an itch to clean up some of my iPad apps and get rid of the ones that I just don’t really use – turns out Flipboard was one of them.
I was surprised when I came across the Flipboard icon and needed to decide what to do with the app – after all it is a beautifully designed app and there really is nothing wrong with it. Except for the fact that I don’t use it. Flipboard doesn’t fit into my workflow at all, it is too slow to actually get updated on news, Reeder is much better. It is not all that great at conveying information – though it does an excellent job displaying information.
Flipboard then is like an awesome new gadget that you truly do not need. It is the iPod nano when you already have a shuffle and four other iPods – sure it looks and works great, but when do you use it over all the other iPods you have?
Ultimately Flipboard is staying on my iPad, not because I will use it, or because it is useful – rather it is staying because it makes a power case for people when they want to be wowed by the iPad. Flipboard is an beautiful and well thought out app, however just because it is beautiful doesn’t mean it is useful.