Flipboard has arrived on your desktop as a Web-based version of the Flipboard program went live on Tuesday, bringing the motion loved by millions, the flip, to their desktop PC’s. The new app means anyone can view, share and “flip” their magazine content online, a vision that is closer to the company’s beginning.
“Being able to take all that and bring it to the desktop and go back to our earliest roots is kind of cool,” Founder Mike McCue said as he showed off the sleek new Web app, which looks like Flipboard’s existing mobile applications. Thinking of the desktop as Flipboard’s first choice for a platform is a novel idea now, given the company’s reputation for taking a huge gamble on the iPad in the company’s early days. McCue presented the app to investors using a slideshow demo because Apple had not even released the iPad hardware yet. But when co-founder Evan Doll and McCue and dreamed up Flipboard in 2010, it was originally suppose to be an online service, however, the technology just wasn’t there yet. McCue said it would not have looked the way he wanted it to, like a nicely laid out magazine you could browse through. “And then I started hearing these rumors about this tablet from Apple and as the rumors increased, I said we’re just going to wait,” he said. The team started making cardboard models of what they thought the iPad would look like. They were like empty shells that could be inserted with slides of what Flipboard would look like. And when Apple did make it’s announcement, the Flipboard team watched (the late) Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s speech intently. “While he was talking about it, we were downloading the SDK” McCue said.
Since then, the app’s user base has grown quickly and it continues to as in the last two months. Flipboard went from 56 million users and 1 million magazines in May to 75 million users and 2 million magazines. It continues to inch toward a mainstream audience. In addition to recently adding some high-profile political figures to its users (former Vice President Al Gore, Speaker of the House John Boehner and California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom are all magazine creators), the company also announced the launch of a new initiative on Tuesday – It’s paring with 20 nonprofits to curate a new “Big Ideas” section within Flipboard that highlight different causes. Android curators can even add an Internet favorite to their magazines, animated gifs. The new desktop application goes a long way in bringing content to a larger audience. It will work on the most recent versions of browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 and Safari and can be read in, so far, 11 languages. However, the new site isn’t complete yet. In order to create an account or connect to social media sites, users will still have to download the app. Flipboard have plans to have the full slate of features available by early 2014. But it’s a start and they were careful to recreate the same visual experience while also taking advantage of some Web-based features, like having a fluid design. This means when a user resizes a browser’s window, the content resizes with it. There’s also a scrubber at the bottom of the page that will let you quickly zoom through content and you have the option of using the trackpad, keyboard arrows or mouse click wheel to flip through the pages.
Will you be flipping on your tablet, mobile or desktop?
[Image Via designtrend]