by James A. Martin

Free Flipboard App for Android Doesn’t Support Tablets

Jun 25, 20122 mins

The popular magazine-like content aggregator app for iOS, Flipboard, recently made its Android debut. Unfortunately, this terrific app isn’t available for Android tablets, which are better suited for reading than smaller smartphones.

Instagram made headlines recently when the formerly iOS-only app became available for Android, too. If you want a laugh, check out some of the snarky tweets that followed Instragram’s Android debut in Al Sacco’s “Instagram for Android Draws Tasteless Tweets from Elitist iPhoners.”

As far as I can tell, there’s been no such backlash against Flipboard, the formerly iOS-only app that just made its debut on Android. Maybe the iOS haters are distracted, or they’re less passionate about Flipboard. Whatever the reason, Flipboard on Android is a good thing—with one significant exception.

If you’re not familiar with the free Flipboard app, it’s a sleek mobile content aggregator that brings together news you’re interested in, from a variety of media outlets, as well as your social media updates. All Flipboard content is presented in a pleasingly interactive interface that makes browsing and reading fun. I also love Flipboard’s multiple options for specifying the content you want.

Flipboard for iOS is optimized for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad screens. However, the Android version is only built for smartphones. Perhaps the tablet optimized version will come later. Either way, the lack of a tablet version is not a big problem. On my Samsung Galaxy Note, the app looks great and the content doesn’t feel cramped. Of course, the Galaxy Note has a 5.3-inch screen, so opinions on this subject may vary.

Flipboard Android screen shot

I can’t think of a single reason why anyone who enjoys reading news from today’s leading sources wouldn’t want to install and regularly use Flipboard. The only downside: Unlike Google Currents, a similar content aggregator app for Android and iOS devices, you can’t read Flipboard stories while offline unless you choose them for offline reading in advance using an Instapaper, Pocket or Readability account. Currents automatically makes stories available offline. Thankfully, picking a story to read offline in Flipboard is easy. After setting up your offline reading account preference, you just tap articles to select the ‘read later’ option. (To read my review of Google Current, see “Google Currents for iOS, Android Does One Thing Better Than Flipboard.”)

Flipboard on Android doesn’t look much different from its iOS cousin, and that’s a good thing. If you haven’t already tried Flipboard, I recommend downloading it. You’ll be hooked, like me, in no time.