There’s a reason why newspapers and magazines still find a place at our breakfast tables, even as innovations like wireless radio sets, colour television and Lady Gaga’s Twitter feed invade our mind space. It’s something to do with big headlines and bigger photos, flicking lazily through the boring stuff and feeling in control instead of being shouted at.
And it’s something that Flipboard understands perfectly.
Flipboard turns digital information into a virtual magazine. It takes your Facebook and Twitter feeds, news from dozens of big name outlets, photos, gossip and more and lays them out automatically to look like a sixth-form website project, except with a nice page-flipping animation.
Just like a newspaper, you’ll get the first couple of paragraphs from a story, an interesting image or perhaps just a headline, which you can then click on to pull up more - and then click again to link through to the original website.
The lack of a human editor can be jarring – war declared might get a smaller headline than your mate’s cute piglet video – but you soon get used to the flow.
Flipboard isn’t the most efficient way to browse your digital life, especially the endless churn of Twitter, but it is one of the most civilised. Also worth checking out are Taptu (free), which is better at saving articles to read later, and Pulse (free), although this doesn’t do as good a job with social networks.