Android phones are about to get one of the best apps made for the iPhone and iPad: Flipboard, the popular social news magazine, is finally heading to Android phones today.
“People are using Flipboard on one out of every 10 iPads right now,” Flipboard co-founder and CEO Mike McCue told ABC News. “We looked at the Android device specifically, and all the different screen sizes, and made sure Flipboard would look great on all those different types of phones.”
Flipboard was released for the iPad in 2010 and then for the iPhone a few months later. The app allows users to sign in to their Facebook, Twitter, or other supported social networks, and it displays the status updates, links and pictures in an interactive magazine format. With the Android app, Flipboard also added a Flipboard widget that updates with new stories.
It took the time to get the Android app right, the Flipboard founders said.
“The biggest challenge is designing an experience for the smartphone in general,” McCue said. “People need a quick way to catch up on their phone.”
The Android app looks a lot like the iPhone app in terms of look and feel.
However, there is one big missing piece with Flipboard’s new Android offering — an Android tablet app. While Flipboard is incredibly popular on the iPad, the Android app wasn’t built or designed for larger-screened Android devices. The phone app doesn’t display as much on the screen as the tablet app. However, the phone app will also be available for the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet.
“We started with Android phones, we see a lot of them out in the wild,” McCue said.
“We are still in a wait-and-see mode with Android tablets,” Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll said. “The iPad is the flagship tablet and we are going to stay focused on it.”
But Flipboard isn’t done building. McCue and Doll are focused on how to make it easier for users to get content. The company recently added YouTube and Google+ integration to the service.
“We are going to try it to make it easy for the people you care about to bring content in front of you and have the most important things find you so you don’t have to find them,” Doll said.
Flipboard will be available starting today for free in the Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore for Android, and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store.