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// Tales from software development

Flipboard – what’s going on ?

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I’ve been using Flipboard for a couple of years to keep up with several software development blogs and noticed recently that these were showing up in Flipboard as ‘Content unavailable’. As the affected blogs are all hosted by Microsoft MSDN, I guessed that the URLs may have changed and I need to edit the Flipboard entry to point to the updated URL.

This morning I tried to do that on my iPad and discovered that there is no way to edit any property of a Flipboard entry. The Edit functionality consists of one action: X, i.e. Delete. This is poor.

As an alternative to correcting the URL, I thought I’d add a new entry for the new URLs and then delete the old entries. Erm… How do I add a URL for a blog ? It must be possible because I’ve previously done it, obviously, but it isn’t at all obvious now. After trying a number of different ways of searching and adding the blog URL I realised that Flipboard just won’t do this anymore. Or, if it can do it, the functionality is well hidden.

As I wasn’t getting very far with the iPad app I thought I’d try using the web interface on my desktop PC. Bizarrely, the web UI feels even more limited. I don’t think it is as I think it offers exactly the same functionality as the iPad app but there’s an expectation that the browser UI on a desktop PC would offer more. At least on the iPad app I get a message indicating ‘Content unavailable’ but in the desktop browser UI I just get a blank page. This is getting a bit rubbish…

I’m at a loss to understand what Flipboard is trying to achieve. They appear to have removed the ability to follow a blog web site and there is no edit functionality worth mentioning. It’s possible to delete a source but that’s it.

When Apple released its News app on iOS there were suggestions that this would compete directly against apps like Flipboard but rather than build on the existing functionality, Flipboard appears to be removing functionality and dumbing down to ensure that its app fails against News. Weird. Right now, I can’t see any reason not to delete the Flipboard app from my iPad as it’s not providing me with anything that the Apple News app doesn’t do better.

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Written by Sea Monkey

April 13, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in Comment

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