While the popular news reading app Flipboard has long been available for myriad devices and platforms, users of the much-maligned Windows Phone have been forced to sit this one out. That is, until now, as Flipboard is now available for Windows Phone 8.1 devices with at least 1GB of RAM, and will come preloaded on the Lumia 830 for Verizon.
Flipboard is a news aggregator that also hooks into a user’s social networks to curate a custom news feed. The app works like a digital magazine where you “flip” through the various stories, hence the name. That said, Flipboard for Windows Phone has been getting a lot of attention because, according to some, the company has seem to have done away with the iconic flip animation.
We spoke to Flipboard Chief Technical Officer Eric Feng about this design decision as we were curious why Flipboard for Windows Phone behaves differently than it does on both Android and iOS.
According to Eric Feng, “As we bring Flipboard to new platforms, we strive to create a custom tailored user experience specifically for that platform. To start with, we adopted many familiar Windows design concepts like their menu system, animations, fonts, and iconography. We also listen to user feedback and heard from users that being able to quickly scan through information is important. So we opted for a ‘feed first’ interface that immediately shows users great, personalized content as soon as they open the app.”
The app also includes a built-in search feature that’s fairly intuitive. This makes it easier to discover new content sources. “We created a brand new scrolling view from the ground up that not only makes content even faster to navigate, but also feels more native to the Windows platform (which uses scrolling within their core UI like the Home / Start screen more so than other platforms),” said Feng.
Seeing that Flipboard has been around since 2010 we asked Feng about the overall dearth of apps for Windows Phone relative to iOS or Android and why this situation still persists. Said Feng, “This is simply a question of prioritization. At Flipboard, we have limited resources which is a challenge that many app developers face. So we’re constantly having to balance our product ambitions with what we can actually get done. That said, we believe Windows is a platform that is here to stay and we’re looking forward to sharing upcoming releases that take Flipboard for Windows in new and exciting directions.”
Flipboard is currently available for Windows Phone 8.1 devices with at least 1GB of RAM, and will come preloaded on the Lumia 830 for Verizon. The company is currently working on versions of the app for those phones that fail to meet the technical requirements.
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