News-focused iOS app Flipboard today announced an update that introduces a new UI which creates custom, curated magazines based on various user "passions." The Version 4.0 update is said to be a direct response to the overabundance of news sources -- from magazines to online outlets and social media -- and serve as a way to "effortlessly get you to the things you love."
The heart of the new update is a featured called "Smart Magazine." Here users can search and specify specific passions and topics they care about (photography, movies, etc.), and Smart Magazine will create a digital collection of up-to-date stories and news on each topic, and continuously update the section as new stories break. The new tool is said to be curated "by experts and enthusiasts."
Flipboard 4.0 is a response to our ever-growing ecosystem of publishers, Flipboard Magazines, topics and more. With over 30 million magazines created, thousands of publishers on our platform, and tens of thousands of topics—plus input from social networks like Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn—we re-imagined Flipboard to more effortlessly get you to the things you love.
Long-time readers who follow lots of content should find a more streamlined experience, while new users will be able to dive right into their passions with minimal setup.
Users will be able to pick from a collection of sub-categories once they search for a Smart Magazine passion to follow, and a learning algorithm will improve Flipboard's news aggregation features over time. On the Home carosuel users can have up to nine Smart Magazines.
Flipboard originally launched on iPad in 2010, and then on iPhone in 2011, accompanied by a Tweet from Phil Schiller who remarked that the app was "very nice." Since then, Flipboard has gained a bevy of competitors in the online news aggregation space, including Apple News. In 2015 one competitor, Zite, bowed out of the race and encouraged fans to migrate to Flipboard in its stead.