Tech bloggers and reporters spread word that Flipboard for Android, a magazine-style news reader officially only available with the new Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone, was leaked out and linked up for download by XDA-Dev forum user Valcho on Wednesday.
Techcrunch reported how to download and install the Android version of Flipboard's mobile app -- already available for mobiles running on Apple's iOS -- that many trying it early were thrilled to find functioning without a glitch on many older Android mobile devices.
I was eager to give this find a whirl because I read lots of news every day on my Android-powered smartphone and tablet using apps that make the experience pretty and easy. Pulse and World Newspapers are favorites.
Rarely do I pick "play" apps that are just for fun, such as this (likely much more) attention-grabbing portable toy reviewed recently by another digital journalist.
Downloading and installing Flipboard from the link above was easy, but opening an account so the app can connect to social network accounts seemed tricky to some forum posters. The app displayed news OK for me before I set up a free Flipboard account, but the new account link is just one click past the front page, XDA-Dev forum member nutmegy instructed.
The Flipboard app worked on my Pantech Element tablet, but obviously it was designed to fit smaller smartphone screens, so the font sizes become huge on the tablet. On my Samsung Galaxy S II the app appears to work fully, letting me flip through aggregated top news in the categories and social networks I selected, as well as tweet, email, read later, view on the Web and flag.
The main advantages: Loading diverse stories complete with accompanying pictures and allowing flipping through everything from top to bottom (and back) with an appealing page-turning effect.
One problem that could become majorly problematic -- or not: Though a message announcing a newer version of Flipboard has begun to appear already, Flipboard cannot be updated through the Google Play store yet because it is not officially released for public download.
In truth, I like Flipboard, but I don't love it. Probably soon I will go back to Pulse and World Newpapers that offer the same features (except the flipping) for my daily news reading and sharing.