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Summary:

Flipboard, which made its name with a slick iPad app, is now branching out. The company is announcing a brand new iPhone app that is slick, sticky and addictive. The game plan, according to CEO Mike McCue, is to take attention away from the old-fashioned browser.

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue

Mike McCue, the co-founder and chief executive of Palo Alto-based mobile reading app Flipboard, has one simple ambition: to turn Flipboard into your social reading platform. A year after successfully launching its iPad application, the company on Tuesday finally debuted an iPhone version of Flipboard, at the Le Web conference in Paris, France. (At our Mobilize conference in September, Flipboard’s editorial chief Josh Quittner had announced that the iPhone app was coming.)

While the iPhone app is partially inspired by the bigger iPad version, it also charts a new course. The page flip gesture that was associated with the iPad version of the app has been replaced by a flick gesture — from top to bottom or bottom to top — that is meant to take into account the smaller screen size.

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue

McCue pointed out that the iPad version of the app saw most of the usage at the start or at the end of the day. The iPhone version is going to give people quick access to the content all through out the day. There are many clever little improvements in the new app. For instance, the app has “cover stories” that shows the latest updates — photos, tweets and more — from your closest friends. The idea is for you to check and leave and not linger.

With proliferation of niche focused social networks – Instagram for photos, for instance – there is growing need for an aggregation service. Flipboard is hoping that it can be that one stop shop.

After using the app for nearly a week, I have to say, Flipboard for iPhone is more addictive and more engaging than its grown up cousin. I have been using the Flipboard service much more often. To me, this is an example of form fitting the function. I hope you get a chance to download it and try it for yourself.

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