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Flipboard headed to more Android devices with Beta launch

by Kristen Nicole

Flipboard is being particularly cautious about its Android roll out, choosing to go with just one device for its initial Android debut, the Samsung Galaxy S III. The reason behind this tactic was to create a consistent experience that would live up to the Flipboard brand. The popular iPad app has avoided Android because of its very diverse screen sizes. But even after declaring itself a one-device app, Flipboard revealed its plans to make its social news reader available on a broader range of Android devices.

In the coming weeks we can expect a beta Flipboard app for a small subset of users in an effort to closely test its aesthetically dynamic app on varied Android screen sizes. The goal is to rely on savvy Android users that can sideload an APK, looking to them for a steady stream of bug reports to polish the Flipboard app. It’s a slow and methodological approach for Flipboard, which is known for its magazine-like layout and personalized news feeds. Hopefully this means we’ll see a tablet-optimized version soon, perhaps even the Galaxy Tab, since Flipboard’s chosen the most prominent of Android OEMs as a distribution partner.

Flipboard’s unstoppable success

Already Flipboard seems to have done well with its Galaxy S III exclusive, and has suffered little brand damage by the leaked APK that made the app available to all Android users shortly after the device launch. Early reviews indicate that the Galaxy S III version is just as great as Flipboard for iOS, pooling news from the web and your social streams, including Facebook and Twitter.

One of the most anticipated apps yet to be launched on Google Play, Flipboard will likely strike a chord with Android users despite the many alternatives like Pulse and Google Currents. Flipboard already edged out one competitor that hadn’t even made it to Android yet, as Yahoo!’s Livestand was deadpooled just six months after its debut. Flipboard has also been proactive with its international growth, identifying China as its most promising market in the coming year. It’s expected that downloads of Flipboard in China will exceed U.S. downloads soon, as China’s market has already matched the U.S. in just six months. Considering China’s massive Android market, Flipboard has even more incentive to work on Android-ready versions of its app.

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