Flipboard, probably the most popular news and social aggregation app for iOS, was due to get an Android version for a pretty long time. After what was for many an excruciating wait, the app was announced as available exclusively with the Samsung Galaxy S3 last week. That would’ve meant an additional couple of weeks to see Flipboard’s full Android debut and another few weeks (or even months) to see the app hit other phones or tablets.
Fortunately, Android is by definition an open ecosystem, so the “exclusive” app got leaked just a couple of days after its initial announcement. The APK file was made available by the good guys at XDA-developers for pretty much any phone or tablet running Google’s OS.
Unsurprisingly, many users reported bugs and crashes, not to mention the fact that the app simply doens’t “look right” on many devices (especially tablets). However, an over-the-air upgrade came for Flipboard the other day, and, according to most users, this fixes the vast majority of the problems.
In other words, if you hesitated to download the leaked app in the first place, now might be a good time to try Flipboard for Android, to see what you were missing out to iOS users. The new version of the app, 1.8.4 (the original one was 0.7.8) should increase speed and stability, but also adds a couple of new features.
You now have to ability to set a widget update period (never, weekly, hourly, or daily) and articles open in a user’s default browser instead of a web view. It’s true, these are not very significant updates, but the stability and performance boost should in fact change the app’s feel altogether. On the other hand, there are still a lot of users complaining about crashes and bugs or the app not working on their devices, but hey, this is a leaked app after all.
We’re unsure if the update has been released as an indirect endorsement of the leaked app or if it was just an error from the developing team behind the project. Then again, who cares? We’ve got a very functional and cool app on our hands, that works nicely (at least for some), and we didn’t have to buy the S3 or wait for the official “exclusivity” period to end before enjoying it.
If you haven’t downloaded the leaked app just yet and you want to try it up for size, you can get the software package from this xda-developer thread. That’s the original 0.7.8 version, but the update to 1.8.4 should hit your device immediately after installing the app.
Enjoy and please let us know if you encounter any problems!