Flipboard: it's been one of the great white whales of the Windows Phone platform, but Microsoft has finally landed it.
Flipboard's newsreader app can now be downloaded from the Windows Phone Store. (A beta version of Flipboard appeared a few days ago, which company officials said had been mistakenly published to the store.)
It's been close to a year since Flipboard published its app for Windows 8.1, while iPad users have been enjoying Flipboard since mid-2010. The app made its way to Android two years later. Meanwhile, phones like the HTC One (M8) for Windows brought their own take on Flipboard, called Blinkfeed, to the Windows Phone platform.
Microsoft had originally hoped to launch Flipboard on the Lumia 830, but the company had to back away when the app wasn't ready. Now that it is, Flipboard will be preloaded on the Lumia 830 phone, Microsoft said. There is one catch, however: The app can only be loaded on phones that have 1GB of RAM, like the Lumia 830 and the One M8. But older or cheaper phones with less than 1GB of memory will have to wait, as Flipboard said it needs additional time to develop a version that supports these.
Chief technical officer Eric Feng said in a video that the new version for Windows Phone uses a card-based interface that provides natural breaks between stories. As you scroll through and let go, the cards will naturally stop to let you see the story, he said.
Why this matters: Microsoft has been busy trying to line up app developers for Windows Phones. High-profile apps lure new users, which in turn attract new app developers, and the cycle feeds itself. Each spring, Microsoft's Build conference attempts to woo new developers, and Flipboard was among those that had committed. It's good for both companies to have delivered on the promise.