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iPad's 'Flipboard' App: Hype, Potential, Beauty

'Flipboard,' a free new app for the Apple iPad, converts news sources, Twitter feeds and Facebook status updates into a magazine-style layout. Screenshot/Flipboard, Inc. hide caption

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Screenshot/Flipboard, Inc.

It's been a while, almost two or three days, since I've seen the tech world hype something as much as "Flipboard," an app for the Apple iPad that made its debut last night when tech blogger Robert Scoble and the Wall Street Journal revealed it, instantly assuring that a flood of users would render it inoperable.

The free app takes news feeds, Tweets, Twitter lists, Facebook status updates and other content from a variety of Web sites and creates a magazine-style layout you can flip through.

It's lovely, but is it "Revolutionary" as some in the Twitter world seemed to suggest? Will it change the way people consume information?

First, it'll have to work. Shortly after I downloaded the app last night, it wouldn't allow me to sign in to my Twitter or Facebook accounts, having already gotten overloaded with new users. Today, Flipboard announced it will limit how many people can use the app for the time being.

If you have an iPad, though, and you can get in the door, it's a lovely tool to play with, a nice way to discover photos, Tweets and status updates you might have otherwise missed in the daily deluge.  Will it replace my RSS reader and TweetDeck for some? It's far too early too early to tell, but when I was able to get it all working early this morning, it made for a few minutes of really fun flipping.

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You can read more thoughts on "Flipboard" and see more screengrabs in my write-up on Digital Savant.