On Your iPad MIDEA Sports the Flipboard Style

Check out the MIDEA web site on an iPad, because it will have a whole new style there.

We are just beginning to see new layout styles for the iPad (and the wave of similar platforms that will follow) that depart sharply from the web site in a browser format we have gotten accustomed to seeing. One might call them more in a “magazine” style (a term often used for web site templates) that focus on the visual appeal.

One of the more popular apps that do this is Flipboard, billed as “your personalized, social magazine”. Flipboard is powered by RSS feeds from web sites, so it is always different every time you open it. The splash page is a full screen image that you use a finger to swipe and flip open to a contents grid.

As a Flipboard user, you can select from a number of source streams to bring content here, including your own Twitter or Facebook account, which Flipboard than formats its content around the URLs that your personal network provide. Other sources are form the news, tech magazines, photographers. Once you enter a streams its stories are laid out in a lavish format, you can click each one for a more in depth view, or continue to flip through subsequent pages.

You can get more of a sense of Flipboard via this video

But what we wanted to tell you, and maybe even brag about, is that we have found a plugin for this WordPress site that is able to automatically render it in a Flipboard style layout if you view the site on an iPad. The plugin is called PadPressed, so the MIDEA front page is represented with an image taken from a recent story:

And the contents page inside lists the latest story from our Ideas blog, news, and spotlights:

(It’s a bit more technical detail than worth describing, but we are working on getting the organizations and projects in here as well).

If you dive into one of the sections, you can flip through the recent stories

and see one in detail:

The beauty of this plugin is that we do not have to do anything different to create content on this web site- the special formatting is done automatically if the device lets our web site know it is an ipad (something done via what is known as the “User Agent”). There is a Firefox plugin that will allow you to “fool” the web site into thinking your browser is an iPad, so you can get a taste for the Flipboard style, although you miss the navigating by finger swiping.

This seems like another signal of how the style of web-based communications can change when it is done directly to a mobile device. And here at MIDEA, we will be trying out new technologies all the time.

Leave a Reply