Reading will no longer be a quiet activity, thanks to social news magazine Flipboard. The iPad and iPhone reading app is now integrating audio content from Soundcloud, National Public Radio and Public Radio International, the BBC reported.
After updating the app (version 1.9.1.), users can enjoy “flipping” through content while listening to audio in the background. Radio programs, music and podcasts are found under the new Audio category in the Content guide. Readers can play and pause the audio track at any time by tapping the music note icon on the bottom left corner of every page.
Those who already have a profile on SoundCloud can login on Flipboard with that account and start browsing through the social audio platform. This enables users to see what their contacts listen to or comment, like, or share sounds via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail.
“With this latest addition, weʼre giving our readers a personal soundtrack to their Flipboard,” Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, stated in a press release.
Flipboard has also added VoiceOver features that let visually impaired readers listen to articles. Once the VoiceOver is activated in the settings, users can tap once on a section and a voice will read the title of the article; if twice, the voice will read the article.
In comparison to other social reading apps such as Google Currents, Pulse and Zite that have random audio elements, (mainly YouTube links), or The Daily, with spoken audio versions of news stories, Flipboard is the first to have sound omnipresent, as tracks are played automatically.
Also of note, Flipboard has launched its localised edition for readers in Japan, following its previous launches in China and France, according to TechCrunch.