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App Attack: Flipboard's Smart Magazines Spotlight Your Passions

Why it matters to you

is one of the most popular news-reading apps, and Version 4.0 makes it easy to find content tailored to your interests.

Pre-installed apps like Apple News and Google’s multiple news-aggregating apps may enjoy a large base of users, but for a long time was the default news reader on most smart devices. Now vying for the spotlight again, the app making a comeback with a revamp that uses machine learning to personalize and improve reader experience.

Version 4.0 focuses on Smart Magazines, which let you create a personalized magazine with more granular preferences. You’ve been able to create magazines before — in fact, Flipboard said more than 28 million magazines were created by users last March — but Smart Magazines go a step further thanks to human curation, machine learning, and more.

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Because of these granular controls and options, it’s unlikely your Flipboard will match someone else’s — even if they’re interested in similar categories. For example, if you click on “Photography,” you get the option to narrow your interest even further down to “Canon” or “Nikon,” and more. These magazines are automatically updated.

You can create up to nine smart magazines that will appear on the home screen, and any others will show up as tiles on another screen.  Furthermore, the more you use and interact with the app — by liking or sharing an article, for example — the better Flipboard gets at offering up content you’ll enjoy reading.

Here’s how you can create a Smart Magazine: Scroll to the right where you’ll see “What’s your passion?” in big, bold text. Here you can either type a category in, or choose one from the list below — like “Travel,” “Technology,” or “Business.” You’ll then see a “Personalize” page come up — choose hashtags that you want to see in your magazine, like #SiliconValley, or #Wearables.

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These options help hone in on your passion, so that you’ll get a unique feed that’s tailored to you. You can add or remove hashtags at any time by tapping on the three dots on the top right corner of the magazine, and then hitting “Personalize.” You can also move around magazines on the home screen by tapping “Edit Home,” which sits below.

The version 4.0 update is available for and Android, and you can grab it on the app Store and the Google Play Store.

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