Flipboard is preparing to release an update to its popular iPad app tomorrow morning, the company’s CEO Mike McCue tells us in an interview this afternoon.It will be version 1.2 and here’s what’s going to be new:
1. You can browse Instagram on Flipboard. (We’ve known this was coming since Instagram announced its API.)
2. Social search is getting added. So, say you want to look for Libya news, you can type in “Libya” and you get news coming from your social graph across Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google Reader, and elsewhere. The news comes back in the Flipboard style.
3. The whole product is getting a light refresh. The design will be touched up to be cleaner and it will be made faster. McCue says the content will load twice as fast on iPad 1, and it will “absolutely fly” on iPad 2.
4. Flipboard is also announcing two new partnerships. Wired’s web content will be formatted for Flipboard and available to look at throughout Flipboard. Same with photo blog site Pictory. The content from Wired and Pictory will have advertisements inserted between pages. McCue says the publishers will sell the ads, and Flipboard will add them to the content and take a cut.
It’s a good time for Flipboard to update its app. The market for smart/social iPad readers is heating up. Today, Zite came out and received good reviews. Zite is a reader that figures out news you like based on what you read and delivers customised stories to you.
McCue says Flipboard is different because it’s more personal than the other readers. “We’re about connecting you to your friends, to people you’re inspired by,” says McCue, adding, “It’s a very different model … You can see things like photographs, and status updates and tweets,” not just news stories.
Flipboard has seen over 1 million downloads, but McCue didn’t say how many active users it has.
We’ll be posting our full interview in the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for that. He talks about Android’s tablets, raising money, and what it’s like to be on Twitter’s board.