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Flowboard ushers in the age of touch publishing

Want to cre­ate dynam­ic, inter­ac­tive con­tent while you’re on the road? For­get the desk­top and the lap­top – now you can cre­ate tru­ly inter­ac­tive con­tent over a Star­bucks on your iPad, thanks to Seat­tle-based start­up Flow­board. Look­ing after this lit­tle baby as it devel­ops will be a prod­uct manager’s dream job.

Touch-sen­si­tive screens are great for view­ing videos, play­ing games, read­ing and shop­ping, but to date most peo­ple still pre­fer a phys­i­cal key­board and mouse to write, lay out a pre­sen­ta­tion or upload con­tent to make a slideshow. But accord­ing to CEO Brent Brook­ler, Flow­board is about to inau­gu­rate the age of “touch publishing.”

Touch pub­lish­ing

Brook­ler says it will debunk the myth that killer con­tent can’t be cre­at­ed on tablets. Cur­rent­ly avail­able for the iPad, plans are already in the pipeline for Android and iPhone ver­sions. But sea­soned prod­uct man­agers will want to know just how this clever lit­tle app debunks the myth.

Flow­board, Brook­ler claims, is “a next-gen­er­a­tion sto­ry­telling, pre­sen­ta­tion builder, or pub­lish­ing plat­form.” It offers a series of dif­fer­ent tem­plates (17 cur­rent­ly but more are in the pipeline), and then allows the user to tap on a field in the lay­out for, say, a pho­to menu. Prod­uct man­agers will prob­a­bly agree that what hap­pens next effec­tive­ly solves one of the biggest chal­lenges for con­tent cre­ation on the iPad: plac­ing media files onto the gad­get. The menu lets the user select pho­tos from the device’s cam­era, or from oth­er sources like Drop­Box, Insta­gram, Face­book, and Google image search­es. Then the pho­to can be sized and aligned with a few sim­ple taps, and cap­tions can be added just by tap­ping the text beneath the image (a key­board appears).

But the added beau­ty is that users can add inter­nal links to oth­er screens, along with pho­to gal­leries and videos fea­tured as a full-screen slideshow. Unlike Pow­er­Point, it’s got high­ly inter­ac­tive and mul­ti­me­dia capabilities

Intro­duc­ing Flow­board­ing 

The result­ing “Flow­boards” can be saved to the cloud. Each indi­vid­ual one has a unique URL, which means that they can be accessed on any device. The app is free along with the first 200MB of cloud stor­age. One Giga­byte of cloud-stored Flow­boards will cost just $5 per month.

An “undo” func­tion along with YouTube inte­gra­tion is com­ing shortly.

From now on, peo­ple won’t be mak­ing pre­sen­ta­tions. They’ll be mak­ing Floorboards.

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