Where Zite pulls content into a single electronic magazine, Flipboard contains many magazines, each of which is accessed separately. The magazines that one sets up at first are: Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader. After that, one of my favorite Flipboard magazines to set up are for Twitter searches. When one first sees one's Facebook people's posts arranged in a magazine format, the feeling is good. Everyone seems more important. If friends have posted a link, content from that link is brought into the layout, including photos. If it is a video, the video can be launched from the Flipboard display. The turning of pages is a great effect. It looks really good when one flips a page and moves into the next set of content. When one touches an article of interest, a display panel opens. There are not as many questions about whether one likes the source and keywords of the article, but the Facebook integration is good. One can thumbs up like an article and it is liked in one's Facebook account. One can open up comments or add a comment and the comment is added in Facebook.
The sources on Twitter tend to be a lot more numerous than Facebook for most people - so the Flipboard for Twitter can be huge and is very diverse in content, more surprising than Facebook, with a lot of range. Twitter search based Flipboards are narrow in one sense but are also surprising, because they are based on if the keyboard is used anywhere in a tweet. An extreme example of disparate range is to build a Flipboard based on the keyword "twitpic" - which pulls together a collage of photos recently posted using the service - amazing variety - much like looking at one of the pages that displays photos recently posted to Livejournal.
If one has subscribed to a lot of RSS feeds with one's Google Reader account, then the content in that Flipboard is likewise diverse. Between this iPad app and Zite, one can view a ginormous amount of content in a pleasing way. These iPad apps remind me that layout and typography are still important. It is so refreshing and engaging to view content in an artfully arranged way (rather than just a plain list as so many feed readers do).
A Flipboard can be made of a single Twitter account or RSS feed. An example is the Twitter account of Dr. Oz. Flipboard makes a magazine out of all the health and fitness articles to which he links. One can get a sense of where he is going on his upcoming shows based on what he is discovering and sharing on Twitter.
I like the way Flipboard reaches past the post or the feed over to the article and then has the article ready to view. Some content is best viewed within the Safari mobile web browser and both Flipboard and Zite make that easy.
With these content consumption apps for the iPad, in using them for just a couple of weeks, I cannot imagine reading without them.