Flipboard for Android, which we looked at last week, has received an over-the-air update from the company itself, despite the fact that it is not available for public consumption. This leads me to think that the company intended for the .apk to leak out, as it included no security measures or watermarks to prevent it from running on non-Samsung hardware.
Users of the app have been reporting that they are being prompted for an update as soon as they enter the app, and the version jumps from 0.7.8 to 1.8.4. While the significant number increase may mean that the initial leaked version was months old, it also indicates that Flipboard is wasting no time looking beyond the exclusivity period, which is expected to be between three and six months.
The leak is unlikely to impact sales of the Galaxy S III, but Samsung has to be pretty upset by the whole thing. Anyone with sideloading abilities and basic knowledge of Android can obtain the file, and it underscores one of the best and worst ways in which Android is “open.” It’s very difficult to keep files, pirated or otherwise, from those who want to use them. Contrast this with iOS, which is locked down against all sideloading, and you come to understand why Apple has continued to be developers’ top OS choice for selling apps.
As for the app itself, stability seems to be the name of the game here, but there is one feature we’ve noticed added: the ability to set a widget update period, from Never to Hourly to Daily. Articles also seem to open in your default browser instead of a web view, which is fine by me, since the last version didn’t support pinch-to-zoom.
If you already have Flipboard for Android, just open it and update. If not, download it here.