Flipboard CEO blasts Apple’s News app as ‘something that we actually shipped five years ago’

Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, responds to Apple’s announcement of their News app:

We’re clearly onto something at Flipboard. What Apple was showing is something that we actually shipped five years ago. In the world that we live into today, you have to be able to both work with, um, companies, and even when they’re competing with you on certain fronts that doesn’t mean you don’t work with them. There’s still opportunities to work with them. And in doing that, what you can typically find are ways in which you can continue to grow. This is not a winner take all situation. — Mike McCue, Flipboard CEO

Direct link to video here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s News is powered by the new custom-designed Apple News Format which allows publishers to create stories that take advantage of the full power of iOS, including photos, galleries, audio, video, maps and rich interactions such as parallax and animation. When publishers create their stories for News, they can use custom fonts and intuitive Multi-Touch gestures. Apple News Format automatically customizes the layout for each screen size, so News content is perfectly formatted for both iPhone and iPad.

So, obviously, there are significant features that Flipboard not only didn’t ship five years ago, they don’t ship them today.

What else could poor Sherlocked Mike have said instead? His entire statement minus his second sentence would have been pretty much perfect.

Apple’s News app will be available with iOS 9 this fall for iPhone and iPad.


Apple dumps Newsstand, takes on Facebook with Flipboard-like ‘News’ app – June 9, 2015


    1. “Sherlocked,” in this context, refers to what happened to a third party app years ago when Apple introduced Sherlock for the Mac. Essentially that app disappeared because Sherlock covered its functionality. After that, the phrase “To be Sherlocked” became standard Mac jargon for that sort of thing.

      1. Are you sure you got that right? The third-party app you’re referring to was called “Watson”, a play on “Sherlock”, This implies Sherlock must have come first. That said, I do remember Watson being abandoned and having to move to Sherlock, but I think it was an improved version of something Apple already released.

        (Looked it up on Wikipedia, It was Sherlock 3 that rendered Watson redundant.)


    2. It’s not clear that this News App will be successful. Apple tried this with Murdoch in a way with “The Daily”. Highly interactive news in an App. Yes, the articles were wanting. That failed.

      This App that aggregates news from multiple sources is a better concept, but still, walled gardens and closed systems have proven not to work in publishing. People just go online and access free content.

      There may be a novelty factor to this new News App, and not everyone uses an iOS device. The Financial Times demonstrated that a Web App is the best approach with over 1 million subscribers shortly after it launched several years ago.

      Apple is going up against WordPress, Drupal, SquareSpace, and many other CMS’s that own the publishing space. I do not see bloggers and even big media outlets just doing Apple News. Yes, they don’t have to, but the ones that do publish their content to the Apple News App… I see it as just a secondary system that some iOS users use.

      In other words, this won’t be ubiqutous. Apple should simply do its own search engine and incorporate news, maps, Siri, etc. online. That to me is a path to success.

      1. If you’ve been paying attention, Apple has been enhancing its search functionality incrementally and steadily. But they are taking a different approach. Rather than being web-based, the search is device-based. In a couple of years, the idea of going to a website (Google) to find things will seem antiquated, because world-wide (and device-wide) search is elegantly built into the device that you are using (OS X, iOS, watchOS).

  1. Why any business feels a sense of entitlement without working hard enough to keep it or be bettered having something somewhat similar attached to a more user friendly ecosystem baffles me. But then no one wants to be slayed by the Paradigmonster.

    The “but, but, but” Big But’s keep comin’.

    1. Flipboard is it best okay however there is another application called Zite which is much much better. Is it was bought out last year by Flipboard and they are planning on eliminating it. Big mistake.

    2. My thoughts exactly. In a world filled with fast-changing technology, Apple has chosen a path of simplicity. I believe this is deliberate to make the use of Apple devices simple in an ever-increasingly complex world. Who want to remember “Flipboard” when opening up “News” gives you exactly what you want, just like “Mail”, “Contacts”, “Photos, etc.

  2. I seem to remember that Flipboard wouldn’t even exist were it not for Apple and the iPad so let’s just dial it back a bit McCue. You launched your entire product on iPad because that was the only place to do so.

  3. To hear some people here tell it, no company deserves to be in business except Apple.

    How many times have I seen people show glee that Apple is hurting a company that really never did anything to them or to Apple? And a lot of the time it’s a company that DID in fact do something BEFORE Apple.


  4. Maybe FlipBoard didn’t do anything to Apple, but if Apple thinks they can do better, so be it.
    Besides, Apple has the bigger picture in mind. The growing number of dedicated apps for news reading is appalling. With time, they are often surpassed in features and flexibility by the newspaper website. A common news format with wide support is sorely needed.

  5. He says they did it 5 years ago – well why didn’t he keep innovating clipboard then to say ahead????

    A prime example of a cool idea that goes to market and a potential competitor out innovates the original company.

    I think he was waiting for Apple to buy Flipboard.

  6. DCW

    I use Zite. It’s OK. Here is what I know: no news aggregation service, app, or site will get any of my money. They are just not that great. And quite frankly, I really don’t want to “sign in” with a password to read news. Or listen to music. The “I Heart Radio” app is OK, but there is no reason to make it that you have to have an account for presets. They can be stored locally in a few bytes. A password to listen to music or read the news? Come on.

  7. Why do CEOs feel the need to comment on a competitor at all? Time and time again the comments come back to haunt them. Seems like if the question were asked about a competitor, an answer like “we look forward to seeing their new app” or some such would be a simple, non-comment.

    1. I suspect a CEO like McCue gets questioned a lot in a situation like this. His response gets reported. Doubt if he called a press conference to make this statement.

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