Last month at TC:50, Google unveiled their latest Google News effort called Fast Flip. News began dripping onto Twitter and soon I was playing around with it. I loved it right away.
Soon more people started hearing about it and did their own trials. Opinion was mixed. I remained steadfast in my love for it. I saw it as the “next step” in web news consumption. I still think that.
Thing is, I never use it.
I have re-visited Fast Flip since that first night, but it’s only been to see if there were features I had missed. My favourite aspect of it is that it allows me to deep-dive web sites, leading me to discover stories I otherwise never would have found. It’s especially useful for sites with large archives and numerous sections, such as NYTimes.com.
I also realised that Fast Flip is not best utilised on a laptop. If ever there was an application built with direct manipulation touch screen devices in mind, Fast Flip is it. The elegance of “flipping” through pages is lost on clicking. Using a finger to flip like you would a book page would feel much more natural.
I can envisage using Fast Flip more if I wanted to find out what I’m not seeing on NYTimes.com when I visit the web site. But for regular consumption, it’s either a half-baked idea, or way ahead of its time. At this point it’s hard to say.