Fast Flip: The coolest web news application I never use


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

Picture 3

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 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.

2 thoughts on “Fast Flip: The coolest web news application I never use

  1. Gary Price

    Have you tried the cook NY Times prototype, Article Skimmer? It’s been around since March. View all of the articles (and a small amount of text besides the headline) in a given section at one time. Click to go directly to the full text article. I find it very useful.


    Background here:

    Also, USA Today continues to beta test a version that shows ONLY headlines, organized by section. They’re calling it News Deck. Useful I’m not so sure but not nearly as cool as the NY Times prototype.

  2. Pingback: extra, extra, get all your news in one place: Google Fast Flip « News Breaking…Fast

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