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How to set-up Google+ as a drop in replacement for Google Reader in Flipboard..

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I wrote a post last week explaining why I think Flipboard was better than Feedly part of the reason was I was able to set-up Google+ as a drop in replacement for Google Reader, and Flipboard has great G+ Support. One of the comments on the post asked if i could outline how I did this.

So here we go.

The Google Plus Part

Disclaimer

I read a lot of Tech press so using Google+ is really easy as most of the sites I read and people I follow uses Google+. Its worth checking on Google Plus that the content you want is available. You also need to make a choice if you are going to do this with your existing Google+ account or create a new one.

Creating your circles

Unless I’m missing something, and considering how Circles were the core of G+ they are surprisingly difficult to find using any form of icon on the system so I have a bookmark to https://plus.google.com/circles which opens up the circles page.

circles

This will open your Circles page. Drag a friend into the “Drop here to create a new circle” space.

Drag other friends in your group to the same circle. When you’re finished, click “Create Circle.”

Type in a name for your circle and click “Create circle with # people.”

Your circle now pops up as an actual circle in your profile. Feel free to drag more friends into the circle to expand it! Learn how to import your Facebook friends to Google+to start networking with more people.

This works well with existing people you have added as friends, however if you have started from scratch you won’t have any “friends” listed.
Using my example I have used a setup a group called Tech News and I wanted to add The Verge to the Tech News Circle, I head over to the Verge Page on Google+
addtocircle

Clicking on the Add to Circles button (usually seen in the banner)

verge

Using this system I was able to replicate the Google Reader Groups I had and find G+ Pages for most of the sites I read and got about 99% of what I needed in my Google + Feed.

The (iPad) Flipboard Part

I’m doing this on my iPad, i’m sure the process is similar to the iPhone or Android versions.

Having created the underlying “glue” and collated your information we now just need to add our Google+ feed into Flipboard, Flipboard is supported on IOS and Most Android devices.

Once you have added Google+ to Flipboard as a social account we can then start adding our circles to Flipboards Home screen which it calls its Cover Flow.

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Select the Google+ Cover Flow square which once opened shows a list of locations you can get information from.

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Select More -> Will Display the locations you can view content from, one of which is Your Circles, Selecting this will show a drop down list of all your circles.

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Just as a point of note, for this example i didn’t choose one of my circles I chose the My Posts however the process is the same.

Once the circle is displayed you will see a subscribe button in the top right of the screen

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The act if subscribing will put the Circle on the cover flow of the app.

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And we are done.

Flipboard has functionality for adding comments to Google+ posts and for +1 posts as well. If you add Twitter and Facebook as other social sites to Flipboard you can also share content from Google+ to Twitter or Facebook (or any other social site you add).

Conclusion

Why bother? Why not just use the feeds within Flipboard (or Feedly or any other feed reader) Its not like Flipboard doesn’t have an account system which could be used across mobile devices. And that’s a fair question, I find the ability to use Google+ to interact with the news items, ather than just reading content a huge plus (no pun intended) point, this takes the basic concept of RSS feed reading into a new level.

Having set this up once on my iPad the Flipboard account took care of ensuring that the Android version seamlessly had the same feeds and read/unread content for me.

The systems however not perfect, while you can upload content to Google+ there seems to be a lack of support for Communities, which are another aspect of Google+ I make use of a lot, especially posting content to the UK Photography Community for example. This may be a restriction of the G+ API.

Other systems which are looking to become the defacto standard (Feedly, Edwin are you listening) could do themsleves a lot worse than hurrying up with a round of bug fixes and add API support for G+ There is more to life than RSS alone,

Streams are also as important as Feeds..

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