Coming hot on the heels of Flipboard and other web services that redesign content for mobile devices, FLUD is a new iOS app that puts a fresh face on the staid, clunky RSS newsreader. The app lets you easily plug in feeds from your favorite sites (Fast Company comes built in, natch), and read, scan and share articles via an appealing tile-based interface. It kinda looks like a cross between Windows 7 Phone and Tumblr.
Unlike Flipboard, which relies solely on social networks to generate a “personal magazine” on your iOS device, FLUD uses more traditional (and widely implemented) RSS technology to pull in content. But don’t worry about typing in arcane feed addresses by hand — FLUD comes with a list of content to choose from, and you can also add your own by typing in a normal site name or web URL (FLUD will automagically find the feed for you).
It also offers dead simple social networking functions, plus a neat “Love It” button that works like a Facebook “Like” or Tumblr “?”, letting you flag great stuff for other Fluders to see.
As good as Flipboard is, Flud looks like a worthy and necessary competitor. Pulling content only from social media like Twitter and Facebook seems unnecessarily limiting, and FLUD’s RSS-based approach seems more expansive. (They’re adding Flipboard-like Twitter integration soon, too.) But there’s probably room for both of them to thrive — when it comes to redesigning content experiences for mobile devices, we can’t have too many options.
The best part: Flud is available for free, for a limited time only, in the Apples iTunes store.