Flipboard, Stagehand, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Flipboard’s Smart Magazines make your favorite topics easier to digest

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flipboard
Smart Magazines are available on Android and iOS now.
Photo: Flipboard

Flipboard is rolling out a big update to its mobile apps today to introduce Smart Magazines, a new feature that puts the best stories from your favorite sources in one place.

Smart Magazines are tailored to your personal interests and completely customizable, so you get the content you’re most interested in more easily.

What Apple News gets wrong that Twitter Moments gets so right

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moments_2
Twitter Moments is the news of the future and Apple News will get left behind.
Photo: Twitter

The way we consume news is changing at a rapid pace, and both Apple and Twitter are trying to cater to readers’ need for speed and convenience.

iOS 9’s new Apple News app and the recently launched Twitter Moments both exist because millennials aren’t reading the newspaper every morning or watching news broadcasts in the evening. We get our news primarily from the Internet, often without having to click on articles or read hundreds of words for context.

Online media’s big push toward keeping news relevant and immediate caters to our ever-shrinking attention spans. For better or worse, we’ve gravitated toward bite-size information and entertaining listicles.

Twitter figured that out long ago. Apple still hasn’t.

Flipboard adds rating system to head off Apple News

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Get more of what you like and less of what you don't with Flipboard's new rating system.
Get more of what you like and less of what you don't with Flipboard's new rating system.
Photo: Flipboard

Seminal magazine-style news aggregation app Flipboard is aiming to compete with Apple News by introducing a system that lets users rate stories and ultimately adjust the mix of their home feed.

“No matter where you are on Flipboard, if you see something you like and want to get more of it in your Cover Stories, tap ‘More like this,'” says the Flipboard website, “If you’d rather see less of something, tap ‘Less like this.’”

Hit list: All the apps and services Apple tried to kill at WWDC 2015

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Tim Cook WWDC 2015
Apple's had some bold words for its competitors today.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Once again, Apple has shown its desire to be your go-to for everything you do in your life.

During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this morning, the iPhone maker talked up software updates, services and new functionalities aimed at making several of its competitors’ offerings redundant.

Here are the things Apple’s trying to take out with new stuff at WWDC 2015.

Flipboard brings its gorgeous magazine app to the web

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Photo: Flipboard
Photo: Flipboard

Flipboard has taken the leap from mobile to desktop. What started as one of the first iPad apps is now accessible through any modern browser via Flipboard.com, a beautiful web interface for consuming online content.

Like the iPad and iPhone app, you can not only read articles from sites you follow, but also create custom “magazines” based on sources you choose.

The 10 coolest companies founded by ex-Apple employees

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Coolest-Apple-spin-offs
The apple does not fall from the tree when it comes to former employees of the Cupertino company. A bunch of smart, creative types formerly in Apple’s employ have branched out into smart, successful ventures. You might say they had Steve Jobs, who during his Apple hiatus founded NeXT and Pixar, as a role model. Here are our favorites, from Nest to up-and-comers like a smart scale, 360 camera and a new, iBeacon-based biz. Let us know what you think of our picks (and who you would add) in the comments.

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7 tips for making your live demo not suck

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Myles Weissleder Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Myles Weissleder of SF New Tech. Portrait: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Myles Weissleder has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to startup demos.

The former VP of public affairs at Meetup.com presides over SF New Tech, a showcase for disruptive hopefuls that he’s run for more than eight years. Over 750 companies including SkyBox, Twilio, Prezi, Flipboard and Twitter have come to his networking mixer to demo before a live audience in a trendy SOMA club.

In San Francisco’s competitive startup environment, you can demo your game-changing idea (or Pet Rock app) every night of the week, but SF New Tech is one of the longest-running and largest showcases. Wannapreneurs face a few hundred audience members — many of them from influential companies like Apple or venture capital firms like CMEA capital — where the mingling is fueled by drinks and tacos.

During a recent demo night, Cult of Mac sat down with the indefatigable Weissleder, who is as at home on the stage with a mic as he is hobnobbing at the bar, to get his top tips on how not to bomb when you take the stage with your great idea, hoping to find cash and connect with influencers.