The problem with most magazines is that they’re just too quiet. Flipboard, the gorgeous iPad and iPhone reading app, is teaming up with SoundCloud to add audio content to its mix of news, photos, and social media.
The partnership kicks off with some impressive additions: You can listen to NPR and Public Radio International shows on Flipboard, even while reading other content on the graphics-heavy aggregator. You can find these programs in the content guide under a new Audio category. To play or pause your current audio track from anywhere in Flipboard, tap the music icon on the top of the screen (iPhone) or lower corner (iPad).
In another great use of sound, Flipboard has added VoiceOver features that let visually impaired users listen to articles on the app.
If you already use SoundCloud, just add your login on Flipboard’s Accounts screen and SoundCloud will appear as a new tile on your main Flipboard page, alongside your other topics such as photography, tech, or fashion. Tap, and you’ll be taken to a SoundCloud landing page where you can navigate to your stream and see what sounds friends and family have shared, as well as your SoundCloud Likes, Sounds, Sets, and Groups.
Just last week, SoundCloud unveiled the beta version of its new web app, Next, which featured continuous play and improved social features. The move towards social makes the company a natural fit for Flipboard, which already lets you add accounts for 10 other popular social services, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Instagram, Tumblr, 500px, and Sina Weibo.
Flipboard has also added support for Readability and Pocket to make it easier to enjoy content in-depth later. There is also a new Japanese version of the app, released today.