Google has joined a crowd of companies packaging digital content in a magazine-like format for mobile devices. The Internet search leader released its version, called ‘Currents,’ on Thursday. It works on smartphones and computer tablets running on Google’s Android software, as well as Apple Inc.’s operating system and its iPhone and iPad.
In a blog post, Google said:
We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger.
So what is Google Currents?
Currents is free, cross-platform, and syncs all of your articles and subscriptions with your Google account and makes them available for offline reading. The layout of the app is open and attractive, and clearly inspired by Android Ice Cream Sandwich, complete with Google’s new “Roboto” font in heavy use.
Every image and photo that accompanies a story can be expanded for larger view, and some publishers like Forbes, GOOD, FastCompany, and previously mentioned 500px have built specialized Current feeds that are even more image-heavy, have branded banners to go with their news stories, and look even better than other RSS subscriptions. If the blog you want to read doesn’t have a Currents sub-app built already, you can search for them in the directory and add their RSS feed.
It offers offline reading as well as article sharing through a number of social networking sites including Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
Google Currents contains three “editions,” including Publisher, Google trending, and favorites. Publisher editions include in-depth articles, videos, photos, and slideshows from publishers. These include Forbes, Saveur, Popular Science and TechCrunch.
The Google Trending edition offers the five most recent trending stories in multiple categories such as world, entertainment and sports. Finally, your favorite blogs and feeds are included thanks to Google Reader subscriptions.
Will Currents be able to beat the competition though?
Currents will be trying to catch up to Flipboard, one of the most popular applicationson the iPad, and Zite, which is owned by Time Warner Inc.’s CNN. Yahoo Inc. released a similar product called Livestand last month. Google Currents’ entry comes just days after Flipboard arrived for the iPhone and Flud received a significant update.
Google Inc. says more than 150 publishers have agreed to provide material to Currents. The participating publishers include Forbes, PBS, Huffington Post and AllThingsD. Details on how Currents’ ad revenue will be divided weren’t disclosed.
Looks great, where can i get it?
So what do you think about Google’s new service? Will it be able to beat other competitors in the same space like FlipBoard and Zite?
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