Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Google Currents

Today’s app of the day is Google Currents.

Google Currents is a brand new app (so new it is still largely unavailable across much of the globe) by Google, in an attempt to take on some of the market held by other apps such as Flipboard (for iOS), or Taptu, Pulse or ChannelCaster (all of which I have previously recommended) for Android.

Essentially, Google Currents allows you to “subscribe” to pre-created channels, which once synced (downloaded) can be read in an attractive newspaper / magazine type format on your phone. The all white background / moving graphical headers is quite reminiscent of Flipboard on iOS, giving me the impression that Google has realised it is only a matter of time before Flipboard itself comes to Android (which allegedly isn’t going to happen), or is at least ripped off well by another competitor.

Although the “pre-made” channels are a great way of quickly signing up to content,  Google Currents also features full Google Reader support, allowing you to sync your Google Reader feeds into Google Currents for a more attractive (i.e. magazine like) reading experience than most other RSS viewers currently available.
Other great features include the ability to follow power users such as Robert Scoble and receive content that they deem interesting or ‘newsworthy’. There is also a ‘trending’ feature, allowing quick access to the “top 5” of a variety of topics such as tech, world news, politics, gaming, etc.

In the words of Google themselves:

Google Currents - free & fast magazine-like editions for your tablet & phone. Google Currents delivers beautiful magazine-like editions to your tablet and smartphone for high speed offline reading. Editions are all free and include:
* Publisher editions - Publishers such as Forbes, Techcrunch, Saveur, Popular Science, Good, 500px, Fast Company and more have produced hundreds of editions including in-depth articles, videos, fine photography, slideshows, live-maps, and social streams.
* Google trending editions - Google Currents uses Google search technology to hourly build a set of editions tracking the five most recent trending stories in categories such as world, entertainment, sports, science, and more. Each story is presented through a fresh edition of articles, videos, and pictures,
* Your favorite blogs and feeds - Instantly, turn your Google Reader subscriptions, or any of your favorite blogs/feeds into a beautiful edition with a magazine feel.
Each edition is available for high speed offline reading, and provides quick-touch sharing. Google Currents self-adapts to differently sized phones and tablets, with your subscriptions synchronized across devices. Google Currents - a reading experience not to be missed.
price: free