Google has released its own Flipboard type application, titled Google Currents. But unless you’re a yank, you’ll have to wait.
Over the Christmas break, I ventured to the US of A. Whilst there, Google quietly launched Google Currents. The free android app available for download from the Android Market is Google’s next attempt to break into Apple territory.
Google Currents is a newsstand app, allowing you to download and purchase online newspapers. Well so I (and I’m sure many others) thought at first glance. Although offering your typical newsstand type of subscriptions, Google Currents allows virtually any website/content publisher to allow readers to subscribe to their website/blog, and have the latest articles pushed to their subscribers devices.
Now here’s why I’m interested. One, this app (at this stage) isn’t force-fed down your throat. If you’ve updated your iOS device to iOS5, you’ll notice that new (and f#!@*ing annoying) newsstand app. You’ll know which one it is, it’s the only app in the iOS platform that can’t be grouped without jailbreaking your device, or you’re really really good with your fingers.
Two, this app has a “trending” feature, allowing you to see what’s hot at the moment. A bit like the Twitter trending feature, which is a great way to find new content.
Three, Google Currents can pull down RSS feeds, and there’s the free Google Currents Producer, allowing web developers to publish their websites articles to the marketplace, and help customise the look and feel.
Four, and a major plus, is developers can also do some further customisation using CSS if needed.
The only thing I’m a bit disappointed about is Google Currents only being available in the US at the moment. It’s a bit disappointing to see a global company such as Google ‘soft-launching’ their products in the US market first, instead of a global release. I understand why of course, but it does leave a bitter taste. It’s also very annoying of US TV Networks CBS and the Discovery channel posting videos of their shows to their global Facebook Fans, but only allowing people inside the US to actually watch the video. Ignorant of the rest of the world. Wait…why am I complaining? I guess the shoe fits…
Google Currents is available for download from the Android Market and Apple App Store in the US only (at the moment)