Friday, December 09, 2011

drag2share: Actually, Google Currents Is Almost Nothing Like Flipboard (It's Better) (GOOG)


google currents

Today Google finally released Currents, it's (delayed) reader app that it decided to make after it failed to acquire Flipboard.

Until now, no one really knew what Currents would look like, so everyone (including us) assumed it was just another Flipboard clone.

Need proof? Click here for screenshots >

That's not the case. The two apps are similar in appearance, but actually function quite differently. Currents is all about curated the best content on the web and bringing it to you in a stylish, easy to read format. Flipboard mostly relies on links shared via your social networks to pull in content.

The result with Currents is a cleaner product that always guarantees you're keeping up with the latest news you're interested in. Not what you're friends are interested in.

We've been using both the Android version (on the Galaxy Nexus) and the iOS version (on the iPad) since the app launched. 

First of all, this is probably the best design to come out of Google in a long time. It's pretty obvious they borrowed a lot from Flipboard, but the app is still gorgeous. Even the iOS version looks good. 

When you launch the app, you're asked to sign in with your Google account before you can start pulling in stories to read. (Android users won't have to do that.) Currents comes pre-loaded with a few publications like Fast Company and Forbes, but there are dozens of other publishing partners you can subscribe to. 

google currentsAfter you select the publications to add to your library, Currents downloads the top articles from each one and stores them on your device so you can read them offline if you want. You also get a beautiful slideshow at the top of the app with photos from stories in your library. Swipe through them to see more.

On Android, you can share stories just about anywhere: Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Box, etc. As long as you have the app and are logged in, it syncs perfectly with Currents. You're a bit more limited on iOS and the app makes you sign into each sharing service individually, with the exception of Twitter if you're using iOS 5.

The other major component to Currents is the Trending section. Here you can choose topics you want to read about and Currents pulls in the top five stories in each category. Whereas Flipboard is all about what you're friends are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., Currents is about what everyone is reading and sharing. 

Currents also does a great job at adapting to the size of your screen. Whether you're using a tablet or a 4-inch smartphone, Currents always looks incredible and lays out content in an easily digestible form. Even better, it syncs with all your devices. Just sign in with your Google account and you're good to go.

So the philosophy between Currents and Flipboard is slightly different. Currents is all about curated content and finding you the best stuff on the web to read. Flipboard is mostly about pulling in links and articles your friends are sharing on various social networks or from your RSS. Yes, there is a major curation element to Flipboard too, but the focus is still on social. 

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what you want from a reader app: Do I want great curated content delivered to me? (Currents) Or do I want to rely on my friends to share stuff I'd like to read. (Flipboard)

Here's the main home screen for Currents. There's a slideshow that you can swipe through at the top. The bottom has your library of publications.

Here's a sample of the topics you can choose from

Just tap "Add" next to a publication and its content begins to download

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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See Also:

drag2share - drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)