[PREVIEW] Google Currents, or: How I learnt to ditch every other news reader

[PREVIEW] Google Currents, or: How I learnt to ditch every other news reader

 

Yesterday evening Google announced a bit of a game changer.  For ages now iOS has had Flipboard, an awesome app that is, essentially, an RSS reader with a single distinguishing feature:  it’s like you’re reading a magazine.  Alas, that’s how Google’s Currents differs from all those other RSS readers on Android.  Firstly, it’s Google’s baby so support will come fast and hard.  Secondly it has a number of high profile launch partners that will provide content optimised for this new platform.  Thirdly, it works with any RSS out there.  You can, for instance, follow Techno-Speak on Currents.  Just saying, you know?  Read on past the break for our impressions.

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

PROS

 

The app just works, and it works fantastically well.  The content for most sites looks amazing, especially on a tablet screen.  Google Currents takes interacting with your content all that much better, taking it to an all new level.   There are a LOT of content providers that seem to have optimised their content, some better than others.  For instance Android Central’s feed is short and brief, with the only formatting errors occuring in the Reviews section. Forbe’s 500, on the other hand works perfectly.  The text fills the whole screen and it feels as though you really are flipping through a magazine.

 

CONS

 

As I’ve said, some sites’ formatting leaves a little to be desired, having a miniscule ammount of text before being directed to the main page.  Fortunately Currents has a built in browser for this function, so it’s not a biggie.  But still.  Another gripe would be that items only synchronise automatically every 6 hours.  I don’t know about you guys, but I like to keep myself a lot more up to date than that.  Every day I’m killing my phone with 10-15 minute refresh cycles for email, gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

 

FINAL SAY

 

The question is, should I get it?  The answer for that is yes.  You might also ask, should I wait for more content?  The answer is no.  Go ahead.  The only trouble at this point is that the app is only available in the US apparently.  But don’t worry.  A post will be up shortly with the apk available for download (Android only, sorry iOS).  In the meantime, click through a gallery of screenshots we took.

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