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Google Currents already live: Android, iOS get curated news

updated 03:40 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2011

Google Currents already active

Possibly reacting to a last-minute leak, Google has already released its curated news app. Google Currents for iOS (App Store) and Android (Market) takes articles from a mix of technology and general interest sites, such as Forbes and the Huffington Post, and optimizes them either for the smartphone or tablet size. Readers can subscribe to get routine updates, including regular RSS feeds, Google Reader subscriptions, and Google+ feeds.

Google+ ties in deeper through sharing, where users can appropriately share either whole articles or individual videos.

The company hopes to counter Flipboard by letting publishers tune their own content. Its new Producer system lets smaller outlets create layouts themselves without having to strike special deals or have app development experience. Content designers can optionally tie into Google Analytics to figure out what and how users are reading.

Apps are so far limited to the US.

The existence of Currents may confirm rumors that Google tried to buy Flipboard in 2010. Google was supposedly jealous of the then iPad-only app's influence on tablet share and had threatened to make a competitor if Flipboard didn't agree to a deal. Android has considerably fewer curated news apps, and many developers haven't opted to go cross-platform.

by MacNN Staff



  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Companies not going crossplatform

    The reason is obvious. Developers do not want the Android platform to be popular. This may sound odd but this is my reasoning:
    1. No matter how many times Google want to say Android is essentially is their platform as they steward it andown the trademark.
    2. Google's business model is based on low cost products, high volume and continual growth (just like MS)
    3. Google have shown to sustaing that business model they will complete directly with developers of their own platform to increase revenue streams (just like MS).

    Apple with iOS have shown they are less likely to do this as they are still essentially a hardwar/OS platform company. It is in developers best interests for Android to remain low key otherwise they will be forced to develop on the platform (forced because marketshare often results in mindshare results in more customers) and if their product becomes popluar then Google will simply roll them.
    Google Currents is just the latest example of a growing list of proucts with developers who have helped the Android platform.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Facebook as the example

    To give my argument a tangible example:

    Facebook don't care about platform (ie. Android, iOS, WinMo, Meego, etc). They only care about the Facebook world. They want everyone using it and don't care how you get into it. Now MS doesn't have a competitor to Facebook (yet) and Apple doesn't have a competitor to Facebook (yet...Ping don't count). MS may try to create one, I doubt Apple will try but who knows. Google does have a competitor called Google+ and they will bake it into Android (if they haven't already). Statistics show that people will often use a product over another if it is already available (that is Google trump card). So will Facebook help Google roll them using this well known statistic...nope. What can Facebook do....well the obvious thing is to not support Android on tablets and instead support the platform which is not only more popular but does not have a competitor.

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