Google Debuts New Smart News Reader Currents For Touchscreen Devices

Say what you want about Google but whenever any of their products fail, they have the clout and flexibility to get back up again and start all over. As a news feed, Google News wasn't really a success with their attempts to gamify news through collecting badges wasn't really the jolt in the arm the product needed to work.

Announcing it on their mobile blog, Google have unveiled their new news reader product called Currents - originally codenamed Propeller - which has been designed for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. In their latest blog post, Google have unveiled the new system which allows users to read online magazines and other content through a simple touchscreen interface.

Currents will only be as strong as the content it can offer and Google have teamed up with over 150 different media sites for the launch to try and entice people to use the service. Such media groups include CNET, AllThingsD, Huffington Post and Forbes among others. While it's a good mix, Google will try and get the more popular news and media outlets to use its service and boost its popularity.

The real masterstroke could be its accessibility to smaller publications or sites with its self-service platform. This allows smaller media organizations or websites to create their own digital magazine and try to reach a larger audience. If it's received well by users, the presentation and style of Currents could convince a lot of sites and outlets to use the program and expand their audience. The program also champions smart content so the trending tab will highlight content that matches your interests.

Among magazines and sites, users can also add video and photo feeds as well as - predictably - public Google+ streams. Interestingly, you can also add RSS feeds and your Google Reader subscriptions onto Currents, suggesting that Google could eventually phase out its reader service in favour of this new magazine design. It would be a pity as there are many fans of Reader's simplistic and straightforward presentation, but Google tend not to be swayed by public opinion and will do whatever fits their philosophy.

Currently it's only available for US users in the Apple App Store and Android Market but Google will be rolling out the service to an international audience later.

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