Following an extensive period of beta testing and refining, a promising new Google product is ready for prime time. Today, the search Goliath took the wraps off of a brand new social publishing platform that used to be known under the ‘Propeller’ code-name. Our sister publication 9to5Mac is one of the publishers Google cherry-picked to be launch content partner for the service.
It debuts under the ‘Currents’ moniker and is available to end users via dedicated mobile apps for Android devices and Apple’s iPhone and iPad. As for publishers, they can package their content in a web app to be presented on tablets and smartphones with a little bit of HTML5 magic.
According to Google:
Google Currents is a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger. It brings together this content in a beautiful and simple way so you can easily navigate between words, pictures and video on your smartphone or tablet.
As last we heard back in September, the Currents back-end accessed through a web browser lets publishers upload and format their content, provide meta data, monitor reading stats, inject AdSense ad units, collect user info via email, monitor usage stats through Google Analytics and more.
Layout options include multiple formats to target various tablet and handsets, including iPhone and iPad, while navigation choices support individual articles, table of contents and browsing custom-made sections that curate multiple articles. Images, video and other rich media types are also at publishers’ disposal.
In addition to end-user enhancements, Google promised participating publishers that they will soon receive a “Best Practice for Updating a Live Edition” guide to help mitigate any possible teething problems. Google is planning a host of additional capabilities post-launch, such as the ability to sell individual articles to readers for a small fee, using Google Checkout.
There’s no doubt that Currents is aspiring to build on the success of popular social reading apps such as Flipboard, which recently launched on the iPhone following the July 2010 release on the iPad.
- More details on Propeller, Google’s Flipboard-killer for Android and iOS devices (9to5google.com)
- Skype for iPad, Google+ for iOS: Is there a competitor logjam? (9to5mac.com)