Google Currents debuts as mobile and tablet reader app that gives publishers control
Google released its Flipboard-style news reading app Thursday, called Currents, along with an online tool enabling publishers to create and customize their own "editions" for the app.
Currents gives an elegant browsing interface to headlines from a user's favorite sources. People can add a blog or an RSS feed manually, or choose from over 180 customized editions created by publishers like Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, PBS, ABC News, Gawker and The Atlantic.
Any publisher -- from major newspaper to a lone blogger -- can create and customize their Currents edition using a free online tool. It offers robust options, including header images and different content sections for traditional stories, or for social media posts, YouTube videos and photos.
Currents is available for iPhone, iPad and also Android-powered smartphones and tablets. That last part is significant. While the news app market for Apple devices is crowded, some major players like Flipboard and Zite have yet to invest in an Android app. Google Currents provides a high-powered reader for the budding market of Android tablets, including the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.
There are no ads incorporated yet, but a Google representative tells Forbes they're coming soon. In a perhaps-related move earlier Thursday, Google announced new rich-media ad formats for mobile devices and tablets that would integrate with apps like Currents.