Google unveils Currents for magazine-style browsing

I’ve just been trying out Google Currents, which may be an answer to the coolest iPad app I’ve seen, Flipboard.

Version 1.0 of Currents was released in the Android Market and on iTunes on Thursday.

I wanted to load it on my ViewSonic Gtablet, which is running a modified Android operating system, but couldn't get the Market install to work. The .apk installation file was a quick Google search away and that installation was a snap.

After the installation, there's a frustrating first screen that seems to ignore the fact that you've already logged in to your Google account. Just tap the bar with your name on it (not the sync button) and that seems to launch the app for the first time.

Removing any of the default content is a snap – a longpress on the icon gives you a choice to remove that element or re-order the icons. I deleted most of them, but 500px is very nice eye candy.

Adding content is a breeze. I was able to find a dozen sources to add, from Mashable to Slate to Lifehacker. You can use content offline, and sync between devices.

I might normally stay away from anything marked version 1.0, but I was seeing references to Currents being the answer to Flipboard, which aggregates user-selected content in a beautiful magazine style. 

Flipboard is the only app I’ve seen that made me covet an iPad. Currents isn’t there yet – there’s no direct way to add Twitter and Facebook feeds, for instance, though you can share to them – but it’s not hard to envision when it will be. 

But for me, this looks like a keeper.

I’ve used Pulse, which also has been mentioned as a Flipboard killer. Currents is easier to use and, to me, more attractive.

Currents was a little laggy in terms of some content scrolling on my tablet, but that could be the tablet itself. I’ve installed it on my Motorola Droid, too, but this is an app that’s going to look way better on a tablet screen.

If this is just the first version, then I'll bet version 2.0 is going to be much better. And 5.0? Yeah.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_currents_is_to_social_media_as_justin_biebe.php

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_currents_vs_flipboard.php

If you've tried it, I'd like to hear your reactions. I’ll be curious to see what iPad users think of it, especially those who use Flipboard.

Photos are from the Android Market and the iTunes store.

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