Thursday, November 21, 2013

Google unifies Currents and Magazines in single Newsstand app

If you though Google Currents had its days numbered after the demise of Google Reader, you were right... of sorts. Google thinks there's no point in keeping the Google Magazine app and Google Currents app separated and is mixing it all together under a single Google Play Newsstand app.

This means Google is now bunching it all together, digital newspapers, digital magazines, and digital publications by anyone (if you ever wish to brush up your Portuguese, you're welcome to add my own Aberto até de Madrugada magazine to your Currents Newsstand subscriptions, as it bundles all the content from my various blogs - in Portuguese).

However, it seems that the main reason for this unification and update is to fight off apps as Flipboard. If you're a Flipboard user you'll find many similarities: you also have the latest news, the ability to mark an item for later reading, etc. etc. (and wouldn't be surprised if somewhere along the way, you'd get the option to create your own curated magazine - like Flipboard did recently.)

Although I've always liked Currents, I never actually ended up using it much. I find Flipboard to be much more enjoyable (although I did use Currents whenever I needed to do some offline reading.) Whether you use the Magazine or Currents Google apps, you'll be asked to upgrade to the new Newsstand app. For the moment, Currents will still be available as a standalone app, but I wouldn't expect it to exist for much longer.

For iOS users, the Newsstand app should pop up next year.

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