Now that Google's announced its Currents project, it's time to let you in on a little secret.
It's pretty darn awesome.
We've been experimenting with Currents (neé Propeller) for some weeks now on its road to launch. At its heart, it's very much a Flipboard competitor, if you've ever seen or used the excellent iPad application. The consumer-facing side of Currents is a magazine-like look and feel, as powerful offline as it is when connected to the Internet. From the back end, it's basically just pulling in RSS feeds and displaying them in a custom UI, and you can have it up an running in just minutes through the web-based (natch) Google Studio.
This isn't just some cookie-cutter operation, though. There are plenty of apps like that in the Android Market, and, frankly, many of them suck. Currents's strength comes from its simplicity. It's easy to set up and maintain, and the app has a simple and attractive user interface. Toss in that it's pretty customizable, and you've got the makings of a strong platform, and one that's ready to go out of the box at launch.
So why call it a Flipboard competitor, when Flipboard's only available on iOS? Because when you create an edition in Currents, you're simultaneously creating for Android smartphones. And tablets. And the iPhone. And the iPad. And you can preview each platform on the fly, as you work. Bad news for most of the world, though -- Currents is U.S.-only for now.
We've got our Android Central walkthrough of Google Currents after the break, and be sure to add our Google Currents Edition. Check it out.
Google Currents smartphone version
Google Currents for tablets